FTC Sends Letters Warning 50 More Marketers to Stop Making Unsupported Claims That Their Products and Therapies Can Effectively Prevent or Treat COVID-19

Range of products targeted grows more obscure as pandemic continues

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission announced it has sent letters warning 50 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 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.

Several of the letters announced today target “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, currently there is no scientific evidence that these, or any, products or services can treat or cure COVID-19.

The FTC sent the letters announced today 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.

Supplements and Chinese Herbal Treatments:

Acupuncture:

Homeopathic Treatments:

Nebulizers:

Ozone and Intravenous (IV) Therapies/Hydrotherapy:

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy and Scalar Frequencies:

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. Last month, the FTC announced its first case against a marketer of such products, Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics.

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. The FTC also recently announced letters targeting general therapy products, supplements, and herbal treatments. The letters sent today went to the marketers of more esoteric products and services, including nebulizers, naturopathic and homeopathic treatments, hydrotherapy, and freeze-dried horse milk.

Additional Contact Information

CONTACT FOR CONSUMERS:
FTC’s Consumer Response Center
877-382-4357

FTC MEDIA CONTACT:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161

FTC STAFF CONTACT:
Richard Cleland
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3088