AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Federal Trade Commission, sent warning letters to seven companies selling fraudulent COVID-19 products, the groups announced Monday.
“The FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health,” said Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., FDA commissioner.
“We have an aggressive surveillance program that routinely monitors online sources for health fraud products, especially during a significant public health issue such as this one,” Hahn said.
The FDA and FTC jointed issues warning letters to Vital Silver, Quinessance Aromatherapy Ltd., Xephyr, LLC doing business as N-Ergetics, GuruNanda, LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy LLC and The Jim Bakker Show.
The agencies say the products cited in the letters are teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver. The FDA has previously warned that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, the agencies say.
“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” FTC chairman Joe Simons said. “What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims.”
Simons said the warnings are just “the first step.”
The agencies are requiring the companies in question to respond with specific steps they have taken to correct the violations within 48 hours.