Suit Challenging Smart Balance® Cholesterol-Blocking Claims to Continue
A California federal court has denied Boulder Brands, Inc.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the company misrepresents the cholesterol-blocking effect of the plant sterols in its Smart Balance® butter products because the amount of plant sterols is “not enough to generate a ‘clinically meaningful cholesterol blocking effect.’” Mitchell v. Boulder Brands, Inc., No. 12-1862 (S.D. Cal., order entered April 16, 2015). The court declined to reconsider its earlier decision that “the products’ labels could plausibly be read as implying a ‘clinically meaningful cholesterol blocking benefit’ and that this implied representation is ‘specific, measurable, and falsifiable.’” The expert report upon which the court has based its decision stated that a minimum of 800 milligrams of plant sterols—eight times the content in one serving of the Smart Balance® product—would be the minimum to meaningfully block cholesterol.