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Emergen-C is an effervescent, powdered drink mix vitamin supplement manufactured by Alacer Corp. The Emergen-C product line was introduced in 1978. Alacer was established as a private company in 1972, focusing on vitamin supplements containing vitamin C. In 2012, the company was acquired by Pfizer.
It contains, depending on the variety, 16 times the vitamin C, 4 times the vitamin B12, and 5 times the vitamin B6 of the USDA Reference Daily Intake based on a 2000 calorie diet. Some versions include calcium, glucosamine, quercetin or lycopene. Studies have failed to establish evidence for the use of vitamin C megadoses as a cold remedy or in reducing cold incidences.
GMO ingredients are used. From the Alacer website: "We have chosen to source materials that are non-GMO whenever possible. That being said, we cannot guarantee that all of our raw materials are sourced from non-GMO ingredients and do not currently have this requirement in place for our vendors". Most products do not contain animal-derived ingredients, but some certain products contain chondroitin from cows, honey, and vitamin D3 from wool.
Class Action Lawsuit
In December 2013, a superior court judge preliminarily approved a $6.45 million settlement to a class-action lawsuit filed against Alacer Corp. for alleged deceptive marketing. The complaint, which was originally filed earlier in the year, alleged that the company misleadingly represented that the supplement would provide health benefits – including reducing the risk of or preventing colds and flu – without scientific evidence to support such claims. According to the settlement terms, class members may receive a refund of up to $36 with proof of purchase. (Wong et al v. Alacer Corp., Case No. CGC-12-519221, Superior Court of California County of San Francisco). A superior court judge gave final approval of the settlement to this lawsuit in June 2014.
In 1997, Alacer established The Emergen-C Fund, which has raised more than $650,000. This fund provides support to Vitamin Angels, Surfrider Foundation, Keep A Breast Foundation, Young Survival Coalition, and Whole Foods' Whole Planet Foundation.
In 2008 Emergen-C teamed up with surf artist Jay Alders to create art for the packaging of their new product/flavor, Emergen-C Blue, with 25 cents donated to Surfrider Foundation for each box sold.
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- "Emergen-C launches a new product to benefit Surfrider". Surfersvillage.com. 2009-02-03. Archived from the original on February 4, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
- Emergen-C | Surfrider Foundation Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2013 November 29.