The Federal Commerce Fee ordered greater than 20 entrepreneurs nationwide to instantly cease making baseless claims that their merchandise and supposed therapies can deal with or stop COVID-19. In cease-and-desist calls for despatched to those entrepreneurs, the company famous that violators could possibly be hit with financial penalties beneath the COVID-19 Shopper Safety Act handed by Congress final yr.
The cease-and-desist calls for are the newest motion within the FTC’s continued battle in opposition to fraudsters making an attempt to reap the benefits of ongoing coronavirus issues, together with these associated to the Omicron variant.
“People are nonetheless affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and scammers are nonetheless making the most of them by making false claims about cures and coverings,” mentioned Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Shopper Safety. “Our efforts to stamp out these claims will proceed in 2022, and any entrepreneurs not heeding our cease-and-desist calls for can anticipate to face penalties, together with civil penalties”
That is the eleventh set of warning letters issued by the FTC. The Fee has beforehand despatched comparable health-related letters to 405 corporations and people. A lot of the calls for introduced right this moment had been despatched to corporations utilizing social media platforms to promote their merchandise, and in these cases the company additionally notified the platform of its demand.
A number of of the letters introduced right this moment name out merchandise and “remedies” the FTC has warned corporations about beforehand, together with peptide remedy, natural treatments, ivermectin, and dietary supplements. Others concern less-common merchandise and therapies deceptively promoted to forestall or deal with COVID-19. For instance, letters went to corporations claiming that “imprinted filtered water,” nasal irrigation, and even seaweed extract can battle coronavirus. Nevertheless, at the moment there isn’t a scientific proof that any of those merchandise can stop or deal with COVID-19 usually or any particular variant.
Within the health-related letters, the FTC states that a number of of the efficacy claims made by the entrepreneurs are unsubstantiated as a result of they don’t seem to be supported by scientific proof, and subsequently violate the FTC Act. The calls for order the recipients to instantly cease making all claims that their merchandise can stop or deal with COVID-19, and to inform the Fee inside 48 hours concerning the particular actions they’ve taken to deal with the company’s issues.
The letters warn the recipients of the FTC’s authority to hunt civil penalties beneath the COVID-19 Shopper Safety Act. Violators who make misleading claims associated to the remedy, treatment, or prevention of COVID-19 are topic to penalties of as much as $43,792 per violation.
The actions introduced right this moment concerned the businesses and people listed beneath. Entrepreneurs are grouped based mostly on the kind of remedy, product, or service they pitched associated to COVID-19.
Infoceuticals, Imprinted Filtered Water:
IV Ozone and Vitamin C and D Remedy:
Low-dose Immunotherapy Therapies:
Nasal Irrigation Remedy:
Osteopathic Manipulative Therapies:
Peptide Therapies/Vitamin Drips and Injections/Pores and skin Care Therapies:
Dietary supplements, Nutritional vitamins, Botanicals, Protease Inhibitors, Ivermectin, and Seaweed Extract:
- Krystal Anesthesia & Ache Specialists (Arlington, Texas and Holly Lake Ranch, Texas)
- Todos Medical (Rehovot, Israel) and Alchemist’s Kitchen (New York, New York)
- Seaweed & Co. (Whitley Bay, United Kingdom)
- Foraged with Religion
- Inexperienced Star Merchandise (Victor, Montana)
- Armored Diet
- Sava Holistic Well being (East Hampton, Connecticut)
- Sunshine Well being Meals & Wellness Heart (Titusville, Florida)
- TerraMune Well being, LLC (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
- Austin Compounding Pharmacy (Austin, Texas)
Natural Cures, Teas, and Juices:
Multi-Degree Advertising Corporations:
The Fee additionally despatched cease-and-desist calls for to 4 multi-level advertising and marketing corporations, advising them to them to take away and deal with claims that they or their contributors are making about their merchandise’ capability to deal with or stop coronavirus illness or concerning the earnings individuals who have not too long ago misplaced revenue could make.
That is the third set of letters to MLMs the FTC has introduced as a part of its ongoing efforts to guard consumers from COVID-19 scams. The letters refer the businesses to the company’s steering for MLMs, remind them that they’re chargeable for the claims made by their contributors and representatives, advise the recipients that they and their contributors should instantly stop making all claims which can be false or deceptive, and inform them that they need to notify the Fee inside 48 hours concerning the particular actions they’ve taken to deal with the company’s issues.
The FTC despatched the letters to the 4 corporations listed beneath. The recipients are grouped based mostly on the varieties of claims made.
Different COVID-related FTC Enforcement Actions
In October 2021, the FTC sued Xlear, Inc., a Utah-based firm, for violating the COVID-19 Shopper Safety Act, alleging that it falsely pitched its saline nasal sprays as an efficient method to stop and deal with COVID-19. In its lawsuit in opposition to Xlear, Inc. and its proprietor, the FTC is asking a federal courtroom to impose financial penalties on the defendants and bar them from persevering with to make such false and unsupported claims.
In April 2021, the FTC introduced that 30 entrepreneurs nationwide had stopped making unsubstantiated claims that their merchandise and therapies can stop or deal with COVID-19. The entrepreneurs eliminated these claims after receiving FTC warning letters citing the company’s new civil penalty authority beneath the COVID-19 Shopper Safety Act.
Additionally that month, the FTC charged St. Louis-based chiropractor Eric Anthony Nepute and his firm Quickwork LLC with violating the COVID-19 Shopper Safety Act and the FTC Act, by deceptively advertising and marketing merchandise containing vitamin D and zinc as scientifically confirmed to deal with or stop COVID-19. It was the primary case the company has introduced beneath the brand new regulation.
In November 2020, a federal courtroom in Ohio has issued a momentary restraining order in opposition to 25 counterfeit web sites that allegedly have been enjoying on shoppers’ COVID-19 pandemic fears to trick them into paying for Clorox and Lysol merchandise that the defendants by no means ship.