The Federal Trade Commission announced it has sent letters warning 20 more marketers nationwide to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can prevent or treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This is the eighth set of warning letters the FTC has announced as part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health-related COVID-19 scams. In all, the Commission has sent similar letters to almost 300 companies and individuals.
Several of the letters announced today target “treatments” the Commission has warned companies about previously, including intravenous (IV) Vitamin C infusions, ozone therapy, and supplements. Others challenge claims that nasal spray, skincare products, or acupuncture can prevent or treat COVID-19. However, currently there is no scientific evidence that these, or any, products or services can prevent or treat the disease.
The FTC sent the letters announced today to the companies and individuals listed below. The recipients are grouped based on the type of therapy, product, or service they pitched as preventing or treating COVID-19.
Electric Current Devices (Zappers):
Intravenous (IV) Vitamin and Ozone Therapies:
Supplements, Vitamins, Botanicals, and Herbal Remedies:
In the letters, the FTC states that one or more of the efficacy claims made by the marketers are unsubstantiated because they are not supported by scientific evidence, and therefore violate the FTC Act. The letters advise the recipients to immediately stop making all claims that their products can prevent or treat COVID-19, and to notify the Commission within 48 hours about the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns.
The letters also note that if the false claims do not cease, the Commission may seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring money to be refunded to consumers. In April, the FTC announced its first such case against a marketer of a purported COVID-19 treatment, Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics. The case was settled in early July, with Ching agreeing to an order barring him from making the allegedly deceptive claims.
In July, the FTC filed a federal court complaint against California-based Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical, Inc. for falsely advertising its $23,000 Emergency-D Virus treatment as an “FDA Accepted” plan for treating COVID-19. The complaint alleges that the company continued to market its COVID-19 treatment even after receiving a warning letter from the FTC in April 2020.
Earlier this month, the FTC announced several federal court cases filed against marketers who allegedly make false promises about being able to quickly fulfill orders for facemasks and other personal protective equipment. One of those actions also included charges against the sellers of a product called “Basic Immune IGG” that claimed to treat or prevent COVID-19 and have FDA approval, according to the FTC’s complaint.