Thought Balance of Nature Supplements Would Boost Your Health? Think Again, Says a New Lawsuit

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A class action lawsuit is calling out Balance of Nature Supplements for not living up to the hype, blaming the manufacturer for misleading and deceptive advertising.

Taking a couple of vitamin boosting capsules or energy enhancing gummies might have you feeling the picture of health, but you better be sure those supplements aren’t loaded with sugar. 

One man is taking Balance of Nature and its owner to court for that reason, arguing Balance of Nature Fruit and Balance of Nature Vegetable capsules used misleading and deceptive marking to make him believe the supplements were good for his health. In reality, he says, sugar made up almost half of the capsules ingredients, and all he got was a declining bank balance.

The case’s core: questioning the nutritional promises

William Spivey filed the proposed class action lawsuit against Balance of Nature and its founder Douglas L. Howard. Spivey, from Yorkville, Illinois, claims he subscribed to receive the Balance of Nature combination package for four months in 2021 because he believed the supplements would “provide him real and meaningful nutrition that would improve his energy, health and wellbeing.” 

However, he alleges the advertising done by the company and Howard saying the supplements were full of nutrients and real fruit and veggies was false or “an intentional half-truth” designed to deceive consumers into believing Balance of Nature products provided meaningful nutrition. 

Spivey says in the balance of nature lawsuit he stopped using the dietary supplements when he realized they didn’t “increase his energy levels, improve his quality of life, health and well-being or any other perceptible benefit.”

“Given that Balance of Nature fails to disclose 40 percent of the supplements are sugar, the company and founder are committing both price gorging and material concealment, with the supplements predominantly vacant calories”, Spivey says in the balance of nature lawsuit. “The amount of ‘real nutrition’ in a combined daily dose of Balance of Nature Fruits and Veggies is so small as to be trivial and meaningless,” he says.

Dietary supplements: trend or trap?

Balance of Nature, which started selling supplements in 1997, is one of a myriad of brands providing over-the-counter supplements marketed at addressing health or dietary needs. 

According to the National Library of medicine, dietary supplements have been a growing trend since the 1970s and new types and forms of supplements have continually been added to the market. Supplements that prove consistently popular include multivitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and protein.

A recent entrant to the supplements market are gummies, which often look and taste a lot like candies, but tout benefits from increasing libido to helping hair growth. However, according to The Atlantic, many of the gummies don’t just look like candy, but have similar ingredients, signaling a possible future lawsuit. UCLA says health conscious consumers need to be checking the labels when they reach for supplement bottles in the health store aisles.

FDA intervention: ensuring supplement safety

The proposed class action balance of nature lawsuit isn’t the first legal action Balance of Nature has faced, with the Food and Drug Administration taking the company and Howard to court over claims Balance of Nature supplements could cure diseases ranging from the Covid-19 to cancer. At the time, FDA's Acting Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Michael Rogers said “the public cannot have confidence that their products are what they purport to be.” 

CBS reports that in 2023, a federal court ordered the company to stop producing and selling its dietary supplement products due to its flouting of the law. The company entered into a consent decree agreeing to no longer make disease claims.

What’s next?

Spivey wants to represent a nationwide class of consumers and a multistate class who were allegedly misled by Balance of Nature advertising. He accuses the company and Howard of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, and is seeking damages and restitution.

If the Balance of Nature case has made you more suspicious about what your supplements might be hiding, be sure to check the bottle and especially check with your primary care provider.

Spivey is represented by Stewart Weltman, Steven Hart and Sean O'Malley of Hart McLaughin & Eldridge, Charles Schaffer of Levin Sedran & Berman LLP, Charles LaDuca of Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca LLP and Michael McShane of Audet & Partners LLP.

The Balance of Nature class action lawsuit is Spivey v. Evig LLC et al., Case No. 1:24-cv-00781, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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