Federal Trade Commission Filed Gerber Good Start Suit in 2014

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Washington, DCConsumers may have filed their own Gerber Good Start lawsuits but back in 2014, it was the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that initially filed suit against the baby food maker, alleging the company made unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of Gerber Good Start Gentle baby formula.

The FTC’s complaints were based on two important counts. The first count was that Gerber claimed its food could prevent or reduce the risk of allergies in babies whose families had a history of allergies. This claim, the FTC argued, was not backed by any appropriate evidence.

The claim was made because Good Start Gentle is made with partially hydrolyzed whey proteins. Gerber said those proteins are easier to digest than proteins from intact cow’s milk. There is, however, reportedly no scientific evidence that the claim regarding partially hydrolyzed whey proteins and allergy prevention is true.

The second count from the FTC is that Gerber claimed that its product was approved by the FDA when it was not, or at least was not approved as advertised. In 2005, Gerber reportedly petitioned the FDA for approval to market its whey-based formula as reducing the risk of allergies in children. The FDA rejected the request, finding there was no credible evidence to support that claim. Gerber sent a second petition in 2009, to which the FDA said “no,” but the agency did say it would allow some leeway if Gerber agreed to communicate that there was “little scientific evidence” that the whey protein was linked to a decreased risk of atopic dermatitis (one type of allergy).

The FTC filed suit against Gerber, arguing that rather than making the claim approved by the FDA, Gerber went ahead and claimed its baby food was the first and only to meet the FDA Qualified Health Claim. In other words, instead of stating that there was little scientific evidence of a link between the food and certain allergies, Gerber allegedly marketed its food in a way that consumers could reasonably understand as being FDA approval of the food to prevent allergies.

“Parents trusted Gerber to tell the truth about the health benefits of its formula, and the company’s ads failed to live up to that trust,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in a news release. “Gerber didn’t have evidence to back up its claim that Good Start Gentle Formula reduces the risk of babies developing their’ parents’ allergies.”

Lawsuits have also been filed by consumers who say they were misled by Gerber’s advertising to purchase baby food that they thought was effective in reducing allergies, despite a lack of evidence.

Gerber Good Start Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a food and drink lawyer who may evaluate your Gerber Good Start Consumer Fraud Lawsuit claim at no cost or obligation.

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