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FTC sends warning to Claremore company over coronavirus treatment ads

Posted at 9:55 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 10:28:52-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on companies it said are spreading false information about coronavirus treatments, including a Claremore company.

The FTC sent a letter to Vibrant Life Oklahoma saying it's making unsupported claims that IV ultraviolet light therapy can cure COVID-19.

Vibrant Life Oklahoma is one of more than 330 other sellers and marketers around the country receiving these letters from the FTC. The letter called for the removal of multiple Facebook posts from March through August where the company claimed to have a treatment to cure COVID.

Vibrant Life markets itself as an alternative and holistic health service that will care for you at home using a variety of treatments, including IV ultraviolet light therapy. And this is where it's getting in trouble with the FTC.

In a letter sent to Vibrant Life owner, Dr. James Warren on Oct. 13, the FTC said it’s unlawfully advertising that certain products and services prevent or treat coronavirus.

Of the eight Facebook posts listed in the letter, seven have been taken down.

According to the FTC, four of those Facebook posts shared a different post from Weber Medical, a German company that sells medical laser technology. The letter said each of these posts makes claims about UV light therapy as an effective treatment against coronavirus.

The FTC claims another post linked a Newsweek article about Russia developing a COVID treatment using UV light from inside and said, “We already performed this technology.”

The letter said two other posts from March and April both marketed Vitamin C infusions. One post said it was being used to treat COVID-19 patients in the U.S. The other said it would boost a person’s immune system, especially the 65-and-older at-risk population.

The FTC letter said the eighth post, which remains on Vibrant Life’s Facebook page, contained comments from Dr. Warren with links to videos saying UV light therapy can cure coronavirus. Those comments appear to have been deleted.

At the end of its letter, the FTC said:

It is unlawful under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq., to advertise that a product or service can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless you possess competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they are made. For COVID-19, no
such study is currently known to exist for the products and services identified above. Thus, any coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding such products and services are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. You must immediately cease making all such claims.
Serena Viswanathan, Acting Associate Director Division of Advertising Practices, FTC

2 Works for You called, texted, emailed and sent Facebook messages to Vibrant Life to comment on this story, but are still waiting to hear back.

You can view the FTC letter here.

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