A Sarnia clinic has received a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop selling unapproved and unauthorized COVID-19 products.
The letter, dated March 6, 2020, to David Raes of Vivify Holistic Clinic at 272 Wellington St., said the FDA and FTC reviewed the Vivify Holistic Facebook page and website, coronavirusdefense.com, in February 2020.
The agencies claimed consumers were being directed to the website to purchase products intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, cure or diagnose COVID-19 in people.
The FDA said the products being offered for sale in the U.S. have not been approved, cleared or authorized and it demanded that sales cease immediately.
In an email to BlackburnnewsSarnia.com, Raes said, "Vivify Holistic Clinic supports the FDA and FTC's mandate to protect the public."
"Their letter had referenced several excerpts of a quote on the website and social media accounts which cited a well-known author and herbalist who created the protocol based on his research and previous experience," said Raes. "These quotes were unfortunately misattributed to Vivify by several in the media. Vivify has removed his quote and all reference to the virus, and instead suggest people read his material if interested in the topic."
Raes said, "the website had multiple disclaimers such as 'information on this site is educational only and not intended to diagnose nor are products sold intended to replace medical treatment. There are no claims made to cure any medical condition. Seek treatment from your doctor.' Additionally, there were no medical claims on the bottles."
Raes said, "Vivify has responded to the COVID-19 Task Force's requests by taking several steps to ensure compliance with the FDA and FTC."
A public Facebook post made by David Raes on January 27, 2020, was still visible Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
In it, Raes said he was "working nonstop to set up the website coronavirusdefense.com."
Information on Mr. Stephen Buhner's treatment formula was also included.
Herbalprotocol.com also includes a disclaimer, stating it is not affiliated with Stephen Buhner and information on the site is educational only and not intended to diagnose.
It also states that the products sold are not intended to replace medical treatment or cure any medical condition.
Users are also encouraged to seek treatment from their doctor.
As of March 9, 2020, the FDA and FTC had issued warning letters to seven companies, mainly in the U.S. The letter to Vivify stated, "There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019."