While several of the letters announced today target “treatments” the FTC has warned companies about previously, including intravenous vitamin C infusions, ozone therapy, and supplements, this latest round challenges included skincare products that can reportedly prevent or treat COVID-19.
This was the eighth set of warning letters the FTC has announced as part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health-related COVID-19 scams. In all, the FTC has sent similar letters to almost 300 companies and individuals.
The skin care product flagged by the FTC was being sold via UWell Life, Inc.., Buena Park, CA.
The latest round also included several supplements, vitamins, botanicals, and herbal remedies, acupuncture and even devices and card that claimed to thwart the virus.
In the letters, the FTC states that one or more of the efficacy claims made by the marketers are unsubstantiated because they are not supported by scientific evidence, and therefore violate the FTC Act. The letters advise the recipients to immediately stop making all claims that their products can prevent or treat COVID-19, and to notify the Commission within 48 hours about the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns.
The letters also note that if the false claims do not cease, the FTC may seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring money to be refunded to consumers.
In April, the FTC announced its first such case against a marketer of a purported COVID-19 treatment, Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics. The case was settled in early July, with Ching agreeing to an order barring him from making the allegedly deceptive claims.
In July, the FTC filed a federal court complaint against California-based Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical, Inc. for falsely advertising its $23,000 Emergency-D Virus treatment as an “FDA Accepted” plan for treating COVID-19. The complaint alleges that the company continued to market its COVID-19 treatment even after receiving a warning letter from the FTC in April 2020.
Earlier this month, the FTC announced several federal court cases filed against marketers who allegedly make false promises about being able to quickly fulfill orders for facemasks and other personal protective equipment. One of those actions also included charges against the sellers of a product called “Basic Immune IGG” that claimed to treat or prevent COVID-19 and have FDA approval, according to the FTC’s complaint.