Bayer Faces Class-Action Lawsuit for Probiotic Claims

May 5, 2011

Bayer HealthCare LLC is facing a class-action lawsuit filed in April in California alleging that the company’s Phillips Probiotics Colon Health dietary supplement makes unsupported claims for digestive and immune health.

Bayer HealthCare LLC is facing a class-action lawsuit filed in April in California alleging that the company’s Phillips Probiotics Colon Health dietary supplement makes unsupported claims for digestive and immune health.

According to the lawsuit, Bayer has not provided evidence supporting its advertising claims that its unique blend of probiotics aids digestion and immune health. The product contains Lactobacillus gasseri, which the company claims supports “nutrient absorption and lactose digestion,” Bifidobacterium longum, which it says “support digestive and immune health,” and Bifidobacterium bifidum, said to “guard against occasional intestinal disturbances.”

“Despite the claims, Bayer fails to provide even a single scientific study to demonstrate any health benefits arising from consumption of its Products in any context whatsoever,” states the lawsuit. Moreover, “Several studies examining the health benefits of probiotics at the concentrations in the Products flatly contradict Bayer’s claims.”

Other complaints point to Bayer not providing evidence that the probiotics in its product survive in the gastrointestinal tract, despite the company advising consumers to choose probiotics with a high rate of survivability, “like Phillips Colon Health.”

Moreover, alleges the lawsuit, Bayer insinuates that its unique probiotic blend provides benefits that other products do not, without providing evidence to support this, while charging higher prices for its products.