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NewsBites March 2011 Issue

FTC Reins in Probiotic Yogurt Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which regulates product advertising, will impose strict new limits on claims for Dannon probiotic yogurt products as part of a $21 mil- lion settlement of an investigation into the company’s marketing. Dannon, however, insists the settlement means business as usual, stating, “Our claims remain intact.” The agreement with the FTC states that Activia, a spoonable yogurt touting digestive health benefts, can only claim to “relieve temporary irregularity or help with slow intestinal transit time” if it also states that three daily servings are required for this ben- eft. And Dannon, which has marketed its drinkable yogurt DanActiv as an immune-system booster, must not claim “that any yogurt, dairy drink or probi- otic food or drink reduces the likelihood of getting a cold or the fu, unless the claim is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.” The company insisted it had never made such claims. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz commented, “These types of misleading claims are enough to give consumers indigestion.”

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