Lawsuit Over Benecol “Cholesterol-Busting” Spread Dismissed

As reported by FoodNavigator-USA , a federal judge has dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Nutritionals over the labeling and marketing of the “cholesterol-busting” spread Bencol.   The lawsuit was filed last June and alleged that Benecol misled consumers because, at 0.85 g per serving, it contained insufficient plant stanol esters to merit the relevant health claims.   It was also alleged that the claim “proven to reduce cholesterol” rendered the product a drug and not a food.

Generally, the court found that plaintiffs claims were preempted because the FDA  issued a statement in 2003 allowing use of the claim in connection with products containing lesser amounts of phytosterols (at least 400mg per serving), and that “Federal agency action short of formal notice and comment rulemaking can preempt state law.”  Please see the full article here.

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