The moment that COVID-19 breached the borders of the United States, less than ethical people have tried to make money off the misery of others. However, attempting to generate a fast buck by playing into legitimate fear of a deadly virus has consequences.
The Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced civil enforcement against Andrew Sinclair and his company, B4B Earth Tea LLC. Specific accusations involve violating the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act (passed in December 2020), the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Sinclair is accused of deceptive marketing of an herbal team product called Earth Tea, promoted as “the most effective treatment” for COVID-19. In reality, the tea is nothing more than a drug not approved and in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Advertising claimed that Earth Tea could both prevent and treat COVID-19 as the benefits would take effect within minutes. Those who consumed the product were guaranteed to be out of quarantine within 24 hours of drinking the “miracle elixir.”
They cited a supposed scientific study now deemed without merit to back up their claims.
Sinclair and his company face civil penalties for the alleged unfair and deceptive conduct and practices combined with false advertising accusations. They are also under a permanent injunction that bars them from continuing sales and marketing of Earth Tea.
Believing in the effectiveness of a product such as Sinclair and his company were hyping only delays people testing positive for COVID-19 the necessary treatments that have been proven to be effective. Protecting consumers from a “treatment” that falls short of its promised results not only secures justice but also saves lives.