Warning letters continue as pandemic rages on

By Danielle Masterson contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images Wildpixel
© Getty Images Wildpixel

Related tags: coronavirus, Ftc, Warning letter, Health claims

The Federal Trade Commission has sent out another round of warning letters to 50 more marketers nationwide, most of which are labeled as dietary supplements or Chinese herbs.

The letters advise the recipients to immediately stop making all claims that their products can treat or cure coronavirus, and to notify the Commission within 48 hours about the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns.

Additionally, the letters warn that if the false claims do not stop, the Commission may seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring money to be refunded to consumers. This was the case last month with Marc Ching, who does business as Whole Leaf Organics. The federal complaint​ accused Ching of selling Thrive, a product marketed as a way for consumers to combat and strengthen immunity against pathogens like COVID-19.

This is the fifth set of warning letters the FTC has announced as part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health-related coronavirus scams. 

The FTC sent the letters announced today to the following supplement companies and individuals listed below:

In addition to the supplement companies and individuals listed above, a number of other companies were sent letters, including music therapy, ozone therapy, and even a shield that claims to boost the immune system by protecting the wearer from electromagnetic fields. 

Loren Israelsen, President of the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), said that Facebook in particular has become a major hub for coronavirus-related communications and scams.

He added that a familiar pattern has emerged, “which suggests aggressive practitioners (who seem to be out on the fringe end of the spectrum), citing largely unverified studies or testimonials, are using the megaphone of Facebook and other social media to promote a combination of both well-respected dietary supplements, along with a range of very edgy treatments and TCM herbs as treatment breakthroughs for COVID-19.”

Less than two weeks ago we reported that FTC sent warning letters​ to the sellers of vitamins, herbs, colloidal silver, teas, essential oils, and other products marketed as scientifically proven coronavirus treatments or preventatives.

According to the most updated coronavirus consumer complaint data, there have been 52,458 overall reports, $38.59 million in total fraud loss, with a $470 median in fraud loss.

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