Dakota Nutrition Elderberry Supplements Contain Little Elderberry, Class Action Says
Christodoulou v. PS Global LLC
Filed: July 22, 2022 ◆§ 1:22-cv-04335
Dakota Nutrition’s elderberry supplements are falsely marketed as “extra strength” and contain far less elderberry than consumers are led to expect, a class action claims.
Dakota Nutrition’s elderberry supplements are falsely marketed as “extra strength” and contain far less elderberry than consumers are led to expect, a proposed class action claims.
The 20-page lawsuit out of New York alleges the Dakota Nutrition dietary supplements do not contain the amount of elderberry declared on product labels and in marketing materials.
In fact, the suit alleges, the products—specifically Dakota Nutrition’s Extra Strength 3-in-1 Immune Booster Capsules, Extra Strength Elderberry Gummies and Immune Defense 7-in-1 Immune Booster Capsules—contain so little elderberry that even using the word on product packaging is misleading, as are any representations that the supplements can help strengthen a person’s immune system.
According to the complaint, defendant PS Global LLC has “engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign” so as to “distinguish itself from competitors,” including by offering an “extra strength” product.
The case contends that the National Advertising Division’s (NAD) recent investigation into the accuracy of advertisements for elderberry and antioxidant supplements “corroborates” the foregoing allegations. According to the lawsuit, the NAD reviewed various lab tests submitted by PS Global on the raw ingredients and molecular composition of its elderberry supplements in their final state. The NAD found that the “results were, in some instances, inconsistent and inconclusive and otherwise did not confirm the existence of elderberry in the tested products.”
Further, an additional set of NAD tests on Dakota Nutrition’s elderberry supplements found that the presence of elderberry was “hard to tell” and the “signal” for the ingredient was “too low,” the lawsuit states.
As a result of the “huge disparity” between the claimed amount of elderberry in the Dakota Nutrition supplements and the actual amount present, the NAD asked the defendant to discontinue its use of the word “elderberry” in the name of the products, along with any express and implied claims about their level of antioxidants and immune-related health claims, the suit says.
“Defendant’s blatant lies about the elderberry content of its Products were so egregious that, for the first time, the NAD suggested that a manufacturer change the name of its products,” the lawsuit states.
Although it apparently agreed to comply with the NAD’s recommendations and abide by such in future advertising, Dakota Nutrition, as of July 22, 2022, “continues to advertise and sell the Products in blatant disregard of the NAD’s recommendations,” the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit looks to cover all individuals in the United States who, during the maximum period of time allowed by law, bought Dakota Nutrition elderberry supplements for personal, family or household use, and not for resale.
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