A company that claimed listening to certain musical frequencies would “weaken” the coronavirus is one of 45 businesses that the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to Thursday, demanding that the companies stop making allegedly false claims about coronavirus treatments.
Musical Medicine, a musical therapy company, claimed that listening to the “bare frequencies” on its “Coronavirus Program CD” for 25 minutes would “assist in boosting your immune system and weakening the virus,” the FTC said in a warning letter to the company.
Musical Medicine’s Coronavirus Program CD was still listed for sale on the company’s website as of Thursday afternoon, at $5.99 for a hard copy or $1.99 for a digital version. (Musical Medicine did not respond to MarketWatch’s request for a comment.)
In addition to Musical Medicine, 44 marketers received warnings from the FTC on Thursday telling them to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can effectively prevent or treat COVID-19.
The companies included A Center for Natural Healing, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based Chinese medicine therapy practice, which the FTC ordered to remove claims such as “Western treatments have no actual benefit in reducing viral replication within the body; a role that Chinese herbal medicine has proven to provide to a great extent.”
The company has since removed those types of claims from its website. However there is still a “Coronvirus Prevention Plan” post on its site, which urges consumers to take “regular supplements to boost your immunity and support respiratory health, including specific Chinese Herbal formulas, Vitamin C, Zinc and probiotics.” (A Center for Natural Healing did not respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment.)
The FTC said it has sent out four sets of warning letters to companies urging them to stop making allegedly “deceptive and scientifically unsupported” claims about products they’re marketing as coronavirus treatments.
The letters noted that if the companies don’t stop making the allegedly false claims, the FTC “may seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring money to be refunded to consumers.”
In early March, the FTC and the Food and Drug Administration began by reaching out to seven companies to stop selling allegedly “fraudulent” products in warning letters, including one to the televangelist Jim Bakker.
“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons on March 9. “What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. These warning letters are just the first step. We’re prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.”
In total the FTC says it has sent out more than 100 warning letters to individuals and companies that allegedly make false claims.