CANADA: Danone settles health claims lawsuit

By Katy Askew | 5 November 2012

Danone settles Activia class action

Danone settles Activia class action

Danone has offered to settle a class action lawsuit in Canada questioning health claims attached to Activia in order to "quickly resume" its focus on core activities.

A spokesperson for the company told just-food: "Settlement is the option Danone chose to quickly resume our focus on our core business: making nutritious products that provide proven health benefits."

A class action was brought against the company in 2009, contesting claims from the company that Activia, Activia Light and DanActive strengthen the body's defences or regulate digestion because of bacteria they contain.

According to the settlement, any members of the class action who declare that they purchased Activia or Activia Light after April 2009 will qualify for C$15 (US$15) in compensation. Danone evaluated the total potential compensation at C$1.7m.

The company has also made "some changes" to its marketing for the products included in the lawsuit, the spokesperson said.  

"We made some changes to the communications for Activia and DanActive to address some of the petitioner's concerns and to demonstrate our good intentions and to clarify our messages. The communications are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in Canada."

Nevertheless, the spokesperson added: "Our advertising strategy remains unchanged. Minor modifications were made: 'clinically proven' and/or 'scientifically proven' are being replaced with 'there are a number of clinical studies that show'. The statement 'when eaten regularly as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle' will appear where necessary as in the past."

Sectors: Advertising & labelling, Dairy, Health & wellness

Companies: Danone

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