July 2, 2022

Justice Department Targets Deceptive Marketing of COVID 19 Herbal Teas

The U.S. Justice Department is targeting deceptive marketing practices of herbal tea products that are advertised as COVID 19 treatments. B4B Earth Tea LLC allegedly violated the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, the FTC Act, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) according to the complaint.

Justice Department Targets Deceptive Marketing of COVID 19 Herbal Teas

A complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The defendants allegedly advertised that their herbal tea product, Earth Tea, could prevent or treat COVID 19, without competent or reliable scientific evidence to support these claims. In addition, the defendants allegedly made deceptive statements about a scientific study to support their unproven claims.

The complaint also alleges that Earth Tea is an unapproved new drug that the defendants are selling in violation of the FDCA. This complaint seeks civil penalties and other available relief, as well as an injunction to stop the defendants from continuing their “unlawful marketing and sales of Earth Tea.”

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, said in a statement, “The Department of Justice will not tolerate individuals or companies seeking to profit from the COVID-19 public health emergency by unlawfully advertising unproven products. The department is committed to protecting consumers and enforcing the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act and the FDCA against those who unlawfully market unproven COVID-19 treatments.”

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York added, “COVID-19 has tragically claimed nearly one million lives in this country and close to six million lives worldwide. Unfortunately, there are too many people who are taking advantage of this crisis by pushing alleged treatment products that are nothing more than snake oil. We will not tolerate attempts to make a dishonest dollar while putting our communities at risk during a pandemic.”

The COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act was passed by Congress in December 2020. It prohibits deceptive ads or practices associated with the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, or diagnosis of COVID-19.

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