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Airborne Herbal Supplement Settles 23.3 Million

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Airborne Herbal Supplement Settles 23.3 Million

The herbal supplement firm will settle class action lawsuit that alleges false advertising; money will be refunded to consumers, non-profit advocacy group says.

Airborne – the herbal supplement company that claimed to help fight off colds must now pay $23.3 million dollars to settle a class-action lawsuit filed against the company for false advertising.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a non profit organization involved in the case against Airborne, said the company will refund money to consumers who bought their product.

airborne Airborne Herbal Supplement Settles 23.3 Million

Airborne will inform the public by paying for advertisements in major publications instructing consumers how to get their money back.

“There’s no credible evidence that what’s in Airborne can prevent colds or protect you from a germy environment…” says CSPI Senior nutritionist David Schardt,

“Airborne is basically on overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that’s been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed.”

Airborne first ran into trouble back in March 2006 when an ABC News report disclosed that the company’s clinical trials were not conducted by doctors or scientists, but instead carried out by two laypeople.

A lawsuit against Airborne was then filed, which quickly forced the company to change their advertising campaign. Advertisements stopped mentioning the cold-curing claims and instead, touted claims that it helped boost the body’s immune systems.

The website now says, “[Airborne]boosts the immune system with seven herbal extracts and a proprietary blend of vitamins, electrolytes, amino acids and antioxidants.”

In late 2006 the CSPI joined the suit as co-counsel against Airborne and then in 2007 the Federal Trade Commission and an assembly of state attorney generals began investigating the firm’s claims professed since its creation in 1999.

According to the company’s Web site, Airborne was masterminded by Victoria Knight-McDowell, a second-grade teacher who apparently “studied the benefits herbal therapies used in Eastern Medicine.”

A recorded message at the toll-free number of the class-action settlement administrator said that Airborne Health Inc. has admitted no wrongdoing.

“Defendants deny any wrongdoing or illegal conduct,” the message says, “but have agreed to settle the litigation.”

The case against Airborne Inc., Airborne Health Inc. and Knight-McDowell will conclude on June 16th when the final approval of the settlement is scheduled.

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