Different Claims that People Have Sued for in the Natural Health Industry
Few things are more important that one’s health. Consumers are constantly looking for ways to improve their health with the use of supplements, products, and beneficial services. Unfortunately, the natural health industry can sometimes be misleading, claiming that their products are healthy, when they are really anything but. However, while there may be a plethora hundreds of false or misleading claims made, these five lawsuits are some of the most interesting that the health industry has been dealt.
Five Interesting Claims that Have Caused Lawsuits in the Natural Health Industry:
1. Coca Cola VS Non-Profit Organization: Sugary beverage claims to be a health drink.
As some consumers may know, Coca Cola is the manufacturer of a popular beverage called Vitamin Water. For years, Vitamin Water has been advertised as containing vitamins, minerals, and health boosting antioxidants. What they haven’t told consumers is that Vitamin Water contains an excessive amount of sugar and much smaller amounts of synthetic vitamins. A non-profit organization has sued Coca Cola for false health claims and misleading the public. Coca Cola’s most interesting response to the lawsuit is that consumers could not “reasonably be misled” into believing that Vitamin Water is a nutritionally sound product, even after all of their suggestions otherwise.
2. Fish Oil Makers VS San Francisco Supreme Court: Supposed health supplement is toxic.
Many consumers take fish oil supplements believing that the omega-3 fatty acids are helping to fight heart disease, supporting healthy cholesterol levels, aiding weight loss, and supporting overall health. Unfortunately, the the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation has tested ten different fish oil substances and found a toxin called polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCB, in each one. PCB is a toxic substance, known to cause birth defects and cancer, that was outlawed over 30 years ago. More supplements are currently being tested, which may add to the number of producers being sued.
3. TrimSpa and Anna Nicole Smith VS Myra Luna, Janet Luna, and Yvonne Rodarte: Diet pill not living up to claims.
TrimSpa and late celebrity, Anna Nicole Smith, were sued in 2007 due to claims that intentionally mislead consumers. TrimSpa claimed to help users lose a great deal of weight, in a very short time frame. The diet pill also claimed to contain the natural herb hoodia gordonii, which works as an appetite suppressant. However, while this herb was advertised on the label, TrimSpa did not contain the active ingredients that makes hoodia gordonii effective. In fact, TrimSpa did not deliver drastic weight loss or live up to its claims at all, which led to a $1.5 million dollar payout for the three plaintiffs.
4. Johnson & Johnson VS Sugar Association: “Natural” food supplement is artificially created.
Johnson & Johnson, the creators of Splenda, were sued in 2009 over falsely advertising their product as a natural sugar supplement. The Sugar Association believed that the way Splenda was marketed led consumers to believe that Splenda was made from real sugar, and was therefore a healthy, natural food. Splenda is actually artificially created, using the chemical chlorine, to transform natural sugar into a carbohydrate and calorie free product. Currently, Splenda is used in over 4,500 food products.
5. Kevin Trudeau VS the Federal Trade Commission: Diet book making impossible and misleading promises.
Kevin Trudeau is a convicted felon, infomercial personality, and writer of The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About. This book promised to help readers lose weight easily, while indulging in their favorite foods. Trudeau advertised this book through a number of infomercials that significantly boosted the book’s sales. Unfortunately, what this book contained was a strict and almost impossible to follow diet plan that required readers to inject a weight loss drug each day. Readers were even told to obtain a prescription for this drug, so that they may complete Trudeau’s weight loss program. The FTC stepped in and sued Kevin Trudeau for misleading readers in order to sell his book. He was later ordered to pay over $37,000,000 million dollars and told to avoid infomercials for three years.
The natural health industry will always be subjected to lawsuits, both ridiculous and legitimate. As long as consumers are interested in losing weight, improving their bodies, and supporting their health, the natural health industry will continue to grow. Consumers need to use their common sense and stay aware of current lawsuits, in order to choose the best products, while avoiding health industry scams.