Boiron Cold Pill No More Than A Sugar Pill?

A California judge granted class certification in a suit targeting the U.S. wing of French homeopathic medicine company Boiron Inc. with claims that they falsely advertised its homeopathic cold remedy relieved cold symptoms.

October 10, 2010, Gina Delarosa brought the suit after Boiron USA Inc’s Children’s Coldcalm failed to relieve her family’s symptoms as advertised.   She claims that Boiron knows Coldcalm to be little more than a sugar pill, yet markets it as an effective cold remedy for financial profit.

Coldcalm is a homeopathic medicine.  Children’s Coldcalm targets children 3 years and older.  According to the Delarosa’s complaint, “Children’s Coldcalm (CCCalm) is nothing more than a sugar tablet that appeals to consumers because of its labeling as a homeopathic medicine.”  She also states “defendants sell CCCalm for approximately $10 per unit based on false advertising claims.  As a result, defendants have wrongfully taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from California consumers.”

It began in October 2010, when Delarosa and her family caught a cold.  After purchasing this product with no relief of their cold symptoms, she hired an attorney.  Delarosa sent a demand letter to Boiron in June ’10 ordering them to cease its allegedly false advertising of CCCalm in California and to offer Californians reimbursement of their purchase price for the product.  That never happened, so Delarosa served Boiron with a class action complaint in Orange County Superior Court on September 14th.

Delarosa argued that she found the Coldcalm pellets ineffective in relieving cold symptoms and accuses Boiron of violating the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, and committed common law fraud.

The “active ingredient” in oscillococcinum is prepared by incubating small amounts of freshly killed duck’s liver and heart for 40 days.  The solution is then freeze-dried, rehydrated, diluted to 1/100 200 times and impregnated into sugar granules.

Last year the FDA & FTC jointly warned a distributor that it was illegal to advertise oscillococcinum “for fast relief or flu infection symptoms.” After noting that the FDA has not required homeopathic products meet efficacy standards, and does not impose standards for strength, purity or quality of homeopathic drugs, the judge ruled that jurisdiction is proper because the agency has largely abandoned any role it might have had in creating such standards.

I don’t know about you, but I would not be too pleased knowing I actually paid money to purchase duck’s liver and heart parts to feed to my sick child.   I think that is more dangerous than the good old-fashioned cold symptoms.  Just because these big manufacturers know that the FDA is not testing their homeopathic products, they can put any garbage in there and sell it as magic potions. And the worst part about it is that they are knowingly  profiting off of the consumers from this.

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