April 30, 2012 Articles

Class Actions 101: A Primer on Elevated Health Claims

Do you have questions about asserting or defending claims that a product's marketing or labeling contains exaggerated or untrue health statements? Find answers here.

By Kathryn Honecker and Eric Zard

In this edition of Class Actions 101, we answer some common questions young lawyers may have when asserting or defending claims that a product’s marketing, advertising, packaging, or labeling contains exaggerated or untrue health statements.

What Are the Most Common Practices Subject to Class Actions?
As with all niche practice areas, product labeling is continually evolving, and what is common today will likely not be common in the future. With that said, the recent trend seems to focus on products claiming to be “natural” when they are made from genetically modified organisms, are made with high fructose corn syrup, or contain preservatives or other food additives; products claiming to be capable of providing a specific health benefit (for example, “promotes brain development,” “helps fight cancer,” or “reduces risk of heart disease”) when they cannot; and products claiming to be supported by clinical studies or scientific evidence when they are not.

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