(Reuters) – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday issued warning letters to seven companies for selling products that claim to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 caused by the new coronavirus.
The health agency said such products may cause consumers to delay or stop from reaching out for appropriate medical care, leading to serious and life-threatening harm.
“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons.
“What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims.
The FDA and FTC jointly issued https://reut.rs/3cJIiLO warning letters to Vital Silver, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd, Xephyr LLC doing business as N-Ergetics, GuruNanda LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy LLC, and The Jim Bakker Show.
The products cited in these letters are teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver. The FDA had previously warned that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
N-Ergetics and GuruNanda said they have addressed all issues pointed out in the letter.
“Nothing we offer for sale is intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19 in people,” N-Ergetics said.
Herbal Amy LLC, in response to the letter, said it does not sell treatment products, only herbs. It also said it has removed a quote by an herbalist in one of its product descriptions to adhere to the FDA’s requirements.
There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, only investigational COVID-19 vaccines and treatments under development.
The flu-like disease has infected more than 111,600 people in 105 countries and territories and over 3,800 have died, the vast majority in mainland China, according to a Reuters tally.
(Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)