Vi-Jon Says Hand Sanitizer False Advertising Suit Glosses Over ‘Common Germs’ Disclosure
A class action complaint in California’s Southern District, challenging the hand sanitizer manufacturer’s 99.99% germ-kill claim, ignores the asterisk on products’ primary display panels that links to a disclosure on rear labels, “*Effective at eliminating 99.99% of many common harmful germs & bacteria," according to Vi-Jon's 27 August motion to dismiss.
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A growing number of class action complainants allege that 99.99% germ-killing claims on hand sanitizers are false and misleading. The suits cite potentially dangerous microorganisms that, according to plaintiffs, are impervious to active ingredients used in the category, and argue that bacteria reductions do not necessarily translate to illness or infection prevention.
Like other hand sanitizer manufacturers, WillSpeed Technology claims its GermBloc “kills 99.99% of germs.” Plaintiffs in a proposed class action filed in Massachusetts federal court allege the claim “grossly overstates” the product’s efficacy, deceiving consumers and endangering them with false confidence.
Manufacturers considering use of the popular 99.99% germ-kill claim on hand sanitizer products should consult the Office of Compliance, said Division of Nonprescription Drug Products director Theresa Michele during a recent industry workshop. “Be very, very cautious about the claims you are making,” she said.