Continuing its efforts to protect consumers from scams and deceptive pitches related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Federal Trade Commission today announced it has 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.
The companies receiving warning letters sell everything from a bundle of supplements called an “ANTI-VIRUS KIT” to “Sonic Silicone Face Brushes” and intravenous (IV) “therapies” with high doses of Vitamin C. While some letters challenge products sold online, others challenge purported treatments offered in clinics or even at a consumer’s home. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated, there currently are no products that are scientifically proven to treat or prevent the virus.
The FTC sent the letters to the following companies: 1) Bioenergy Wellness Miami, 2) Face Vital LLC, 3) LightAir International AB, 4) MedQuick Labs LLC, 5) New Performance Nutrition, 6) PuraTHRIVE LLC, 7) Resurgence Medical Spa, LLC, 8) Rocky Mountain IV Medics, 9) Suki Distribution Pte. Ltd., and 10) Vita Activate.
“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. “We’re seeing these false claims for all sorts of products, but anyone who makes them simply has no proof and is likely just after your money.”
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A Wide Variety of Products
While the FTC has previously sent warning letters to the sellers of supplements such as colloidal silver, teas, essential oils, and other products pitched as scientifically proven coronavirus treatments, the letters announced today address a wider variety of products, including:
- “Corona Virus Immune System Boost COVID-19,” described in ads as providing users with “Advanced Rife Healing Frequencies” developed by “The Man Who Cured Cancer.” The system supposedly uses sound frequencies to penetrate the cells “thousands of times more than chemical information”;
- The “Face Vital Sonic Silicone Facial Brush,” marketed as able to “fight off Coronavirus” by “Ramping Up Your Beauty and Cleansing Regimen,” to keep your hands and face clean;
- “PuraTHRIVE Liposomal Vitamin C,” marketed with claims such as, “…Experts in the field are suggesting that regular dosing of Vitamin C could help to prevent the Coronavirus” and “The Coronavirus can be dramatically slowed or stopped completely with the immediate widespread use of high doses of Vitamin C”; and
- Intravenously (IV) administered solutions with names such as “Immunity Boost” IV drips, the “Myers’ Cocktail IV package,” and “High Dose Vitamin C Plus Immune Booster,” the latter of which was advertised on both Facebook and Instagram.
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 cease making all claims that their products can treat or cure coronavirus.
The letters note that if the false claims do not cease, the Commission 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.
The letters announced today are the latest round of warnings the FTC has sent to sellers of products pitched as able treat or prevent coronavirus. 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.
The FTC worked in coordination with the Office of the Texas Attorney General in issuing the warning letter to Resurgence Medical Spa, LLC, and appreciates its assistance.
The Commission has also sent letters to several Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers, warning them that it is illegal to aid or facilitate the transmission of pre-recorded telemarketing robocalls pitching supposed coronavirus-related products or services.