Heart-Healthy Certification: The Price is the Right

April 19th, 2018

Note: This article highlights a trend in class-action litigation as identified by our Class-Action Tracker. Thus the name of this feature is CATrends.

The American Heart Association’s heart-check mark can say a lot about the nutritional value of a food product but it’s what the AHA logo doesn’t say that has led to a number of class-action lawsuits alleging deceptive advertising in recent years. What’s missing? Disclosure that the brand paid the AHA for the right to display the heart-check mark on its label.

The AHA does not require disclosure of the payment to the group, which is an annual fee that ranges between $3,000 and $6,000 per food product based on the company’s revenue, an AHA spokesperson said.

“Fees are standard among certification marks (USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten-Free, etc.),” the spokesperson said in an email. “As a nonprofit organization, our Heart-Check Mark administration fee is designed to recover the cost of running the program.”

See related coverage: StarKist, Campbell Soup, Bumble Bee, Thomas’ Bagels, Blue Diamond.

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