CSPI Threatens to Sue Amway for Supplement Claims

February 29, 2012

2 Min Read
CSPI Threatens to Sue Amway for Supplement Claims

WASHINGTONThe Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) accused Amway of making deceptive claims for its NUTRILITE line of liquid dietary supplements. CSPI said it would file a class action lawsuit against Amway if it continues to use "unsubstantiated nutrition and health benefits" claims for its Fruits & Vegetables 2GO and Immunity Twist Tubes products. 

Labels for NUTRILITE's Fruits & Vegetables 2GO Twist Tubes claim the product represents two servings of fruits and vegetables and the fine print clarifies that a dose, contains the antioxidant equivalent of 2 servings."  However, CSPI said the 10-milliliter tubes do not equal the same health benefits as real fruit or vegetables; fruits and vegetables contain more benefits than just antioxidants, CSPI said.  CSPI noted unlike fruits and vegetables, Fruits & Vegetables 2GO does not contain fiber, and real fruits and vegetables have up to 8,000 phytochemicals that may provide health benefits. 

CSPI also took issue with Amway's claims for NUTRILITE's Immunity Twist Tubes. The product claims it is an immune system booster" that will protect your cells."  The immunity claim is unlawful, according to CSPI, because it implies the product will prevent disease.  It wont, says the group.

Also, CSPI noted both product lines contain the artificial sweetener sucralose, despite a print advertisement for fruits & vegetables 2GO" that claims the product has no artificial ingredients.

Amway is sending a horrible health message to American consumers when it holds out its Twist Tubes as a short cut to getting the health benefits of real food," said CSPI staff litigator Seema Rattan.  People who want the health benefits of two servings of fruits and vegetables are far better off eating two servings of fruits and vegetables.  And no one should be deceived into thinking that these pricey little tubes will prevent them from getting sick."

In a letter to Amway chairman Steve Van Andel, CSPI said Amways labeling and advertising for NUTRILITE products violates federal regulations and consumer protection laws in Washington, Massachusetts, Texas, New Jersey and California.  

In a company response, Anna Bryce, Amway Public Relations, said,  understands the importance of accurate product claims.  "For this reason, we  have  a thorough claims substantiation process, incorporating published nutrition science and regulatory directives.  Frankly, we were disappointed when  CSPI decided to publish  its  concerns  about  the  marketing of the NUTRILITE Twist Tube line,  without  first asking Amway about its product claims.  We would have appreciated   the   opportunity   to   share  the  results  of  our  claims substantiation  process.  We always take such concerns seriously and we are investigating the assertions made by the CSPI."

Despite CSPI's concerns, consumers rated NUTRILITE their favorite multilevel marketing (MLM) brand in a recent ConsumerLab.com poll.

Need help with your claims? Check out the SupplySide on-demand video, " Strategic Plans for Globalization in Claims Compliance ."

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