Airborne pays $7 million to settle allegations

WASHINGTON - December 17, 2008 Under the settlement, Airborne Health agrees to discontinue any claims about the "health benefit, performance, efficacy or safety" of its supplements in preventing and treating colds and other ailments.

Earlier this year, the company agreed to pay out $30 million to settle nearly identical allegations stemming from a class action lawsuit brought by consumers and the Federal Trade Commission.

The Bonita Springs-based company markets a line of water-dissolving tablets that are sold in pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide.

The company's Web site claims Airborne supplements "support your immune system through its blend of vitamins and minerals."

In a statement issued Tuesday, Airborne said the agreement "will have no impact on our products or on the ability of consumers to buy them, because it deals with language that had already been dropped from our advertising and labeling."

The company admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

States taking part in the settlement include California, New Jersey, Texas and Connecticut.

"This settlement is a powerful step towards curbing a culture of label lying, whether by Airborne or other dietary supplements," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a statement. "We're putting the dietary supplement industry on notice — snake oil sales pitches will no longer be given free reign."

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