March 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday issued warning letters to seven companies for selling products that claim to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 caused by the new coronavirus.
The health agency said such products may cause consumers to delay or stop from reaching out for appropriate medical care, leading to serious and life-threatening harm.
“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons.
“What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims.
The FDA and FTC jointly issued reut.rs/3cJIiLO warning letters to Vital Silver, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd, Xephyr LLC doing business as N-Ergetics, GuruNanda LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy LLC, and The Jim Bakker Show.
The products cited in these letters are teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver. The FDA had previously warned that colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
None of the companies immediately responded to Reuters’ request for comment.
There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, only investigational COVID-19 vaccines and treatments under development.
The flu-like disease has infected more than 110,000 people in 105 countries and territories and 3,800 have died, the vast majority in mainland China, according to a Reuters tally. (Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)