The Federal Trade Commission and Federal Drug Administration took action by sending warning letters to several companies for allegedly selling products using deceptive or unsupported scientific claims about the products’ ability to treat the SARS strand of COVID-19 known as coronavirus.
Last week, warning letters were sent to companies advertising products such as teas, essential oils, herbs and colloidal silver. Colloidal Vitality, Quinessence Aromatherapy, N-ergetics, GuruNanda, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy, and The Jim Bakker Show are among those companies, according to Lewis Rice law firm in St. Louis.
Perhaps the most hillarious part? Two federal agencies have issued an official warning to televangelist Jim Bakker after he was caught selling products that claim to cure coronavirus. The Jim Bakker Show was among seven companies singled out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission for selling a phony potion, “Silver Solution,” which they claim can “eliminate” the COVID-19 virus.
In an official statement, the FDA noted that it had reviewed the Jim Bakker Show website and found it was in breach of federal rules on the sale of unapproved products. “The FDA has determined that your website offers products labeled to contain silver, such as “Silver Sol Liquid,” for sale in the United States and that these products are intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.”
Under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq., it’s illegal to market a product as one that can prevent, treat, or cure human disease without reliable scientific evidence. The letters demand recipients to cease making claims that their products can treat or cure coronavirus.
The FTC can pursue a variety of civil and criminal remedies, Carey explains. In terms of criminal remedies, any person or company that violates Section 52(a) of the FTC Act, the dissemination of false advertisements, may be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
The federal action comes a week after New York’s Attorney General Letitia James issued a cease-and-desist letter to Bakker regarding the sale of the substance.
Bakker, 80, has yet to comment on the controversy.