Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Announces Agreement With Dannon Over Activia And DanActive Claims About Digestive Health And Immunity

December 15, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced a $21 million multistate settlement with Dannon Company, Inc. for allegedly overstating the digestive, immunity and other health benefits related to Activia yogurt and DanActive dairy drinks.

            This multistate settlement -- the largest to date involving alleged deceptive claims by a food producer -- stops misleading health claims and provides Connecticut $425,000.

“Dannon must stop deceptive hypes for health and digestive benefits of Activia and DanActive,” Blumenthal said. “Dannon outrageously overplayed the health power of yogurt -- making unscientific claims about promoting good digestion, preventing flu and enhancing health.

“False food claims really ruin good digestion. We are setting the record straight on food labeling and advertising by fighting health hype.”

            The states simultaneously filed a lawsuit and settlement today alleging Dannon made unlawful claims in advertising, marketing, packaging, and selling Activia yogurts and DanActive dairy drinks, including claims unsubstantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

            Dannon claimed that Activia promoted digestive health because it includes a bacterial strain with “probiotic benefits” that Dannon trademarked under the name “Bifidus Regularis.” In fact, the name “Bifidus Regularis” was entirely concocted by Dannon.


            Dannon represented that consuming one serving per day of Activia for two weeks improved digestive health. In reality, the majority of studies demonstrated a benefit only for individuals who consumed three servings per day for two weeks.

            The company made other unsubstantiated claims about Activia, as well as unlawful and unsubstantiated claims about “immunity” and cold and flu prevention benefits associated with DanActive dairy drinks.

            As with Activia, Dannon’s advertising and marketing claims emphasized a probiotic bacterial strain -- although in DanActive’s case, Dannon trademarked the bacterial strain as “L. casei Immunitas.”


            The settlement prohibits Dannon from making unsubstantiated claims about Activia and DanActive preventing, treating, curing or mitigating disease. Dannon must also provide competent and reliable scientific evidence to support claims about health benefits, performance, efficacy or safety of its probiotic food products.