Airborne Lawsuit Settlement: 23.3 Million for False Advertising

Armen Hareyan's picture

First let's look at the current status of Airborne settlement. Settlement has been proposed in a class action lawsuit that alleges that Airborne Health, Inc. (and other defendants) (“Airborne”) falsely advertised certain therapeutic properties, including the ability to cure or prevent the common cold, when marketing products under the Airborne brand name, as listed below.

Defendants deny any wrongdoing or illegal conduct but have agreed to settle the litigation. This website provides information on the lawsuit and proposed Settlement.

There is no proof that the popular Airborne assists the health of an individual beyond the effect of a placebo. Airborne has been sued for false advertising and this week the company has agreed to settle the lawsuit and pay $23.3 million. Airborne will soon offer refunds to the people who believed in the product.

Suspicion arose when the clinical tests for Airborne were released. Basically, it was a non-scientific study where 2 dudes ran some tests. No scientists or doctors helped out. Turns out if you tout medical cures you need proof somewhere that isn't your cousin and his friend in the shed fixing the numbers.

“There’s no credible evidence that what’s in Airborne can prevent colds or protect you from a germy environment,” said CSPI senior nutritionist David Schardt, who reviewed Airborne’s claims. “Airborne is basically an overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that’s been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed.”

Consumers seeking refunds for purchases of Airborne can obtain a claim form by writing to the Airborne Class Action Settlement Administrator, PO Box 1897, Faribault, MN 55021-7152, calling 1-888-952-9080, or by visiting

Source: By Dave And Thomas Blog.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
WHAT?? This is ludicrous. This stuff works for me. If there's a company that should be sued, its the makers of Contac, Tylenol, Zicam, and any other product that I bought during flu season that did absolutely nothing for my illness. This is the only thing that worked for me. It's just plain healthy, too. Filled with every vitamin that we need for our immune system. Oh well, I better get my hands on the rest of these before Zicam's lawyers sue them out of existence.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Since DSHEA was enacted in 97 the FDA has no say on any product that declares itself a "dietary supplement"-- check it out. So it is not true that these kind of products would not be on the shelf if they did not work. Since DSHEA, not only can they be sold without any evidence that they work, but there is no required tests for harmful side effects! When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of these products, personal testimony is just not reliable. Why are double-blind studies the norm for real results? Precisely because self assessment is not reliable. If you are concerned about about "big pharma" then you should be more alarmed by "big vitamin and supplement" companies that don't have any oversight except the kind if litigation taken against Airborne. Airborne committed fraud with its claims and they settled the case. Isn't that pretty clear? More on big supplement companies see: Despite suspect safety, dietary supplements receive little oversight June 3, 2007 By TONY PUGH McClatchy Newspapers WASHINGTON — The $22 billion dietary supplement industry operates with minimal oversight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, despite a history of suspect quality and safety — and independent lab tests that have found one in four products to be substandard. About one in four dietary supplements tested don't meet quality or safety standards, according to former FDA research scientist William Obermeyer, a co-founder of the independent testing firm,, which tests thousands of supplement products. Some are tainted with pesticides, salmonella, glass, bacteria or heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. Others fail for a variety of reasons, including a lack of ingredients, improper ingredients, failure to disintegrate properly and mislabeling.

Submitted by HG (not verified) on
It's been demonstrated that commercial drug-based non-"herbal" cough & cold drugs don't work either: Where's the lawsuit against them? I never believed the claims that Airborne could really prevent you from getting sick in a disease-ridden environment. But I take it anyway when I think I'm getting sick. I think it is effective because: 1. It has me drinking more fluids than usual. 2. It has vitamins that I might not be getting as much of in my normal diet. 3. The placebo effect is strong within me. In other words, if I feel like I'm doing something for my health, I become healthier. Knowing about the placebo effect doesn't make it go away. I hope this doesn't drive them out of business; I'll have to go find me another placebo.

Submitted by JC (not verified) on
I just got out my trusty box of Airborne--CLEARLY labeled as: Effervescent Health Formula: A Dietary Supplement "The original immune-boosting tablet" I'm a teacher, and the kids bring me all their nasty germs and I take them home & suffer with them! Airborne has certainly helped me. I don't see ANYWHERE on the box that says it cures ANYTHING...just that it helps your body fight against germs...A fact that is supported by everything I've ever read on Vitamin C, E, Zinc, or Potassium. I agree with other posters...somebody is running scared and wants that $23 million a year in THEIR OWN pocket!! I also agree that frivilous lawsuits must the one who sued for receiving HOT coffee and spilled it in her own lap (while driving!!)---duh...wouldn't she have been pissed it she HADN'T gotten hot coffee??!

