The US arm of Danone could be forced to make a multi-million dollar refund to its customers over allegations that it has used fraudulent health claims to sell some of its Activia and DanActive branded yogurts.
In a class action filed yesterday against the Dannon company in a California court, a legal team have accused the company of spending $100m promoting clinical benefits of products which the company's own testing disproves.
Attorney Timothy Blood, who will represent Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins in the action, said the dairy group had purposely deceived consumers about the products.
"Deceptive advertising has enabled Dannon to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ordinary yogurt at inflated prices to responsible, health conscious consumers," he stated.
The class action alleges therefore that claims on advertisements and labelling for Activia pronouncing that the product is "proven" to improve one's "intestinal rhythm" and "regulate your digestive system" are all unsubstantiated.
Bonnie - hooray, hooray, hooray. I panned these products when they were launched for a number of reasons. First, the amount of probiotic in the yogurt is negligible to have any therapeutic effect. Second, they are loaded with sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, which negates any effect the probiotics would have had anyway. Third, the claims these yogurt's are making is no better than what drug company claims on television ads. It is deceiving and they should be reprimanded.