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Pennsylvania Attorney General Corbett Announces a Multi-State, $7 Million Settlement With Airborne Health, Inc., Over Charges of Deceptive Advertising
Date:12/16/2008

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania, along with 31 other states and the District of Columbia, reached a $7 million settlement with Airborne Health, Inc., and its owners, over allegations of deceptive advertising and marketing of numerous products containing their Airborne Effervescent Health Formula. Pennsylvania will receive more than $128,000.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said that Airborne Health, Inc., allegedly made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering and selling of their line of dietary supplements that were not backed by proper scientific evidence.

"Airborne allegedly claimed that their product was a germ fighter, and a remedy for colds, sore throats and allergies," Corbett said. "But, according to the complaint, there was never adequate proof that the products could perform as advertised."

Corbett said that Airborne - Original is the number one selling dietary supplement in its category and is sold at most major retailers. It consists of Vitamin A, E, zinc, selenium and large doses of Vitamin C.

Corbett said that the settlement covers all Airborne products, including Airborne - Original, Airborne - Pink Grapefruit, Airborne - Lemon-Lime, Airborne - Nighttime, Airborne, Jr., Airborne On-The-Go, Airborne Seasonal Relief, Airborne Sore Throat Gummi Lozenges, Airborne Soothing Throat Gummi Lozenges, Airborne Power Pixies, and any substantially similar product that Airborne produces in the future.

According to the settlement, Airborne may no longer make any express or implied claim concerning the health benefit, performance, efficacy or safety of their dietary supplement products unless there is scientific proof. Specifically, their advertising will no longer be allowed to say "take at the first sign of a cold symptom," along with any other claims that imply that Airborne can diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure colds, coughs, the flu, upper respiratory infections or allergies.

Corbett noted that by law, advertisements for dietary supplements like Airborne cannot make such drug claims even if they can provide substantiation, unless and until they have been approved as a drug by the FDA.

Along with paying $7 million, the largest amount ever in a multi-state settlement with a dietary supplement producer, to settle the allegations of deceptive advertising, Airborne is now also prohibited from:

  • Requiring, demanding or otherwise influencing where a retailer places their products through direct affirmative action.

  • Marketing any product that contains directions for use that would, if followed, result in an individual ingesting 15,000 International Units of Vitamin A or more per day.

In addition to Pennsylvania, this settlement includes Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

The agreement was filed in Commonwealth Court by Deputy Attorney General Nicole VanOrder of the Attorney General's Health Care Section.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For a copy of the agreement, contact the Attorney General's press office at 717-787-5211.

CONTACT: Eric Shirk, Assistant Press Secretary, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, +1-717-787-5211, eshirk@attorneygeneral.gov


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
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