Some companies are apparently attempting to capitalize off of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued warning letters to seven companies allegedly selling products that make deceptive or unfounded claims about treating COVID-19. Vital Silver, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., N-ergetics, GuruNanda LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy LLC and The Jim Bakker Show were all advised to stop claims that their products — teas, essential oils and colloidal silver, among them — treat or even cure coronavirus — or the FTC may seek a federal court injunction.
“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” said Joe Simons, FTC chairman, in a statement. “What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. These warning letters are just the first step. We’re prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.”
The FDA noted that it has “an aggressive surveillance program” for identifying fraudulent products sold online. It also reiterated that there are no approved vaccines, drugs or “investigational products” that treat or prevent COVID-19.
“The FDA’s laws are designed to protect the public health by ensuring, among other things, that drugs are safe and effective for their intended uses,” said Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., FDA commissioner.
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