FTC Sends Wave of Warning Letters to Stop Unsupported Claims Products and Therapies Effectively Prevent or Treat COVID-19

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Many letters target sellers pitching supposed scientific treatments, such as IV and stem cell therapy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission announced it has sent letters warning 35 more marketers nationwide to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

This is the sixth 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 Commission has sent similar letters to more than 160 companies and individuals.

Most of the letters announced this week target “treatments” offered in clinics or medical offices, including intravenous (IV) Vitamin C and D infusions, supposed stem cell therapy, and vitamin injections that may at first glance appear to be based in medicine or proven effective. However, currently there is no scientific evidence that these, or any, products or services can treat or cure COVID-19.

The FTC sent the letters to the companies and individuals listed below. The recipients are grouped based on the type of therapy, product, or service they pitched as preventing or treating COVID-19.

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Intravenous (IV) and Ozone Therapies, Immunity Boosting Injections:

Stem Cell Treatments:

Electromagnetic Field Blocking Patches:

Essential Oils:

  • Cory’s SEOM (Special Essential Oil Mixes) (Escondido, California)

Homeopathic Treatments:

Vitamins, Supplements, Silver, and Chinese Herbal Treatments:

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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 treat or cure 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 Commission may seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring money to be refunded to consumers. In April, the FTC announced its first case against a marketer of such products, Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics.

The FTC worked in coordination with the Office of the Texas Attorney General in issuing the warning letter to Hot Springs Biofeedback, and appreciates its assistance.

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