FTC warns against swine flu scams

- Last updated on GMT

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned internet “pedders” to stop marketing products for the prevention of swine flu unless these are backed by science.

The advertising watchdog yesterday told web site operators that promoting unsubstantiated products – including dietary supplements – is a violation of federal law. They must drop the claims, said FTC, “or face further action”.

“Scam artists follow the headlines, trying to make a fast buck with products that play off the news – and prey on concerned people. We’re online and telling e-marketers their sites must comply with the law,”​ said Eileen Harrington, acting director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

FTC identified ten websites making “suspect”​ swine flu treatment, prevention, or cure claims.

Out of these, the agency said four domesticsites have already complied with its request by removing questionable web pages; one site was referred to the Food and Drug Administration; three foreign sites will be referred to the FTC’s international counterparts; and two other sites remain under review.

Related topics: Regulation

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