The US Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to 14 companies selling more than 65 products that, it says, fraudulently claim to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure cancer. The products are marketed and sold without FDA approval, most commonly on websites and social media platforms.
The FDA has requested the companies to respond with details on how the violations will be corrected. Failure to correct the violations promptly may result in legal action, including product seizure, injunction and/or criminal prosecution, the agency warned.
In the past 10 years, the FDA has issued more than 90 warning letters to companies marketing fraudulent products making cancer claims on websites, social media and in stores. Although many of these companies have stopped selling the products or have stopped claiming to have unproven benefits, others have continued trading, some by moving their marketing operations to new websites.
The agency has warned the companies involved that “it is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to market and sell products that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate or cure diseases without first demonstrating to the FDA that they are safe and effective for their labeled uses”.