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FTC and FDA order companies to stop selling ‘scam’ products to treat or prevent coronavirus

‘These warning letters are just the first step’ in combatting allegedly false product claims regarding coronavirus, FTC commissioner Joe Simons said

The FTC and FDA are cracking down on companies that allegedly make false claims about treating coronavirus.

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The Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration are warning companies to stop making allegedly “deceptive and scientifically unsupported” claims about products they’re marketing as coronavirus treatments, the agencies announced Monday.

The FTC and FDA ordered seven companies to stop selling allegedly “fraudulent” products in warning letters. The companies are Vital Silver; Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd.; N-ergetics; GuruNanda, LLC; Vivify Holistic Clinic; Herbal Amy LLC; and The Jim Bakker Show, the company linked to televangelist Jim Bakker, who was indicted in the 1980s on wire and mail fraud charges and spent .

“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “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.”

In its letter to the Jim Bakker Show, the FTC and FDA asked the company to stop selling “Silver Sol Liquid” and other products advertised on the Jim Bakker Show’s website as being able to “totally eliminate” the coronavirus. The Jim Bakker Show did not respond to a request for comment.

Herbal Amy, a Boise, Idaho-based business that sells CBD products, was urged by the FTC and FDA to remove claims that some of its products were “safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.” The company has since removed product descriptions such as, “All the herbs are specific in one way or another for this virus. A number of the herbs are strongly antiviral for corona viruses .…. The formulations are preventative as well as specific for acute infections ….”

7073彩票注册The Herbal Amy website also stated,“Stephen Buhner has analyzed how corona viruses infect tissues, what tissues they infect, and the herbs that are useful to interrupt that process, as well as the herbs useful to shut down the cytokine cascade they create.” Buhner claims on his own site to be a “master herbalist.” (He did not respond immediately to a request for comment.)

The company still sells on its site a $155 which includes “three tincture formulations and one tea.” But it removed Buhner’s testimonial “to adhere to the FDA requirements,” Amy Weidner, founder of Herbal Amy told MarketWatch.

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“Because it’s an all natural herbal product, the FDA does not want me to quote anyone saying anything in the product description that would insinuate that it treats, mitigates or cures any diseases,” Weidner told MarketWatch. She said she has no plans to remove the Coronavirus Protocol from her site.

7073彩票注册“The FDA only has a problem with the verbiage, the quote, and since it has been removed, I am in compliance with FDA guidelines,” she said. The FTC and FDA urged Herbal Amy “to cease the sale of such unapproved and unauthorized products for mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19.”

Jeremy Kahn, a FDA spokesman, declined to comment on whether Herbal Amy is in violation of any FDA rules by continuing to sell the “Coronavirus Protocol” kit. “It is still an open compliance matter,” he said, adding that “we will work with company to ensure proper actions are taken.”

N-ergetics, vitamin and supplements store based in Atoka, Oklahoma, previously stated on its site: “Even though there are no vaccines available to combat these coronaviruses, there is a home remedy of Colloidal Silver 100 ppm that has worked effectively on coronaviruses successfully for the last 123 years,” according to the warning letter the company received from the FDA.

7073彩票注册The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health describes colloidal silver as “tiny silver particles in a liquid that is sometimes promoted on the Internet as a dietary supplement.” However, evidence that the substance could improves someone’s health is “lacking,” the NCCIH notes, adding, “colloidal silver can be dangerous to your health.” In 1999, the FDA warned that the substance isn’t safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.

A representative from N-ergetics, said that they “are aware of the warning letter from the FDA.”

“Nothing we offer for sale is intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19 in people. Our website has addressed all issues pointed out in the letter.”

GuruNanda, a Buena Park, California-based company that sells essential oil products, “immediately removed any information related to treatment or prevention of COVID-19 and the coronavirus,” after receiving its warning latter, Megan Bennett, a company spokeswoman said. “GuruNanda, at all times, strives to be compliant with the law and will continue to work with the FDA and the FTC to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.”

Jennifer Hickman, who works for Vital Silver, a Melbourne, Florida-based company that sells essential oils said she was “unaware that my company [was] violating FDA standards, or that any of the statements could be considered fraudulent.

“As per the FDA’s request I have removed all statements concerning the COVID-19 from my website and social media outlets.” MarketWatch was unable to verify Hickman’s claim since the company’s 7073彩票注册 page is unable to be accessed at this time. Hickman said that she is in the process of updating it.

Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., and Vivify Holistic Clinic did not respond to MarketWatch’s requests for comment.

7073彩票注册Separately, the FDA created a task force to “monitor fraudulent COVID-19 prevention and treatment claims.”

“The FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health. We have an aggressive surveillance program that routinely monitors online sources for health fraud products, especially during a significant public health issue such as this one,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

“We understand consumers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and urge them to talk to their health care providers, as well as follow advice from other federal agencies about how to prevent the spread of this illness. We will continue to aggressively pursue those that place the public health at risk and hold bad actors accountable.”

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