- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) - A subsidiary of Nestle S.A. has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over claims of false advertising in its promotion of a children’s drink.

The FTC said Wednesday that Nestle HealthCare Nutrition Inc. claimed its Boost Kid Essentials drink with probiotics boosted childrens’ immune systems, prevented certain illnesses, sped up recovery and reduced their school absences.

Nestle’s claims that its probiotic product would prevent kids from getting sick or missing school just didn’t stand up to scrutiny,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said. “Parents want to do right by their kids, and the FTC is helping them by monitoring ads and stopping those that are deceptive.”

Nestle will drop claims about the health benefits of the drink and will also stop claiming it will reduce sick days and other conditions unless the claims become backed by clinical studies.

This is the FTC’s first case challenging advertising for probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria found naturally in many foods and are touted as aiding digestion and fighting harmful bacteria.

A representative of Nestle, the world’s largest food and nutrition company, was not immediately available to comment.