A plaintiff has filed a putative class action alleging Abbott Laboratories Inc.’s Similac Pro-Advance infant formula is advertised as the company’s “closest formula to breastmilk,” allegedly misleading consumers into believing that the formula can convey the same benefits as breast milk. Conner v. Abbott Labs. Inc., No. 21-1463 (S.D. Ill., Benton Div., filed November 20, 2021). “Infant formula is critical for children whose mothers are unable to breastfeed or produce enough milk,” the complaint asserts. “Marketing of infant formula sometimes goes beyond meeting those limited needs, to tout itself as an equivalent to breast milk. The representations that the Product contains lutein, vitamin E, DHA, and HMO—Human Milk Oligosaccharide, and the claim, ‘Our Closest Formula to Breast Milk,’ imply the inclusion of these constituents can approach the benefits from breast milk.”

The plaintiff seeks class certification, injunctive relief, damages and fees for allegations of fraud, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation and violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Illinois consumer-protection statutes.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.