The letters of the law: 35 more companies warned about questionable COVID claims

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FTC staff sent the latest round of warning letters to 35 businesses alleged to have made unsubstantiated coronavirus prevention or treatment claims. What they sold diverges widely – IV vitamin treatments, products containing silver, patches purporting to block electromagnetic radiation, etc. – but they have one thing in common: According to the FTC, their claims aren’t supported by sound science. Here are the companies that received the letters.

Arizona Natural Medicine Physicians.  On a webpage titled Coronavirus: Supplements, Herbs & Homeopathic Remedies, the office claimed to offer “homeopathic injections such as Engystol which helps support immune function and prevent infection.”

Bixa Human.  On its website, the company pitched products it sold – including BioBija Complex and Victoria T3 – as “the best way to boost your immunity and protect yourself from the coronavirus.”

Bodhi Glyphix.  In Facebook posts, the New York business promoted the sale of products it sold by stating, “Our Silver Biotic Formula is patented and has studies showing it’s effective against covid viruses.”

Brexo Bio.  The California company claimed on YouTube and Facebook that its stem cell treatments “can be administered intravenously and by inhalation through a nebulizer to treat lung damage caused by COVID-19 . . . .”

Cho Acupuncture.  For consumers who are “[e]xperiencing respiratory problems (Coronavirus) and need treatment,” the Georgia business claimed to “provide herbal medicine that will help with this virus. There are now several case studies that are being treated by the herbal medicine in China. These cases have had great success in getting over the virus.”

Cory’s SEOM.  In promoting a product called Virus Killer, the California business stated, “One of the essential oils in our mix has already been proven in medical testing to kill the SARS virus, which is a subset of the Corona Virus. We believe that, due to the similarities in viruses, there is an excellent chance that our products will also be very effective at killing the Covid-19 virus.”

Doll House Med Spa and Clinic.  In response to the question How can ozone therapy help with COVID-19?, the San Antonio clinic – which offers those services and others – claimed it “block[s] the virus’ ability to replicate by balancing the cellular redox state” and “improves oxygenation to prevent scarring of the lungs and protect vital organs from viral damage.”

Dramov Naturopathic Medical Center.  From a homepage hyperlink labeled COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION, the Oregon company took consumers to a retail website promoting “Viral Immune Support” supplements.

Dr. Don Colbert.  In marketing materials titled Dr. Colbert’s Keys to Avoid COVID-19 (Corona Virus), the Texas doctor sold “Supplemental Options for Prevention,” including Divine Health Green Supreme Food and Divine Health Multivitamin.

Dr. Eric Nepute.  In a Facebook Live discussion of coronavirus, Missouri-based chiropractor Dr. Nepute stated, ““Guess who’s not sick. My patients. Guess why? Cause they’ve been getting vitamin IVs for months, weeks, or years. Guess what else is not going to happen to them? They’re not going to have other problems. Why? Because they’ve been getting adjusted regularly, because adjustments help improve the nervous system, which helps improve the immune system. Period.”

East Valley Naturopathic.  In advertising its services, the Arizona office stated, “to treat pneumonia and hyper inflammation caused by COVID-19, vitamin C has been given at high doses,” both orally and as an IV.

Enliven.  On a Facebook post titled Coronavirus: Is High-Dose Vitamin C the Answer?, the Texas company pitched products it sold by stating, “With even modest amounts of supplemental vitamin C, deaths will decrease. In a study, modest amounts of supplemental vitamin C (200 mg of vitamin C per day) resulted in an 80% decrease in deaths among severely ill, hospitalized respiratory disease patients.”

Evergreen Naturopathic.  Based in Spokane, the office claimed on its Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ page, “[W]e offer our patients personalized herbal tinctures to directly confront the viral infections that are most prevalent throughout the year while strengthening and supporting both the immune system and the sensitive tissues that are most susceptible to these infections.”

The Feed.  The Boulder, Colorado, company promoted products it sold, including Ortho Molecular D/K2 (Vitamin D) and Quicksilver Vitamin C, on its website and in Facebook ads. For example, one ad included a graph that showed a “98.9% death rate” for coronavirus for people deficient in Vitamin D vs. a “4.1% death rate” for people with normal Vitamin D levels.

GlyCop Co-op.  In marketing materials titled Coronavirus Research, the co-op claimed, “The bottom line for strengthening the immune system to fight the CV [coronavirus]” is to ingest large amounts of Vitamin C – which the Boise business sells.

Gonino Center for Healing.  For consumers concerned about COVID-19, the Texas office promoted IV Ozone therapy, IV Vitamin C therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Quercetin, and other products and services it sells. According to a Facebook post, “I wanted to share a quick update on the #Coronavirus scare. . . . If I become infected, besides bedrest, fluids, and prayer, my plan will be iv ozone morning and afternoon on days 1 and 3, iv Vitamin C on days 2 and 4.”

Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat.  On a page titled COVID-19 Testing and Prevention, the Hilo, Hawaii, business offered “immune boosting packages to help you protect yourself against the coronavirus. . . .” Those included both “Antiviral Supplements Drop Shipped Directly to You” and a variety of IV treatments, injections, an infrared sauna, and “colonics with probiotics.”

Health Associates Medical Group.  In marketing materials titled Important Covid 19 Information to Prevent and Possibly Treat This Virus, the Sacramento office promoted its services by stating that “[i]ntraveous Vitamin C was used by the Chinese as part of their protocol to improve tissue oxygenation and prevent the ‘Cytokine storm’ in Covid 19 patients.”

