Thirty-nine states have filed a lawsuit against Dannon for exaggerating the health benefits of its products. Dannon will pay $21 million over false statements promoting the digestive and immune system benefits of Activia yogurt and DanActive dairy drinks, making this the largest multi-state settlement involving false claims by a food producer.
Danon failed to have substantial scientific evidence for its claims about its products. The company even went as far as to concoct names for probiotic bacterial strains contained in their products. Dannon claimed that “Bifidus Regularis” benefitted healthy digestion and also claimed that “L. casei Immunitas” prevented against cold and flu.
Dannon also implied that a daily serving of Activia over a two week period can improve digestion, but studies showed that individuals saw digestive benefits only after consuming three servings over two weeks.
The settlement prohibits Dannon from making health benefit claims without FDA approval. From now on, Dannon must have scientific backing to support any claims regarding health benefits or efficacy of its products.
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