Created by Victoria Knight-McDowell in the early 1990‘s, Airborne enjoyed a long run for a dietary supplement unproven by the Food and Drug Administration. Airborne is an over the counter dietary supplement that contains herbal extracts, vitamins, amino acids, electrolytes, antioxidants, and other ingredients. What was the purpose of this strange concoction? Simply put, Airborne was designed and marketed as a dietary supplement intended to prevent colds and flues. The three varieties or the herbal supplement offered in the US are chew able, powdered, and even a tablet form of the product.
The formula, as stated on the product’s packaging, was developed by a Californian elementary schoolteacher who was tired of getting sick from interacting with her students. In the 90‘s she decided to take matters into her own hands. She decided to make her own product after trying various supplements with little or no results and whole lot of wasted money.
She then set out to create her own immune system boosting supplement. She began by brewing herbal and vitamin concoctions that seemed to work for her, and she later began selling them in local drug stores. Eventually Knight-McDowell teamed up with cartoonist Lloyd Dangle. Together they developed the famous packaging Airborne is known for. By the mid-to-late 90‘s she sold a whopping 300 cases of here supplement to Trader Joe’s. Soon other large chain grocery stores jumped on the band wagon and began stocking her invention.
Knight-McDowell recommended taking the supplement at the first sign of a cold or flu’s onset, or before entering areas with large crowds of people or high traffic public places. Although the Food and Drug Administration has not tested the product, the creator makes no claims to this and users of Airborne have been reporting what they believe to be positive results from the use of the herbal immune supplement.
Since Knight-McDowell’s product is sold as a supplement and not as a drug, she began marketing it with little regulation and had no review by qualified experts and clinical studies to back up claims made by the packaging. Despite this obvious loophole, there was another hurdle Knight-McDowell encountered and that is the fact that in the United States a consumer product must be tested before any claims to the effectiveness of the product can be made, unless of course you are a multinational pharmaceutical corporation.
Sadly for Knight-McDowell there are no qualified scientific studies to back up the claims made by the airborne packaging. This coming to light after the company that Knight-McDowell had hired to test her product, GNG Pharmaceutical Services Inc, was found to have no qualified clinic, scientists or even doctors on its staff. To make matters worse, the company was comprised of only two people, who had started the business just to perform this dubious study. To combat the scandal and the general bad press Airborne received, Knight-McDowell had to remove all references to this bogus study. Despite this, Victoria Knight-McDowell is still a success story with millions of sales to her name that should quell any cries of quackery.
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