U.S. FDA warns of false flu protection claims by supplement sellers

Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:13am EST

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Feb 15 (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators have sent letters to nine Internet distributors of dietary supplements warning them against making false claims about their products' ability to fight the flu.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted the letters on its website late Thursday in an effort to steer consumers away from a variety of herbal products that the distributors claim reduce the duration or severity of the flu.

In a letter to a company called Supplementality LLC, for example, FDA said the distributor was improperly offering products intended to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure the flu virus, and demanded the company "immediately cease marketing" in this way.

Products included in the warning include Resveratrol, Garlic, Echinacea, Elderberry, Ashwagandha and Astragalus Immune System Support.

Other companies which received warning letters included Discount Online Pharmacy, Kosher Vitamin Express, Medsnoscript, Oasis Consumer Healthcare LLC, Secure Medical Inc., Sun Drug Store, Vitalmax Vitamins, and University of Berkley, whose marketing of the "Berkley-Body-Immune Flu Prevention product violates the law.

(Reporting By Toni Clarke; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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