FTC and FDA Send Warning Letters to Companies Selling Dietary Supplements Claiming to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease and Remediate or Cure Other Serious Illnesses Such as Parkinson’s, Heart Disease, and Cancer
As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure that dietary supplements and other health-related products are advertised truthfully, and that efficacy claims made for such products are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence, the Federal Trade Commission has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in sending three warning letters to companies based in Florida, South Carolina, and New Mexico.
As detailed in the letters sent to Gold Crown Natural Products, TEK Naturals, and Pure Nootropics, LLC, the Commission has reviewed the companies’ advertisements and believes they may violate the FTC Act by making false or unsubstantiated health claims. Specifically, the FTC is warning about advertisements claiming to treat Alzheimer’s and remediate or cure other serious illnesses including Parkinson’s, heart disease, and cancer.
For example, the letter to Gold Crown Natural Products questions claims made for its Melatonin supplements and three other supplements. Among others, the FTC questions the claim, “Many experiments have been conducted on this and it is proved that melatonin supplements are used to cure Alzheimer’s disease.”
The letter sent to TEK Naturals identifies health claims made for five products, including Mind IgniteTM , which is advertised as “[c]linically shown to help diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s and even dementia.” Other products claimed to treat or prevent some forms of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, human papilloma virus, and kidney stones, among others.
The letter to Pure Nootropics, LLC warns about claims for seven supplements, including Alpha GPC, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail Mushroom Powder, that claim benefits for dementia, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, among others.
The joint FTC/FDA letters instruct the companies to contact the FTC within 15 days regarding actions taken to address the agency’s concerns. The FTC can bring civil enforcement actions against companies deceptively promoting, marketing, or selling health-related products and seek monetary redress for consumers.
The FDA/FTC sent the warning letters on February 5, 2019. (The staff contact is Richard Cleland, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3088.)
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