Marketers warned not to make unsupported claims about COVID-19 products

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MURRIETA (CNS) – The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it has sent letters to nearly four dozen marketers nationwide, including one based in Riverside County, warning them to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19.

Vaniman Manufacturing Co. in Murrieta, which according to its online profile manufactures products for the dental, industrial and jewelry industries, was one of three companies to receive letters from the FTC involving air purifier/sanitzer and water filter products.

Others letters targeted “treatments,” including Chinese herbal medications, music therapy, homeopathic treatments and shields claimed to boost the immune system by protecting the wearer from electromagnetic fields, according to the FTC.

A previous round of letters were sent to sellers of vitamins, herbs, colloidal silver, teas, essential oils and other products pitched as scientifically proven coronavirus treatments or preventatives, according to the FTC.

In all, letters have been sent to nearly 100 companies and individuals in the FTC’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from coronavirus-related scams, according to an agency statement.

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.