The move follows a settlement made a couple of years ago with supplements giant NBTY and subsidiaries NatureSmart and Rexall Sundown, who agreed to pay $2.1m to settle charges alleging they had falsely claimed that the supplements promoted healthy brain and eye development in children. (Click here.)
Supplements contained only trace amounts of DHA
The benefits touted on pack and in advertising were based on consuming 100mg of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, said the FTC.
However, the multivitamin gummies and tablets in question - which featured characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Finding Nemo, and Spider-Man - contained only “a trace amount”of DHA, alleged the FTC.
“In fact, the NBTY Products contained neither a significant amount of DHA nor an amount comparable to 100 mg of DHA. Therefore, the representations… were false or misleading.”
According to the FTC complaint, which you can read here, a daily serving (1 tablet) of the Disney and Marvel Complete Tablets for children ages four years and older and a daily serving (2 gummies) of the Disney and Marvel Gummies contained just 0.1 mg (100 mcg) of DHA.
The Disney and Marvel Complete Tablets contained, meanwhile, contained just 0.05 mg (50 mcg) of DHA per daily serving (1/2 tablet) for children two to four years of age, said the FTC.
More than $425,000 is being returned to consumers who submitted claims for vitamins they bought between May 1, 2008 and September 30, 2010.
Eligible consumers will receive a full refund, up to $125 per household.