Legal & Regulation
FTC Sues Whole Leafs Organic Over Claims Its CBD Products Treat Cancer
Done with only sending out warning letters to companies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently sued a wellness company that was making claims that their CBD supplements and products can treat covid-19 and cancer. This comes while the FTC is trying to impede companies from advertising their products as either cancer or COVID-19 treatments, all without having scientific evidence to back these statements up.
Whole Leafs Organic Made Some Serious Claims
It seems the California-based company Whole Leafs Organic claimed its products work both against COVID-19 and cancer, says a federal district court complaint. It advertised its nutritional product supplement Thrive, which contains mostly vitamin C, as able to reduce the risk of getting the new coronavirus. Furthermore, three CBD products of Whole Leaf Organic were advertised as able to destroy cancer cells, CBD-Max, CBD-EX and CBDRX. Earlier this week, the Whole Leafs Organic’s owner, Marc Ching, gave his yes to a preliminary injunction, which barred his company from claiming to make products for the COVID-19 and cancer treatments.
Ching has received in 2019 a warning letter, but from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and regarding the CBD products sold by his company. Tuesday, the FTC said in a blog post that the claims “were sure to attract the interest of cancer patients desperate for a treatment, but Whole Leaf Organics also caught the attention of another group,” referencing the FDA their 2019 letter. “Months later and the company was still making those representations on its website.” The case is set for a hearing in January 2021. Director Andrew Smith of the Bureau of Consumer Protection (FTC) stated that,
“No proof that any product will prevent or treat COVID-19 or that any CBD product will treat cancer.”
“Let’s be clear: companies making these claims can look forward to an FTC lawsuit like this one.”
No Proof for the Claims
The director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, mentioned in a press release there’s no proof that Whole Leafs Organic products can prevent or treat COVID-19, nor that the CBD ones can help treat cancer. The federal court complaint contains the FTC’s approval of a parallel administrative complaint against the same claims. Lately, both the FTC and the FDA have been sending warning letters to companies that say their products treat COVID-19 or other conditions. Even a former NFL player has received a letter of this kind at the beginning of April, seeing his company advertises its CBD products as efficient at preventing and curing the new coronavirus.
What Do Whole Leafs Organics Ads Say?
The latest filing on the Whole Leafs Organics case was first reported by Harris Bricken from the FTC. According to the agency, Thrive is being advertised as able to prevent and reduce the risk of coronavirus, whereas CBD-EX, CBDMax and CBD-RX to treat cancer. The claims are not clinically or scientifically proven. Here’s what Whole Leafs Organics said about CBD-EX in ads:
“Containing clinically tested ingredients, CBD-EX is a dynamic force in anti inflammation protocols, targeting manipulated cells while working to protect healthy ones. Formulated containing Coriolus Versicolor Mushroom, CBD-EX seeks to inhibit the spread of mutated malignant cells, directly attacking the problem.”