Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office brought a lawsuit against LA-based Insan Healing, alleging that the company advertised and sold a "must-have" radish paste that it falsely claimed could prevent consumers from getting COVID-19.
The complaint alleged that Insan Healing made false and misleading claims that the company's radish paste could enhance consumers' immune systems and protect their lungs. For example, the complaint alleged that Insan Healing claimed, "Radish Paste is an immunity boost to your lungs! A must-have product for the protection and prevention of the COVID-19, cold and flu season."
In the complaint, Feuer argued that the company's false claims violated California's false advertising, law, which prohibits any statement, "which is untrue or misleading, and which is known, or which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known, to be untrue or misleading." Feuer also argued that the claims also violated the state's unfair competition law as well.
In a statement, Feuer state, "We've got to stop those who use the fear fueled by the COVID-19 crisis to prey on people desperate to avoid the virus. Today it's radish paste, which the defendants peddled as, 'a must-have product for the protection and prevention of the COVID-19, cold and flu season.' We allege that claim is false, and we're taking the defendants to court. In this public health emergency, consumers are entitled to accurate information. Their lives may depend on it."
This case is yet another reminder that federal, state, and local authorities are aggressively going after marketers who seek to take advantage of consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you're going make any health-related claims related to COVID-19, you'd better make sure that you have competent and reliable scientific evidence to back them up.
"We've got to stop those who use the fear fueled by the COVID-19 crisis to prey on people desperate to avoid the virus" -- LA City Attorney Mike Feuer