The challenger [Nestle] maintained that the claim "Muscle Milk" is false and misleading because it claims that the product contains actual milk when it does not and that consumers are likely to be misled into thinking that they are buying a flavored or supplemented milk product, when in fact, the product is a water-based dietary supplement.(Oddly, Nestle didn't challenge the implied claim that the product is also made with "muscle.")
Nestle has its own health brands, such as Lean Cuisine, to protect from competition. Muscle Milk is handled in part by digital agency EVB. The FTC referral is yet another in a chain that have emerged from NAD regarding the diet supplement arena. The diet supplement business is essentially unregulated by the FDA, unlike the food business, and a wild west mentality prevails at many of the companies in it. False or stretched claims are routine.
The FDA was only able to step in and look at Hydroxycut, for instance, after the diet product killed one of its customers.
- See also:
- Why Hydroxycut Had to Kill Someone Before the FDA Could Act
- FTC fines Bayer $3.2 million for falsely claiming vitamins cause weight loss and for violating prior order not to make false claims.
- Bayer forced to discontinue advertising for All-Day Energy multivitamin which doesn't last all day.