Children's Vitamins: Why is NBTY Offering Refunds?
by Marianne Frederick
Yesterday, a news sound-byte piqued my curiosity: Was it Children's meds recalled? No, children's vitamins were being...refunded! "The marketer of popular children's vitamins is refunding nearly $2.1 million to customers after acknowledging its pills contained only a fraction of a nutritional substance the packaging claimed," according to News 22 WWLP.com.http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/health/pediatrics/refunds-issued-kids-vitamins-arent-as-healthy-as-advertised
At the root of the refund, is DHA (Omega-3 fatty acid, touted in fish oil), and the fact that the vitamins may not have contained as much DHA as promised on the packaging (or near the suggested or minimum daily requirement). The amount of DHA in the Disney and Marvel Complete vitamins apparently only "equaled only one-thousandth of what the marketers claimed per serving for children age 4 and older." A similar situation occurred with NBTY's DHA-containing vitamins marketed for use in children ages 2 to 4.
The colorful packaging sporting Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Nemo and Spider-Man lured parents and children to the product and promised "100% of a child's daily requirement." Yet, in some cases, the products merely contained minute amounts of DHA, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The packaging also claimed that the DHA in the vitamins "would help vision and brain development in children," but the FTC begged to differ and suggests these claims are "unsupported." The basis of the refund is the Federal Trade Commission's settlement in 2010 requiring children's vitamins marketers NBTY, Inc. and two of its subsidiaries to stop making false, unproven claims their multivitamins promote healthy brain and eye development in children.
The refunded products were sold as "Marvel Heroes," "Disney Gummies" and "Disney Complete" by CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreen's, Kroger, Kmart, Meijer, Rite Aid, and online, for between $4 and $8 each. The manufacturer, NBTY, is also the manufacturer of Osteo-BI-Flex, Nature's Bounty®, Rexall Sundown®, Vitamin World®, and Puritan's Pride® brand vitamins, and, according to its website, markets approximately 22,000 products including vitamins and other dietary supplements and has company locations in 9 states in the U.S.
Parents who may have purchased these vitamins (as far back as May 2008 until September 2010) have until October 12, 2012, to file a claim for a refund by accessing the FTC's website:http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/cases/childrensvitamins/ Complaints may be filed in English or Spanish, by visiting the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or calling tollfree, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).