FDA sends warning letter to CBD firm over coronavirus claims

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Getty Images  Aleksandr_Kravtsov
Picture: Getty Images Aleksandr_Kravtsov

Related tags: Warning letter, Regulation, COVID-19, coronavirus

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued another warning letter on COVID-19 claims. This one was issued to a Nevada company marketing CBD products.

The warning letter, dated March 31, was sent to a company called NeuroXPF in Las Vegas, NV.  The company was founded by former NFL player Kyle Turley. 

The company’s CBD products include capsules, oils, gummies and topical products.  The company claims its CO2 extraction process preserves the terpenes present in the source material, giving a broader spectrum finished extract. The finished products are marketed for benefits connected to traumatic brain injuries, digestive complaints and anxiety.

Fighting coronavirus by prepping the immune system

And, according to the warning letter, until just recently the company was linking them to COVID-19 benefits as well.

According to the warning letter, Turley’s company was making the following claims on its website and via its social media accounts:

  • ”Crush Corona . . . While scientists around the world are working 24/7 to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, it will take many more months of testing before it’s approved and available. However, there’s something you can do right now to strengthen your immune system. Take CBD . . . CBD can help keep your immune system at the stop of its game. . . . We want everyone to take CBD and take advantage of its potential to help prepare your body to fight a coronavirus infection. So, we’re making all of our products more affordable.”
  • “Your best defense against the COVID-19 blitz starts with a strong immune system. It’s what protects your body from the everyday attacks of bacteria, viruses, parasites and a host of other nasties.”

A search of the company’s website today indicates the offending claims seem to have been removed.

Waving the red flag for regulators

Attorney Ivan Wasserman, of the firm Amin Talati Wasserman, said many supplements marketers appear eager to help consumers in this hour of need, and many may have legitimate reasons to believe in the immune health benefits of their products.

But any claim hinting at a coronavirus-related benefit instantly puts a company into a regulatory minefield that’s impossible to safely negotiate.

“I have two words of free, yet very valuable, advice:  “No Corona!”  It is just not that complicated. 

"Yes, certain dietary supplements can play a very important role in a healthy immune system, and yes, supplement companies can legally claim that (if supported by adequate science). But associating that benefit  with the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, or any virus or bacterial infection for that matter, is illegal and the regulators are, thankfully, actively policing for those claims,” ​he said.

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