Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission finalized the Order settling charges that The Dannon Company, Inc. exaggerated the health benefits of its Activia yogurt and DanActive dairy drink, two popular products that contain beneficial bacteria known as probiotics.
Under the proposed administrative settlement announced in December, Dannon agreed to stop claiming that Activia relieves temporary irregularity, unless the representation is non-misleading and the ad conveys that eating three servings a day is required to obtain the benefit, or unless Dannon has competent and reliable scientific evidence that the benefit can be achieved from eating less than three servings a day.
Dannon also agreed to stop claiming that DanActive or any yogurt, dairy drink, or probiotic food helps people avoid catching colds or the flu, unless the claim is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Although companies usually do not need FDA approval of their health claims to comply with the FTC Act, the FTC determined in this case that requiring such approval will give Dannon clearer guidance going forward and help ensure that the company complies with the order.
The Commission vote approving the final Order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 082-3158; the staff contact is Shira Modell, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3116.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s website at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.