Pfizer Inc., has agreed to remove the “breast health” and “colon health” claims from the label of its widely used Centrum multivitamins following allegations of deceptive advertising from a consumer watchdog group.
The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) threatened to sue Pfizer if it did not remove deceptive claims on its label, such as the vitamins supporting “energy and immunity,” “heart health,” “eye health,” “breast health,” “bone health,” and “colon health.”
“Those claims of breast and colon health implied that the supplements would prevent breast and colon cancer – disease prevention claims that supplement manufacturers can’t legally make,” CSPI said in a release. The nonprofit said Pfizer based those claims on the presence of vitamin D in the dietary supplements, but there is only inconsistent or inconclusive evidence that vitamin D protects against those diseases.
Pfizer said it disagreed with CSPI, but said it would compromise by removing the claims related to breast and colon health, and modifying the language relating to health and energy. Centrum vitamins claiming “heart health” on their labels will now include the message “not a replacement for cholesterol-lowering drugs.” Language on supplements that promote “energy” will be modified to say they do not directly provide an energy boost but support metabolic function.
Consumer groups like CSPI have taken on the accuracy of claims made by supplement makers, filling a gap in the federal regulation of such products. The products are not as heavily regulated as prescription drugs. Both consumer watchdog groups and the Government Accountability Office have said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs more power in overseeing supplements.
Source: Fox News