Cases

Airborne

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CSPI joined a lawsuit in California state court against the makers of Airborne, the best-selling cold "remedy" in the country.

There is no evidence that Airborne works, aside from the slight possible benefit from Vitamin C in the product. Airborne is completely ineffective in preventing colds, as the company claimed for years. The company agreed to settle the lawsuit by refunding money to defrauded consumers out of a settlement fund of $23.3 million. Separately, the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General settled with Airborne on the same claims.

In July 2010, the federal district court ordered distribution of more than $7,000,000 that remained in the settlement fund after all claims by class members had been paid. The payments are directed (in varying amounts) to eight organizations that had submitted proposals for projects "intended to prevent or cure the common cold, flu, or other illness; research and other efforts to raise consumer awareness of and/or educating consumers about the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements; research and other efforts to ensure the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements intended to prevent or cure the common cold, flu, or other illness; research and other efforts to raise consumer awareness of and/or educating consumers about the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements; research and other efforts to ensure the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements." These organizations' proposals were awarded by the court:

  • ALS Association of Greater Los Angeles
  • California Primary Care Association
  • Children's Hospital Corporation-Boston
  • Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Southern California Chapter
  • Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.
  • Public Justice Foundation
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