Hot Springs BioFeedback.  Under the heading “Diagnosed with COVID-19? I’ve got the answer! I’m in total recovery!,” the Texarkana, Texas, business recommended products containing silver. According to the company, silver “binds to the DNA of the virus-cell, preventing it from multiplying” and “prevent[s] the transfer of the virus from one person to another by blocking the ability of the virus to find a host cell to feed on.”

Innovation Compounding.  In marketing materials titled Coronavirus: Is High-Dose Vitamin C the Answer?, the Georgia company promoted its Vitamin C infusions by stating, “China is conducting a clinical trial of 24,000 mg/day of intravenous vitamin C to treat patients with coronavirus and severe respiratory complications. . . .”

Julie E. Health.  The Redondo Beach, California, business promoted its Corona Virus Prevention and Treatment Kit, which included EMF (electromagnetic radiation) Blocking Patches and supplements. According to the company, the kit is “your first line of defense nutritionally speaking to prevent the corona virus.”

KimberTouch Technologies.  In online marketing materials titled Professionals Are Here – Real Protocol for Coronavirus, the company promoted an “anti-viral protocol” consisting of Vitamin C, silver, silver nasal wash, and oxygen.

Love Acupuncture.  In promoting products as “Alternative treatments for COVID-19 (coronavirus),” the Oregon business stated, “[T]he Chinese government distributed Chinese herbal medicine to everyone with covid-19 in the hospital” and “yielded a 94% improvement rate . . . .” The company added, “While we are not allowed to say these herbs treat COVID-19[,] what we can tell you is that these preventative formulas are being used in China and the reports are showing a positive difference.”

Natural Health 365.  In marketing materials titled Consider Vitamin C for acute respiratory distress syndrome from COVID-19, Medical Journal says, the Florida company promoted its products by claiming “Doctors recommend high dose vitamin C as potential treatment for COVID-19 sufferers, backed by decades of scientific research” and “High-dose glutathione shows promise in addressing respiratory distress in patients with COVID-19.”

Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor.  The office featured a video titled Immune Supplement Bundles that stated, “In the last few weeks and months, there’s a very scary virus that everybody’s talking about. And in the medical research, I have found at least twenty different nutrients, herbs, and vitamins that kill this virus.” The video promoted a variety of products sold by the Center, including ones called The Guard Dog package and The Sheriff.

Organic Hawaii, LLC.  Using affiliate marketing links, the Honolulu business advertised “Best Natural Supplements, Vitamins, and Minerals to boost the immune system and help protect against COVID-19 coronavirus,” and linked to websites selling – among other things – liposomal Vitamin C, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, elderberry syrup, and mushrooms.

Post Falls Naturopathic Clinic.  The Idaho business said it has used “energetic signatures of the Coronavirus and influenza” to create Covid-19 & Flu Immune Booster, “a new homeopathic remedy to boost your immune system” and provide general immune support for colds, flu and the Coronavirus.

Pure Prescriptions, Inc.  The California company urged consumers to “Do This to Help Lower Your Risk of Getting Coronavirus!” Among its recommendations was “supplementing with NewGreens,” a product for sale in its online store.

Renaissance Health Centre. To promote its products and services, the Las Vegas clinic claimed that “homeopaths [in China] report that the symptoms of people who get the Coronavirus point towards” the use of Gelsemium, Bryonia, Eupatorium Perf., and Thymulin 9C. The clinic also touted its intravenous hydrogen peroxide and ozone therapies.

Restore Med Clinic.  In an Instagram post titled COVID-19 What should you be doing to optimize your health?, the clinic included a list of vitamins, but added, “Over the counter supplements and herbs are both convenient and easy, yet for a more effective protection,” it recommended “High-dose Vitamin C IV Therapy,” including “COVID-19 Immunity Boost” IV drips available at the clinic.

Revival Hydration.  The San Francisco company promoted its IV vitamin therapy services by stating, “Keep Corona out with our Immunity treatment! . . . Our immunity treatment utilizes the most powerful immunity-strengthening supplements on the market.” According to the company, its treatment “Expedites Recovery exponentially” and “Makes you feel grateful your suffering period is cut in half at a minimum.”

Sage Integrative Medicine Clinic. On a webpage titled Coronavirus Updates: Clinic News & Immune Support Tips, the Edmonds, Washington, clinic promoted its “High-dose IV Vitamin C.” It made similar recommendations on a page with the heading Coronavirus: The Top Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Family.

Tulsa Chiropractic Rehab.  In promoting treatments it sold, the Oklahoma office claimed, “Certain vitamins and supplements are proving effective in the fight against coronavirus: particularly vitamin D, vitamin C, and Zinc!”

Utopia Silver.  In discussing products it sold, the Utopia, Texas-based company said, “If you’re actually fighting a cold or influenza OR corona-virus, you may need 10,000-20,000 [of Vitamin C] a short period of time along with a colloidal silver supplement.”

Vero Clinics.  Next to a photo of products it sells, the Decatur, Illinois, clinic stated, “I know there’s a lot of anxiety and confusion regarding the recent pandemic that we’re all experiencing. I just want to make everyone aware there a number of immune-boosting modalities offered here at Vero Clinics. These include IV nutrition, high dose Vitamin C, IV silver, IV ozone, peptides, et cetera.”

Like the dozens of other warning letters the FTC has sent, these letters remind businesses that no study is currently known to exist that substantiates their COVID-19 claims. Therefore, they “must immediately cease making all such claims.” FTC staff expects to hear from back from them within 48 hours, describing what they’re doing to address these concerns.

 

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