FTC today sent 10 additional letters warning companies, both in the United States and abroad, to cease making unsubstantiated claims that their products can treat or prevent coronavirus disease. While some letters challenge products sold online, others challenge purported treatments offered in clinics or even at a consumer’s home.
One company, Face Vital LLC, Miami Beach, FL was cited for reportedly selling a “Face Vital Sonic Silicone Facial Brush,” marketed as able to “fight off Coronavirus.” FTC said the company’s claims included: “RAMP UP YOUR BEAUTY AND CLEANSING REGIMEN, FIGHT OFF CORONA: . . . Take this lightweight brush with you, keep your hands and face clean everywhere you go – protect yourself from the coronavirus.” “
“It’s shameful to take advantage of people by claiming that a product prevents, treats, or cures COVID-19,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
The FTC also sent a letters to LightAir International AB, Stockholm, Sweden, for the following claim made on its website: “The corona virus can in various ways be air-borne . . . . IonFlow air purifiers are scientifically proven to efficiently prevent spread of air-borne viruses.”
Additional companies cited today were flagged for claims related to claims for supplement and other ingestible treatments to ward off coronavirus.
FTC’s letters advise the recipients to immediately cease making all claims that their products can treat or cure coronavirus. The letters note that if the false claims do not cease, FTC may seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring money to be refunded to consumers. Finally, they instruct the recipients to notify the FTC within 48 hours about the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns.
To date,the FTC has jointly issued with the FDA more than 25 warning letters to entities selling products including homeopathic drugs, cannabinol (CBD) products, essential oils, colloidal silver, traditional Chinese medicine, and salt therapy.