FTC gets Nestle to agree to stop boosting Boost


The Federal Trade Commission believes that advertisements for a Nestle probiotic drink called BOOST Kid Essentials make claims above and beyond what is supported by the evidence. In a settlement agreement, Nestle has promised to cease making the claims.

The FTC charged that “that from fall 2008 to fall 2009, Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition, Inc. made deceptive claims in television, magazine, and print ads that BOOST Kid Essentials prevents upper respiratory tract infections in children, protects against colds and flu by strengthening the immune system, and reduces absences from daycare or school due to illness.” FTC added, “The ads falsely claimed that BOOST Kid Essentials is clinically shown to reduce illness in children, to protect from colds and flu by strengthening the immune system, and to help children up to age 13 recover more quickly from diarrhea, the FTC charged.”

“Nestlé’s claims that its probiotic product would prevent kids from getting sick or missing school just didn’t stand up to scrutiny,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  “Parents want to do right by their kids, and the FTC is helping them by monitoring ads and stopping those that are deceptive.”

Nestle will cease making the claims unless and until the Food and Drug Administration backs the validity of such a claim.

Further, “Nestlé HCN also has agreed to stop claiming that BOOST will reduce children’s sick-day absences and the duration of acute diarrhea in children up to age 13, unless the claims are true and backed by at least two well-designed human clinical studies. The FTC’s proposed settlement also prohibits Nestlé HCN from making any claims about the health benefits, performance, or efficacy of any probiotic and nutrition drinks that it sells at retail, unless the claims are true and backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence. It also bars the company from misrepresenting any tests or studies.”