GORDONSVILLE, Va. — Store brand infant formula manufacturer PBM Products here is suing the makers of national brand Enfamil Lipil Infant Formula for launching what it claims is a misleading ad campaign designed to undermine confidence in its private label formulas.
PBM produces formula for Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Target, Kroger, and others.
“Mead Johnson has falsely stated that only Mead Johnson’s Enfamil Lipil has two fats, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid), which Mead Johsnon calls ‘Lipil’ for marketing purposes,” said PBM in a statement.
Although Mead Johnson spokesman Pete Paradossi told SN that it doesn’t comment on matters in litigation, Mead Johnson stands behind “our products, our science and our marketing.” At issue are ads that claim “only Enfamil has Lipil, our blend of DHA and ARA, important nutrients found in breast milk” and “Enfamil Lipil’s unique formulation is not available in any store brand.”
According to PBM, its store brand formulas are nutritionally comparable to Enfamil Lipil and some even contain the same amounts of DHA and ARA, which it sources from the same supplier used by Mead Johnson.
“This marks the third time Mead Johnson has engaged in false advertising campaigns against PBM’s competing store-brand infant formulas by distributing literally false advertising to doctors and mothers,” said Paul Manning, chief executive officer of PBM, in a statement. “The two previous times we sued Mead Johnson for false and misleading advertisements, the court ruled in favor of PBM and Mead Johnson’s senior executives and scientists admitted that Mead Johnson’s statements were literally false.”
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