FTC Offers Disney, Marvel Vitamin Refunds to Consumers
August 14, 2012
WASHINGTON—FTC is offering refunds to certain consumers of Disney- and Marvel Hero-branded multivitamins, relative to a $2.1 million settlement by NBTY Inc. and two of its subsidiaries on charges of making false health claims for the products. The settlement was initially entered back in December 2010, with BTY and related parties agreeing to the refunds and promising to not misrepresent any ingredient amount in any product. NBTY, NatureSmart, and Rexall Sundown were charged with making deceptive claims for the amount of DHA in the Disney and Marvel line's gummy and tablet products. The settlement further barred the defendants from " misrepresenting that any ingredient, including DHA, promotes brain or eye health or provides any other health benefit, unless the claim is true and backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence." Violating this settlement order could subject the NBTY and its subsidiaries to civil penalties.
On the products' packaging, labeling and print advertisements, NBTY used and asterisk to link the prominent phrase "with DHA" to the claim: "DHA is naturally found in the brain and the eyes. 100 mg promotes healthy brain and eye development. One serving provides 100 mcg of DHA." FTC argued this implies the products contain significant amounts of DHA, an amount comparable to the 100 mcg noted, but the products did not contain a significant amount of DHA.
FTC encouraged consumers who may have purchased these products between May 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2010, to file a claim at FTC.gov/vitamins, or call 866-224-4336 to request a paper claim form. Claims must be filed by Oct, 12, 2012. The agency also advised consumers to carefully evaluate claims for vitamins and other dietary supplements.