The Federal Trade Commission said that it sent a new round of warning letters to thirty marketers for making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19. With this seventh round of warning letters, the FTC has now sent 250 warning letters to marketers related to false COVID-19 claims.
The letters challenged claims that CBD, essential oils, infrared heat, IV vitamin and ozone/oxygen therapies, oral peroxide gel, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, stem cell treatments, and supplements, vitamins, and colloidal silver could treat or prevent COVID-19. The FTC said, "currently there is no scientific evidence that these, or any, products or services can treat or cure the disease." In the letters, the FTC told the recipients to contact the FTC within 48 hours to explain the steps that they have taken to address the FTC's concerns.
For example, the FTC told Big Sky Compounding to stop claiming that elderberry, St. John's wort, red marine algae, and licorice, as well as a variety of other products, could treat or prevent COVID-19. Telling the company that it must immediately cease making such claims, the FTC wrote, "any coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding such products are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence."
As an other example, the FTC told Joy Wellness Partners to stop claiming, among other things, that vitamin C "will reduce the effect a virus like coronavirus can have on your body" and that using an infrared sauna "you could kill the virus by the heat."
The FTC is continuing to rely on warning letters as its first level of defense against COVID-19 scams. As we previously reported, the FTC said that the warning letters are effective in getting marketers to quickly remove false COVID-19 related claims. Andrew Smith, the Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, previously said, "given the scope of the scams out there right now, we want to get the best and fastest results we can with the most efficient tool we have."
"currently there is no scientific evidence that these, or any, products or services can treat or cure the disease"