FDA warns hand sanitzer manufacturers over MRSA claims

Skeptical that those nearly-ubiquitous dispensers of skin-stinging hand sanitizer do very much more than find cuts on your hand you didn’t know you had and dry your skin out?

The FDA has taken hand sanitizer manufacturers to task over claims the products are proven to kill the scary superbug MRSA. MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacterial infection against which many antibiotics are ineffective. In addition to MRSA prevention, some of the companies claimed their products killed over 99% of H1N1 germs and E.coli.

The FDA says it’s calling the companies out for potentially luring consumers into a false sense of security over the products’ abilities. In a letter, the agency warned one of the four brands:

“We are not aware of sufficient evidence that shows Staphaseptic First Aid Antiseptic/Pain Relieving Gel is generally recognized as safe and effective for the uses noted above,” the letter said. “In particular, we are not aware of evidence that this product is safe and effective in preventing individuals from becoming infected by Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus or Streptococcus.”

The companies were given 15 days to comply with the labeling requirements.