Align, a digestive system supplement product manufactured by Proctor & Gamble, is now the subject of litigation where plaintiffs claim that P&G’s representations about the product are unsubstantiated.
The packaging for Align probiotics includes the following claims:
- Build & maintain a healthy digestive system
- Restore your natural digestive balance
- Protect against occasional digestive upsets
According to the complaint, P&G maintains that Bifantis, a patented probiotic strain of bacteria, was developed by gastroenterologists and is the main ingredient in Align that makes it effective. P&G advertising materials claim that Bifantis “has been the subject of several clinical studies and has been featured in peer-review journals.”
Plaintiffs allege that P&G is basing its effectiveness claims on only one single study that examined the effectiveness of Bifantis on patients with inflammatory bowel disease, not average consumers to whom the product is marketed.
Plaintiffs claim that there is no scientific evidence that shows Bifantis provides any health benefits to already healthy people. In fact, plaintiffs said that P&G’s own internal studies show that Bifantis did not provide any health benefits.
The lawsuit includes a June 2006 report by the American Academy of Microbiology, which found that “there is no conclusive evidence that altering the microbiota of a healthy human adult is beneficial.”
The P&G Align lawsuit makes claims for violations of consumer protection laws in several states, with plaintiffs seeking an award of damages and disgorgement of profits that P&G gained from the sale of Align products since its introduction in 2009.
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