Nestle’s HealthCare Nutrition (HCN) subsidiary has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over false advertising charges filed over the company’s BOOST Kid Essentials probiotic drink.
In ads for the product, HCN claimed BOOST could enhance children’s immune systems, fight colds and similar infections of the upper respiratory tract, and, thanks to a probiotic-filled special straw, speed up the recovery time for kids afflicted with diarrhea.
Nestle HCN has agreed to remove statements focusing on the drink’s power to fight colds and flu unless such claims are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It will also require pre-approval from the agency for any future claims concerning BOOST’s power to prevent these and other upper respiratory tract infections. Additionally, the company can only incorporate supportive statements that BOOST keeps school absences to a minimum and eases diarrhea into its advertising strategy if those claims can be backed by the results of at least two human-based clinical trials, according to the agreement.
Recently, probiotics have enjoyed popularity as an “it” supplement and proposed solution to many consumers’ gut woes. This is the first case in which the FTC has filed a complaint against advertising claims of the microorganisms’ health benefits.
The settlement cannot be approved until after a public comment period that ends on Aug. 16. To comment please go to https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/nestle.