Companies peddling herbal remedies and other products that protect against Coronavirus are violating the law.
Growing fears about the Coronavirus pandemic have led to a dramatic rise in the sale of fraudulent nutritional supplements that claim to cure or prevent the disease. This phenomenon is not new. The FDA itself has acknowledged that “during emergency situations or outbreaks, fraudulent products claiming to prevent, treat or cure conditions associated with the emergency or outbreak almost always appear for sale.”
Thus, on March 6, 2020 the FDA issued warning letters to several companies selling fake treatments for the coronavirus. The most infamous recipient of the warning letters, televangelist Jim Bakker, marketed a product that would “kill” coronavirus. Bakker’s promotional videos claimed that the product, called “Silver Solution,” had been “tested on other strains of the coronavirus, and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours, totally eliminate it, kills it, deactivates it.” Although these statements were arguably framed to evade false advertising lawsuits from consumers of coronavirus remedies, the statements are still considered unlawful.
Fraudulent claims about Coronavirus remedies are not limited to televangelists. Sellers of herbal products have peddled homeopathic cures to the novel Coronavirus that have no basis in reality. These include Amy Weidner of Herbal Amy, Inc., who claimed without any scientific support that “a number of herbs are strongly antiviral for corona viruses” in order to sell a formulation of various herbs on her website that she claimed were “preventative” of the disease. Other websites have gone farther, selling four different herbal remedies to treat Coronavirus and dangerously stating that if their customers “are infected [with Coronavirus], take all 4 products and use the infection dosage.”
The dangers of marketing herbal products to treat a novel and deadly disease cannot be understated. At worst, consumers without access to medical care may forego medical treatment based on false claims. At minimum, consumers will shell out hard earned money for fake products that will do nothing to keep them safe.
As the pandemic spreads, so too will the opportunities for fraud. In the short time that Coronavirus has impacted daily life, a variety of fake remedies have evolved in products ranging from colloidal silver, ionic silver, herbal teas, and even essential oils like eucalyptus, all claiming they can cure or treat Coronavirus.
If you have purchased any products that claim to cure or prevent Coronavirus and believe you have been misled, contact us. Our false advertising attorneys can help investigate claims against unethical and immoral companies capitalizing on the Coronavirus crisis for their own financial benefit at the expense of the public.