Feds file first case under new COVID-19 protection law

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WASHINGTON (WWLP) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are charging a chiropractor for making false claims about supplements that can treat COVID-19.

This is the first action under the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act that makes it unlawful “for any person, partnership, or corporation to engage in a deceptive act or practice in or affecting commerce associated with the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, or diagnosis of COVID–19 or a government benefit related to COVID–19.” The complaint was filed by the DOJ on behalf of the FTC.

Chiropractor Eric Anthony Nepute and his company Quickwork LLC, located in St. Louis, are being charged with marketing vitamin D and zinc products as proven immunity boosters that can treat or prevent COVID-19. They also claim that the products are equal to or more effective than COVID-19 vaccines. According to the complaint, Nepute and Quickwork have no scientific evidence to support their claims.

Scams involving COVID-19 prevention, treatment or cures have been on the increase since the onset of the outbreak in 2020. Some of the items include dietary supplements and foods, and products claiming to be tests, drugs, medical devices, or vaccines.  The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and FTC have issued warning letters to companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products.

Visit CDC.gov and the FDA.gov for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and available vaccines.

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