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One a Day Vitamin Health Claims in Contention

Watchdog group files suit over Bayer's claims about vitamins' ability to improve health.

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One a Day Vitamin Health Claims in Contention

Bayer markets its One A Day vitamins with a variety of health claims including that the vitamins support heart health, immunity, and energy levels. The company markets a variety of the vitamins to different ages, gender and consumers with specific health concerns. But do the One A Day vitamins really help in the ways the pharmaceutical giant claims?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says no. The vitamins will not prevent consumers from getting sick, make them feel more energetic, or prevent heart disease, CSPI contends.

The nonprofit watchdog group filed a federal class-action lawsuit Oct.15 taking aim at the packaging and marketing of a wide variety of Bayer’s One a Day vitamins. The suit, filed in federal court in California, alleges that Bayer deceived consumers by bombarding them with messages of purported health benefits and using scare tactics to convince them that they needed these vitamins, the suit alleges. CSPI is seeking an injunction against the false claims as well as refunds for consumers who purchased the vitamins expecting the benefits.

Specifically, regarding its heart health vitamins, Bayer claims that the products, which contain vitamin B6, B12, C, E and folic acid, can prevent cardiovascular disease. But the suit notes that studies have shown supplements with these vitamins do not prevent heart disease and that the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association also confirm that these vitamins don’t help reduce the risk or severity of heart disease.

“None of Bayer’s multivitamins can unclog arteries, prevent heart attacks, or otherwise ameliorate heart disease. And to the extent these claims prompt people to take vitamin pills instead of doctor-prescribed heart medicines, Bayer may be harming people’s health as well as their wallets,” said CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner.

As for all the One A Day varieties that make other health claims, the suit alleges, “Bayer’s marketing and labeling also draws consumers attention away from the fact that very little difference exists between varieties of Bayer One a Day multivitamins.”

TINA.org reached out to Bayer for comment but hasn’t received a response. Bayer may be busy trying to tamp down other negative press it received recently when the Department of Justice announced it was seeking civil contempt charges against the company for allegedly violating a previous consent order by making unproven health claims to promote its Phillips’ Colon Health. In that earlier consent order, Bayer  agreed to pay out $3.2 million to settle charges that it  falsely marketed its  One A Day WeightSmart vitamins as a weight-loss remedy.

More of TINA.org’s coverage of vitamins can be found here.

 


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