Pfizer Pulls Breast, Colon Health Claims From Centrum Labels

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Pfizer, accused of deceptive advertising, has agreed to remove the "breast health" and "colon health" claims from the labels of Centrum vitamins.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, threatened to sue Pfizer, insisting "those claims of breast and colon health implied that the supplements would prevent breast and colon cancer -- disease prevention claims that supplement manufacturers can't legally make," CSPI said in a press release.

"Breast health" and "colon health" appear on different Centrum products. Other Centrum vitamins have labels claiming they promote "heart health," as well as having wording that implies the vitamins provide an energy boost.

Pfizer also agreed to change the wording on the labels containing the heart and energy claims. The company will add "Not a replacement for cholesterol-lowering drugs" along with the "heart health" wording, and on packages with statements about energy, there will be additional information to make it clear that the product does not boost energy.

"For many consumers, a daily multivitamin is an expensive insurance policy to make sure that one's getting the recommended daily amounts of important vitamins and minerals," CSPI litigation director Steve Gardner said in a statement. "But supplement manufacturers must not mislead consumers into thinking that these pills will help ward off cancer."

Pfizer said in a statement that it disagrees with CSPI, but agreed to make the changes to resolve the matter.

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