Coppertone Sunscreens SPF At Half Of Label Level, Class Action Complaints Allege
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet
Proposed class action cases filed against Coppertone marketer Bayer and the brand's former owner, Merck & Co., federal and state courts allege two SPF 30 formulas contain half the SPF as advertised. The complaints continue a trend of class actions filed due to sunscreen claims criticized by Consumer Reports.
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The annual bad marks for sunscreen brands SPF claims from Consumer Reports could be due to CR's nonconformity with FDA-prescribed test guidelines or could signal testing failures or other compliance problems in the industry. In any event, companies retest sunscreen formulas to validate their claims.
The Bayer brand commissioned global consulting and standards firm AccountAbility to assess its operations, procedures and testing at the root of Coppertone SPF claims and other labeling aspects. The company now is sharing the results publicly, possibly to get out in front of a conversation that tends to arise this time of year regarding sunscreen safety, effectiveness and truthfulness in marketing.
Class action complaints alleging misleading "natural" claims for food products have been stayed pending completion of FDA's look at whether it should formally define the term for use in food, but there is no parallel FDA consideration of how the term is used for oral care products and topicals.