August 16, 2012

Children Vitamin Refunds Being Issued Due To False Advertising Claims

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

Children's vitamin manufacturers are having to issue refunds to parents for falsely advertising the nutritional benefits of their daily tablets and gummies.

Vitamins with packaging featuring characters like Winnie The Pooh and Spider-Man are causing nearly $2.1 million to be refunded to customers after manufacturer NBTY acknowledged its pills only contained a fraction of nutritional substance.

NBTY and two of its subsidiaries, Rexall Sundown and NatureSmart, claimed in product advertising and on packaging that the vitamins contained a dose of DHA that would satisfy 100 percent of a child's daily requirement.

However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that in some cases, the vitamins only contained a portion of the DHA amounts, which is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish.

“The FTC charged NBTY, Inc., NatureSmart LLC, and Rexall Sundown, Inc., with making deceptive claims about the amount of DHA in their children´s vitamin gummies and tablets, and the effect of that amount on eye and brain development in children,” the agency said in a statement.

The amount of DHA found in Disney and Marvel Complete Tablets equaled only one-thousandth of what marketers claimed per serving for children ages 2 to 4.

NBTY claims in the vitamin packaging that the DHA the daily vitamins contains would help vision and brain development in children. However, the FTC says those claims were unsupported.

The boxes of the vitamins were priced anywhere between $4 and $8 each, and were found on shelves at CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Kmart, Meijer and Rite Aid.

Parents who believe they have purchased the vitamins dating back to between May 1, 2008 and September 30, 2010 can file a claim through the FTC's website.

The FTC said in a statement that customers will have until October 12 to file a claim for their refund.

Devin Domond, a staff attorney at the FTC, told Boston Globe that no proof of purchase is necessary to file a claim, but customers will be relied on to make an honest assessment of their purchases.