The Truth Behind the Lawsuit Against Balance of Nature
My interest was piqued in seeing that a large supplement company, Balance of Nature, was involved in a lawsuit, and that California residents who ordered from them could get a small repayment.
After diving into the nitty-gritty further, this is what I discovered. Here are my thoughts about the Balance of Nature lawsuit after a deep dive from both sides of the issue.
Table of Contents
The Case: What Is This About?
One CBS news article covering the lawsuit against the supplement company, Balance of Nature, provided that the company was ordered to pay “$850,000 in civil penalties and investigative costs, along with $250,000 in restitution to customers.” (1)
The plaintiff attorneys involved claimed, “This company was dishonest in selling its products to the public. We will fight to make sure companies tell the truth to protect the health and welfare of our citizens.”
Sounds like a fair request that I think everyone would agree with!
But in reality, Balance of Nature does not seem to do what the accusers say they do.
The Reality Based On Hours of Research
For one, the attorneys say that Balance of Nature claimed their Fruit & Veggies supplements have as much nutrition as “eating more than 10 servings of a salad.” I see this as a small advertising issue that could easily be fixed.
In addition, after reviewing Balance of Nature’s website, related pages, and advertisements, there are no present mentions about specific serving sizes of fruits and vegetables in their products which they were claimed to be doing. And I looked at a whole lot of articles around the internet, old and new, and I just couldn’t find the smoking gun. Maybe it’s there, and I just can’t find it.
And the company also has no existing content claiming that their products prevent or treat any serious diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, fibromyalgia, or cancer. Based on these findings, Balance of Nature has appeared to have cleaned up their act and made changes if these were indeed issues in the past.
The article also says that Balance of Nature was accused of breaking state law regarding “an automatically renewing subscription program, by charging a monthly fee without clearly disclosing terms, not giving customers an ‘adequate’ acknowledgment of enrolling or not allowing customers to cancel online.”
Frankly, these issues don’t exist, at least not presently. I looked into this and didn’t see anything wrong. In processing my own order, I was notified quite clearly that signing up as a “Preferred Customer” is a monthly membership, and that I would be sent products monthly. If a subscription is not desired, there is clearly an option for a one-time purchase. You can also cancel online.
And as someone who does a bundle of online ordering for various items, I actually find their disclosure very clear. On many websites this information is a bit understated, and certainly is not as obvious as Balance of Nature makes it.
Public Release to California Citizens
The following is taken from a statement Balance of Nature release addressing California residents:
“Balance of Nature is excited to announce its 20th year of changing lives in the state of California. Balance of Nature is passionately committed to providing the highest quality supplements available in the industry and will continue its efforts to change the world, one life at a time.
Balance of Nature supports all of its customers in every state and continues to be in compliance with state and federal regulations. Balance of Nature conducts regular reviews of all marketing statements and renewal programs to ensure full compliance.
We love the people of California. Thousands of California customers and farms show their support and continue to be valuable customers and suppliers. Balance of Nature supports the California agricultural economy by buying fruits, vegetables, fiber, and spices directly from California farmers. This valuable produce contributes to the quality of our products.”
The company appears to have no ill intent toward consumers in reading this.
So why then a lawsuit? What benefit exists if the claims against the company are irrelevant? Well, you should know, the prosecuting attorneys involved purportedly made around $800,000 from the lawsuit. Anyone surprised?
Using the front of looking out for the general public, the lawsuit was something that really only benefited the attorneys. What’s more, how can discouraging people from consuming fruits and vegetables help anyone? Does that even make sense? News flash, it doesn’t.
In my opinion, this seems like a cash grab by some CA attorneys. The reported grievances about Balance of Nature were minor, and only relating to advertising, which are easy fixes. Whatever advertising issues existed, they seem to no longer exist. The case itself had nothing to do with the quality of products, or potential harm to consumers.
I’m all about keeping large companies accountable for product quality and product safety. But sometimes it seems that fires are stoked by competing companies that have a horse in the race.
I’m no attorney, and this is by no means a legal opinion. But in sniffing around the internet a while, this Balance of Nature lawsuit appears to be a whole lot about nothing. Just my 2 cents.
It’s more about minor administrative issues, and the proverbial low-hanging fruit for hungry law firms.
And I happen to find this product really helpful to my own nutritional needs. I don’t really like veggies, and am always on the go. So I like this supplement to round out a healthy daily intake.
You can read my full review on Balance of Nature here.
- CBS Interactive. (2023, August 1). Makers of balance of nature supplements pay $1.1m to settle false advertising case. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/balance-of-nature-supplements-evig-settle-1-1m-false-advertising-case-bay-area-district-attorneys/