PHOENIX - You've probably seen those ads for Activia yogurt promoting their “digestive health benefits”. But the feds determined those claims are false, and Dannon has been ordered to pay a $21 million settlement.
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and attorneys general from 38 other states sued the company. They alleged that Dannon made unsubstantiated and unlawful marketing claims about its products.
Their advertising claimed Activia yogurt helps relieve irregularity, based largely on the ingredient 'Bifidus Regularis,' and that DanActive dairy drinks build 'immunity' and can help users avoid catching a cold or the flu.
The Federal Trade Commission says there is not enough scientific evidence to back up those claims.
The $21 million payout is the largest payment to date in a multistate settlement with a food producer.
With more and more consumer products claiming things that aren’t scientifically proven, how do we protect ourselves?
It has been said that if something is too good to be true, it probably is, and with that saying goes reputability amongst other things in consumer products today.
Are there more products out there that have false claims that in some cases not only harm the consumer financially, but also physically and even mentally?
Now that Dannon’s advertising has been proven false, do individuals have potential claims against Dannon?
The short answer is maybe. The better and more practical answer is that it is probably not worth it.
The real issue, to determine whether an individual claim could be brought is the following:
Has the individual suffered injuries or damages as a result of the product or Dannon’s false claims?
I am not talking about a couple hundred dollars of yogurt purchases. I am talking about injuries, negative health consequences, etc… If you have suffered real and provable injuries and damages as a result of the product, or Dannon’s false advertising, you may want to seek counsel to discuss the circumstances.