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Cold Remedy Airborne Settles Lawsuit

Maker of Airborne Will Pay Refunds for Product That Was Marketed as a Cold Preventive

Watchdog Group Investigates

In 2007, the CSPI, which regularly looks at dietary supplements to determine their effects, evaluated Airborne as part of an investigation on cold remedies "and found little or no evidence that the product works," Schardt tells WebMD.

According to Schardt, there is ''no credible evidence" that the Airborne formula can prevent colds or protect people from germy environments.

The idea proposed by the company, that you could take this formula and be instantly protected when you enter an airplane or other closed quarters, is incorrect, Schardt says. "There is nothing you can swallow -- no vitamin, no mineral, no herb -- that will instantly protect you," he says. "The immune system doesn't work that way."

The formula, while not providing proven protection against colds, may even be hazardous, he adds. It may have too much vitamin A. Two tablets include 10,000 IU of vitamin A, considered the maximum safe daily level, and the company dose instructions advise not exceeding three tablets a day.

Details on the Airborne Refund

At a hearing scheduled for June 16 in Riverside, Calif., a U.S. federal court will rule on final approval of the settlement, says Stephen Gardner, litigation director of CSPI.

Meanwhile, consumers can get information on how to go about getting their refunds by calling the toll-free number, 888-952-9080, or checking the web site set for the settlement. As part of the settlement agreement, Airborne will also place ads in national consumer magazines giving details about how to get refunds.

Products purchased in the U.S. or its territories from May 1, 2001, to Nov. 29, 2007, are eligible. Requests for refunds must be postmarked by Sept. 15, 2008.

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