DanActive, Activia claims land yogurt company in hot water

WASHINGTON — Yogurt brand Dannon agreed to drop what government officials are calling "exaggerated health claims" for two of its products.

Dannon's parent company, Danone, will pay $21 million in fines for claiming in nationwide ad campaigns that DanActive helps prevent colds and flu, and that one daily serving of Activia relieves temporary irregularity and helps with “slow intestinal transit time.” In TV, Internet and print ads, as well as on product packaging, Dannon also stated that there was scientific proof to back up these claims, the Federal Trade Commission said.

The FTC's crackdown is part of the organization's expanded efforts to make sure that marketers do not overstate the health benefits of their products.

“These types of misleading claims are enough to give consumers indigestion,” said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Consumers want, and are entitled to, accurate information when it comes to their health. Companies like Dannon shouldn’t exaggerate the strength of scientific support for their products.”

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