Justice Department to seek contempt charges against Bayer
- The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday filed a motion seeking to hold Bayer in contempt of court for claims the company made about its consumer health produt, Phillips Colon Health.
- Federal officials say that a 2007 court order in the case of U.S. v. Bayer Corporation prohibited the drug maker "from making unsubstantiated claims for any dietary supplement it promotes or sells," and that the company must present "competent and reliable scientific evidence" to support any claims it does make.
- The civil suit alleges that Bayer has marketed Phillips Colon Health by claiming the product "defends against" constipation, diarrhea, and gas and bloating.
Bayer spokespeople were quick to express disappointment with the DOJ's decision. "Phillips Colon Health is a safe and beneficial probiotic product," said the company in a statement. "Bayer believes that the product's benefits for consumers are fully substantiated and supported." Spokespeople added that Bayer was "extremely disappointed" with the decision.
Bayer's 2007 court order was issued after a lawsuit against another one of its consumer health division products, One-A-Day Weightsmart vitamins. The company was forced to pay a $3.2 million fine in that case.