The district court correctly granted defendant summary judgment against plaintiff’s false advertising claim. The federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act preempt state law requirements for dietary supplements that differ from those promulgated under the FDCA. The FDCA distinguishes between disease claims and structure/function claims for dietary supplements. The latter describe the supplement’s function or role but don’t claim that the supplement prevents or cures a particular disease. Federal law requires the supplement manufacturer to have substantiation for such claims, but California law doesn’t. Plaintiff averred that defendant’s claim that its Vitamin E supplement promoted cardiovascular health was false advertising because it did not prevent cardiovascular disease. This claim conflicted with FDCA rules and was preempted. Plaintiff also claimed that the defendant’s product might increase the risk of all-cause mortality but failed to reveal that fact. Summary judgment was properly entered on that claim because plaintiff had no proof that Vitamin E increases the overall risk of death.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Graber, J.); January 10, 2019; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 887