Airborne Health Inc has agreed to pay $7 million to settle investigations by 32 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia over past marketing and labeling of its dietary supplement products.
The company did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.
A statement released by Airborne, said the following, “Even though we believe the claims against Airborne were unjustified, we wanted to close the book on these legal and regulatory issues. The agreement allows us to again focus on what led us to start this labor of love ten years ago: making great products that people want and can count on. We will continue to talk about the important benefits that Airborne can provide.”
Airborne settled a similar claim earlier this year and agreed to pay up to $30 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it did not have adequate evidence to support its advertising claims.
The settlement results from a 2006 class action lawsuit filed by people who bought the effervescent tablets between May 2001 and December 2007.
Since Airborne is classified as a “dietary supplement” it cannot make specific medical claims as a drug can under the FDA. But the Airborne package calls the supplement a “miracle cold buster” and that is a claim.
Airborne is a privately held company that makes dietary supplements that contain vitamins, minerals and herbs that claim to help support the immune system.
The company was created by second grade teacher Victoria Knight-McDowell who was sick of getting sick from her students.
“We’re putting the dietary supplement industry on notice – snake oil sales pitches will no longer be given free reign,” said Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Attorney General in a statement. “Our strong coalition of states will continue investigating and pursuing companies that make false claims about dietary supplements and other products.”
"This settlement is a powerful step towards curbing a culture of label lying, whether by Airborne or other dietary supplements," said Blumenthal.
In a statement released Tuesday, Airborne Founder and Chief Executive, Victoria Knight-McDowell, said “The agreement is not likely to impact Airborne’s products because it deals with language that has already been removed from the product advertising and labeling.”
Airborne agrees, under the settlement, to discontinue any claims about the "health benefit, performance, efficacy or safety" of its supplements in preventing and treating colds and other ailments. #