Jury clears Hyland’s of false advertising
09 Oct 2015
On 18 September, a US federal jury of six women and three men took less than a day to find that Hyland’s, US manufacturer of homeopathic products, was not in breach of legislation on false advertising.
The case was heard in response to a class action lawsuit, which is one in which one or more people sue on behalf of other people with similar claims. One court resolves the issues for everyone in the ‘class’. In this case, the lawsuit alleged that Hyland's made false and misleading representations about the effectiveness of twelve homeopathic cold and flu products for children, produced, marketed, and sold in the United States. The class action, which was certified in California in August 2014, claimed that the products did not work as advertised because they were so diluted that the ingredients were ‘effectively non-existent’ and the products were therefore not effective for their intended use.
Defending Hyland’s, Dr Iris Bell MD PhD testified that her scientific studies in multiple chemical sensitivity and homeopathy showed evidence of a mechanism of action for these products. Her work is part of a growing body of research on this topic, adding weight to the important and ongoing debate on how homeopathy works.
This is one in a series of similar class actions against a number of homeopathic products manufacturers in the US. It is a significant step for Hyland’s, and it is hoped that the positive outcome in this case will impact on the other pending class actions in this sector.