Anyone who purchased Gerber's Good Start Gentle formula.
What's Going On?
Gerber sold its Good Start Gentle formula alongside claims that it could prevent infant allergies. The FTC says these claims lack scientific evidence and attorneys believe they can sue Gerber for misleading the public.
Gerber claims in its advertising that feeding Good Start Gentle formula to infants reduces the risk that they will develop allergies. The FTC says, however, that there remains no scientific evidence that Gerber’s formulas can help with any condition except for eczema and that Gerber is misleading consumers about the benefits of its products.
Gerber Lawsuit Accuses Company of Making Up Allergy Claims
In October 2014, the Federal Trade Commission sued Gerber, asking that all health claims be removed from Good Start Gentle formula’s labeling and advertisements. According to the FTC, Gerber asked the FDA for permission to advertise its use of partially hydrolyzed whey protein as an effective way to reduce the risk of a type of eczema known as atopic dermatitis. In 2009, the FDA agreed to Gerber’s request, but only if the company qualified its statements by making it clear that there was “little scientific evidence” for the claim.
The FTC claims that Gerber failed to do this and instead marketed its Good Start Gentle formula as the first FDA-approved formula to help reduce the risk of general allergies. The FTC also claims that the generic phrasing used by Gerber could mislead some consumers into thinking that the formula is effective at treating food and environmental allergies, some of which can be life-threatening.