FDA Targets Peddlers of Natural Remedies Touted as Virus Aids

April 28, 2020, 5:49 PM

Two companies marketing essential and botanical oils as treatments for the coronavirus are drawing scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA issued warning letters Tuesday to Hopewell Essential Oils and Santiste Labs LLC over claims on their websites that their products bolster the body’s immune system against the coronavirus or alleviate symptoms of Covid-19.

The FDA has been taking “urgent measures” during the pandemic to protect consumers from products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure the disease, according to the letters. The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission also have taken steps to stop coronavirus scams.

Hopewell sells essential oils and herbal products it claims are “noted to help support our immune response,” the FDA alleged.

Santiste sells a transdermal patch containing botanical oils it claims can “boost your immune system and provide antiviral support all day, using all-natural ingredients,” according to the agency.

The companies have been making those claims in relation to the coronavirus without FDA approval, according to the letters.

Hopewell and Santiste have 48 hours to tell the agency how they intend to correct the violations.

Representatives for the companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Brown in St. Louis at ChrisBrown@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com; Alexis Kramer at akramer@bloomberglaw.com

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