On November 1, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to four companies with respect to CBD-related claims made in online stores and on social media websites. The advertising at issue includes phrases like “CBD makes cancer cells commit ‘suicide’ without killing other cells” and “combats tumor and cancer cells.”
In a press announcement, the FDA asserts that the companies are “illegally selling products online that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer without evidence to support these outcomes.”
Selling products that make such claims without substantiation is a violation of the FTC Act and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The FDA has also expressed concern that reliance on the products may cause cancer patients to forego established treatment options.
“We don’t let companies market products that deliberately prey on sick people with baseless claims that their substance can shrink or cure cancer, and we’re not going to look the other way on enforcing these principles when it comes to marijuana-containing products,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Contact an FTC defense attorney if you are interested in the implementation of preventative compliance measures or are the subject of a regulatory investigation.
Richard B. Newman is an Internet marketing compliance and regulatory defense attorney at Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns, representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, commercial litigation, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements. You can find him on Twitter @FTCLawDefense.
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