In Reopened Case, National Advertising Division Recommends Dakota Nutrition Discontinue Certain Dietary Supplement Claims

Mar 6, 2024 4:00 AM ET

New York, NY – March 6, 2024 – In a reopened case arising from an advertiser petition of a 2022 decision, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that Dakota Nutrition, Inc. discontinue challenged express and implied claims that its Extra Strength Elderberry 3-in-1 Immune Booster Capsules, Extra Strength Elderberry Gummies, and Immune Defense 7-in-1 Immune Booster Capsules (Elderberry Supplements) contain the ingredient elderberry.

The claims at issue, which appeared on Dakota’s website, Amazon product pages, and on product labels were challenged by Nature’s Way Brands, LLC.

In a 2022 challenge brought by Nature’s Way, the National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Dakota did not have a reasonable basis for the challenged claims that its Elderberry Supplements contain elderberry, and noted that Dakota did not submit any support for the claims that elderberries are antioxidants or that they contain certain amounts of antioxidants.

Therefore, NAD recommended that Dakota discontinue all challenged claims that relate to the presence and quantity of elderberry in its Elderberry Supplements. Based on NAD’s recommendation, Dakota agreed to discontinue the claims.

In 2023, NAD granted Dakota’s petition to reopen the decision, pursuant to NAD Procedures, based on a new expert report as well as new testing on the raw material used in Dakota’s Elderberry Supplements.

After reviewing this new evidence, NAD concluded that it did not provide a reasonable basis to support Dakota’s advertising that its Elderberry Supplements contain European Elderberry and recommended that Dakota discontinue the challenged claims, including:

  • “elderberry capsules,”
  • “elderberry gummies,“
  • “black elderberry extract (150mg),”
  • “150mg elderberry per serving,”
  • “150mg of Black Elderberry,”
  • “150mg of Sambucus Nigra Extract,”
  • “elderberries are very high in antioxidants,” and
  • “extra strength antioxidant.”

In its advertiser statement for the reopened case, Dakota stated that it “has previously discontinued the sale of its elderberry products, and therefore agrees to continue to comply with NAD’s recommendation” while noting that it “strongly disagrees with NAD’s conclusion” that the new evidence “does not satisfy the reasonable basis standard.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive. This press release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. The National Advertising Division reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business. 

Contact:
Jennie Rosenberg
Media Relations
BBB National Programs
press@bbbnp.org