The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday it is continuing to issue warnings to marketers in Southern California and elsewhere to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent the coronavirus.
This is the fifth 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 120 companies and individuals nationwide.
Last month, the FTC announced its first case against a marketer of such products, Marc Ching, doing business as the Sherman Oaks supplements company, Whole Leaf Organics.
Several of the letters target alleged treatments, including Chinese herbal medications, music therapy, ozone therapy, and shields claimed to boost the immune system by protecting the wearer from electromagnetic fields. However, there is no scientific evidence that these, or any products or services can treat or cure COVID-19.
According to the FTC, letters were sent to the following companies for allegedly pitching Chinese herbal supplements, acupuncture or vascular circulation enhancement to treat or prevent the coronavirus:
— Biogetica, Culver City;
— Mind & Body Acupuncture, Los Angeles;
— Mulberry Leaf Acupuncture and Herbs, Studio City;
— Puredia, Irvine;
— Art of Wellness Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles; and
— LotusRain Naturopathic Clinic, San Diego.
In the letters, the FTC states that one or more of the claims 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.
The FTC previously sent warning letters to sellers of vitamins, herbs, colloidal silver, teas, essential oils, and other products pitched as scientifically proven COVID-19 treatments or preventatives.
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