Settlement Awards $2.1 Million “Disney” and “Marvel Heroes” Vitamins Refund Due to False Health Benefits Claims

by Charles Miller

Two years after the Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement requiring major marketers of children’s vitamins to stop making false and unproven claims that their supplements promote healthy brain and eye development in children, the settlement money is being made available to consumers. The companies have agreed to pay $2.1 million to provide refunds to consumers who purchased certain multivitamins in their Disney and Marvel Heroes line.

NBTY, Inc. and two subsidiaries, NatureSmart LLC and Rexall Sundown, Inc., were charged by the FTC with making deceptive claims about the amount of DHA – an Omega-3 fatty acid – used in their line of Disney-and Marvel Heroes children’s multivitamin gummies and tablets. The companies were also charged with making unsupported claims that a daily serving of the products promotes healthy brain and eye development in children.

The vitamins were sold by major retailers such as CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Kmart, Meijer, and Rite Aid, and featured characters such as the Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Finding Nemo, and Spider-Man.

Product packaging and advertisements had bold graphics highlighting that the products contained DHA, but in reality, the products allegedly had only a trace amount of DHA. The packaging touted the purported health benefits of 100 milligrams of DHA, but a daily serving of the Disney and Marvel multivitamins for children ages four years and older contained only one thousandth of that amount (0.1 mg or 100 mcg).

Two years ago, it was first announced that a refund program to distribute the $2.1 million to purchasers of the Disney and Marvel multivitami would be administered by the FTC. The claim process is now underway.

If you bought these vitamins between May 1, 2008 and September 30, 2010, you can file a claim online by visiting the FTC’s website,  or by calling 866-224-4336 to request a paper claim form, which will be mailed to you. The claim must be filed by October 12, 2012.