Federal Trade Commission sues marketer over bogus COVID-19 treatment plan | Opinion – Commercial Appeal

Randy Hutchinson
  • Randy Hutchinson is the president of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South. Reach the BBB at 800-222-8754.

I wrote several earlier columns about a series of warning letters the FTC and FDA sent to companies making unsubstantiated claims that their products could prevent or treat COVID-19. The FTC’s most recent batch of 30 letters brings the total to more than 250.

Many of the latest letters concern the kinds of products the agency has challenged before, including intravenous Vitamin C infusions, stem cell treatments, CBD products, and oils and herbs. Some of the new ones are silly. For example, wouldn’t it be wonderful if licorice and coconut oil could protect you from COVID-19?

A few sound a bit more plausible, such as oxygen therapies, pulsed electromagnetic field devices, and infrared lamps and saunas.

One company claimed that breathing its “Vital Ion Edible Oxygen” and letting it “drain down your throat” would keep you from contracting the virus. Another company said the heat from infrared sauna treatments would kill the virus in people infected with it.

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Most of the companies that get a warning letter from the FTC and FDA cease and desist making the unsubstantiated claims. But a California company didn’t and now the FTC has sued them.

The FTC sent Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical a warning letter on April 29th and filed suit against the company, a related company, and its principals in July. The agency thanked the BBB in Fresno, California, for its assistance with the investigation.

Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical and related company Golden Sunrise Pharmaceutical sold “plans of care” they claim can treat COVID-19. They said, “Physicians have observed that using Emergency D-Virus Plan of Care provokes a significant response, i.e., a reduction in symptoms of patients with the COVID-19 virus.” They also said, “WHO and CDC don’t want to use it because it is not in vaccine form but an oral formula.” The treatment plan cost $23,000.