[T]he FDA has issued more than 90 warning letters about fraudulent products claiming to prevent or cure the disease. While the bulk of those letters are to companies, a handful are directed at health care professionals.
It’s no surprise that a crisis like the pandemic brings out outlandish claims, especially for dietary supplements, says [president and executive director of the Center for Science] Peter Lurie, MD… “Assume the worst,” he says. “Anybody who is making a [COVID-19] claim that appears too good to be true probably is too good to be true. If a product is good, do you think someone wouldn’t have applied to the FDA for approval? There’s too much money to be made; why hide it?”
In recent testimony before a Senate subcommittee, CSPI Policy Director Laura MacCleery urged the FDA and FTC to bring enforcement proceedings against Joseph Mercola, DO, an osteopathic doctor. The website Mercola.com lists 22 vitamins, supplements, and other products for sale that claim to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19 infections.
“On a recent episode of Mercola’s podcast, he actually advises consumers to take the immunity-boosting supplements he sells and then attempt to contract the COVID-19 virus deliberately because his supplements will allegedly reduce their symptoms. Even with all my experience investigating supplement scams, this reckless self-promotion and endangerment of the public took my breath away,” MacCleery told the lawmakers.