Fusion Health and Vitality, based in Alpharetta, is accused of telling its customers that its vitamin D supplement, Immune Shot, would reduce the risk of contracting the illness derived from the novel coronavirus by 50 percent. Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the product, sold through various websites for $19 per bottle, was marketed to people 50 years of age and older.
Back in May, the FDA warned the company that its advertising of this and a similar product made false and/or misleading claims about the product's usefulness in preventing the coronavirus. Indeed, the agency even posted its warning to the company on its own website.
"The FDA observed that your websites offered 'CORE' and 'IMMUNE SHOT' products for sale in the United States and that these products were intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people. Based on our review, these products were unapproved new drugs sold in violation of section 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act," the agency warned, noting further that it has been steadfast in trying to prevent unscrupulous people from preying on consumers willing to risk unproven treatments in order to stave off the pandemic.
In a statement, the company admitted that it had been contacted by the regulatory agency about the issue and, in response, removed the offending statement "almost immediately." That was followed by talks between the company and the agency about what laws, if any, were broken.
"After these long talks, both sides agreed that it is best if the company and its owner resolve this issue in court," the statement said.
U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine said that the federal government is committed to making sure that companies do not prey on people's fears and use the pandemic "in order to unlawfully make a buck."
This is not the first time that an unproven substance or even an outright dangerous one has been peddled to an unsuspecting public worried about the COVID-19 pandemic.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, four Florida men were charged with multiple criminal counts earlier this year for allegedly selling a "miracle cure" for just about everything — including acne and COVID-19, among other things — as "water purification drops." Those drops were actually chlorine dioxide, or industrial bleach.