FTC remains aggressive in halting sales of unproven COVID-19 treatments

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Covid-19 false claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) remains aggressive in stopping companies from making unproven claims that their products or therapies can cure or prevent the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of this writing, the United States has 2,178,710 positive cases of COVID-19, and 118,365 deaths attributed to the virus, according to an update from the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC).

Many companies are taking advantage of the situation to make a profit by making deceptive and false claims that their products or therapies can prevent people from getting infected by the virus or cure those who are already ill.

On Thursday, the FTC said 30 more marketers nationwide received its warning letters regarding their unproven claims that products or therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19. The Commission already sent warning letters to 250 companies and individuals.

The warning letters are part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to protect consumers from health-related COVID-19 scams. In March, the Commission filed a lawsuit against a marketer named Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics, for claiming that his herbal supplement called “Thrive” can treat, prevent or reduce the risk of COVID-19.

The FTC’s warning letters targeted companies selling treatments including intravenous (IV) Vitamin C and D infusions, supposed stem cell therapy, vitamin injections, essential oils, CBD products, infrared heat, oral peroxide gel, and oxygen therapy.

Currently, there is no scientific evidence that any of the products, therapies, or services being marketed can treat or prevent COVID-19.

In the warning letters, the FTC told the companies or marketers that they are making unsubstantiated claims about their products or therapies. The Commission noted that the marketers do not have scientific evidence to support their claims. Therefore, they are violating the FTC Act.

The FTC advised the marketers to immediately stop making false claims about their products or therapies. The Commission also required them to submit in writing the specific actions they have taken to address its concerns.

Additionally, the FTC told recipients of warning letters that it will seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring refunds to consumers if they don’t stop their false claims.