FTC Sues Marketer Over False COVID-19 Claims

Advertising Law

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued a California-based company named Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical, Inc., and some of its officers, alleging that the company is falsely marketing its Emergency D-Virus plan as a treatment for COVID-19.

The complaint, filed in federal court in California, alleges that in advertising on billboards, websites and social media, Golden Sunrise falsely claims that its supplements—ImunStem, Aktiffvate and AnterFeerons—are “uniquely qualified to treat and modify the course of the Coronavirus epidemic in CHINA and other countries,” and that users can expect the “disappearance of viral symptoms within two to four days.”

The FTC sent Golden Sunrise a letter in April 2020, warning that it should immediately remove all advertising claims that the products could prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. However, Golden Sunrise continued to market the plan as a COVID-19 treatment, the FTC alleged.

“We warned the defendants not to falsely market their product as an effective treatment for COVID-19, but they didn’t stop,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “As this case makes clear, the FTC is prepared to sue companies that continue to make deceptive health claims about COVID-19 or other serious diseases.”

The FTC stated that the company’s treatments, which can cost as much as $200,000, are “comprised mainly of various herbs and spices” and that the company’s health claims are unsubstantiated.

The FTC’s announcement of its lawsuit is here.

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