Submitted by Gerard Cannon (not verified) on
Why is it BIG NEWS that this stuff doesn't "cure" the common cold? I guess that means we should sue the makers of every over the counter pharamceutical medicine out there since none of them cure colds or even work as advertised!!! Just another scheme to let big pharmaceutical companies rule the market. By the way, this stuff worked for my wife for over one year before I believed her and gave it a try. Works for me too. Might not prevent the cold, but makes it last a LOT less time. Gee, we should believe everything the news tells us. Yeah, that's why bio diesel isn't in the market, not OPEC and all the fuel suppliers it controls!!! P.S. If you believe this lawsuit is based on any form of reality you need to open your eyes and look OUTSIDE the box. To those of you that can't, good luck with life

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I love my Airborne! It may be all in my head but better that than in my nose!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This reeks of FDA (a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Pharma) bullying. No I'm not affiliated with the company, but I bet you are, drug-boy. If it doesn't hurt anyone, let consumers vote with their wallets. It's called capitalism. However when you do more harm than good, and even kill, and have the dough to pay off your victims, it sure helps to have your own Federal Agency.

Submitted by Steve Pritchard (not verified) on
Some of what has been written here was copied from the above articles. Because it was partially what I would say. On the label of Airborne It says the biggest and best that it does is to boost the bodies immune system to prevent colds and viruses. I can attest to this. I don't know how many times I was feeling puny, the feeling like oh no I'm going to get sick and be sick for several day's. I took an airborne tablet and within 4 to 6 hours I was feeling better.....You Know what I think is that the Drug Companies wish they could have launched this product first. But they didn't...........................To Bad For Them Hugh! From Above Comments I had heard MANY good things from others who had been using it concerning how well it seemed to help them fight off simple stuff like colds and flu, and having used it for several years, JUST for that purpose, I can absolutely say that it has always seemed to work quite well for me. Not because it "cures" a damn thing, but because the mixture of vitamins and herbs it is made of seems to help my body in its fight AGAINST such things. From Above Comments OK, is this a sneaky way for the FDA and big pharmacies to go after vitamins and herbs? I am really getting sick of their bullying. Show me a cold medicine that really works. If the stuff didn't work then how in the world did the company make 23M plus? Someone is not liking the competition.'ve got my support. And by the way people, it does work. From Above Comments It HAS been FDA approved as a dietary supplement (otherwise it wouldn't be on the shelf to begin with), and that's just fine for me. Personally, I hope the company continues to offer it, because I'll absolutely continue buying it...whether or not it’s "proven" by science to help in any way... We already know that vitamin C helps the body fight off illness; Airborne has that. And the mixture of herbs it contains, developed by a woman who has STUDIED herbal remedies and their current applications, have been used to help fight illness for decades if not centuries. Folks, we've got to remember that pharmacies wished they had come up with the idea.........

Submitted by Alyssa (not verified) on
I threw away all my Airborne boxes, but I could've sworn it said right there on the box -- "MAGICAL CURE FOR THE COLD". And I think there were medical diagrams of how the word "Airborne" literally blocks out various germ varieties that cause the common cold. It even shows in those diagrams that the germs are medically proven to be frightened by Airborne. Now that I know that it doesn't actually cure colds, and that the pictures on the box are just cartoons, I feel totally mislead and duped! ((Rolling my eyes)) I think its hilarious that some people think that they're so brilliant because they have not been "fooled" into buying herbal & vitamin supplements. Instead, they spend very little money on their very cheap drugs from good 'ol honest pharmaceutical companies who wouldn't dare rip off comsumers with overpriced medication and manipulative advertising. I can just see them walking proudly out of the drug store with their $10 Robitussin in hand, which of course is totally justifiable because drug companies spend millions of dollars researching these synthetic medicines, so of course they REALLY work! Haha! Now THAT'S what I call a placebo effect! Needless to say, as much as I would enjoy the feel of $60 cool crisp bills in my pocket, I won't be filing a claim either.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I pretty much agree with most of this stuff here. I just wanted to offer another voice on the side of non-pharmaceuticals remedies for immunity boost. I am very new to the Airborne craze, and have been using it just since January of 08. Two times this winter I have felt a cold or something like it coming on, I took Airborne once a day for a few days, and my cold/whatever did stop right in its tracks! As soon as I started feeling bad, I take the Airborne, and I dont get any worse, and quickly start feeling better. I stand behind Airborne and what it has done for me! You should try it too!!! PS-before I get attacked by someone like the person who called the one lady a corporate shill, I am a youth pastor in the Chicagoland area. But if someone paid me $23 mil, I would pretty much say anything they wanted me too.


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