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FDA and FTC issues warnings to companies claiming coronavirus cures

The White House Coronavirus Task Force announced on Monday that American should avoid gatherings of more than 10, and to avoid schools and restaurants. (Getty Images)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, have issued warnings to a number of companies fraudulently selling products they claim have coronavirus cures.

The letter from both agencies released Monday focused on a number of products including essential oils, tinctures, teas and colloidal silver. The FDA restated that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.

“The FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “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.”

The FDA and FTC issued 7 warnings to  Vital SilverQuinessence Aromatherapy Ltd.Xephyr, LLC doing business as N-ErgeticsGuruNanda, LLCVivify Holistic ClinicHerbal Amy LLC, and televangelist Jim Bakker.

“We understand consumers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and urge them to talk to their health care providers, as well as follow advice from other federal agencies about how to prevent the spread of this illness. We will continue to aggressively pursue those that place the public health at risk and hold bad actors accountable.”

Coronavirus Cures

There are currently no vaccines or drugs that have been approved by the FDA to treat or prevent COVID-19 the agency reiterated in its release.

They warn consumers to be wary of any claims from any person or product claiming to, “prevent, mitigate, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19.”

Products that claim to cure, mitigate, treat, diagnose or prevent disease, but are not proven safe and effective for those purposes, defraud consumers of money and can place consumers at risk for serious harm. Using these products may lead to delays in getting proper diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 and other potentially serious diseases and conditions.

“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” Simons said. “What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims.”