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Hucksters Selling 'Vaccine-Detox' Snake Oil Must Be Held Accountable

Unscrupulous snake oil peddlers are taking advantage of the misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines by selling homeopathic products that falsely promise to reverse the effects of vaccinations and claim to treat underlying diseases. The Center for Inquiry is calling upon federal authorities to protect American consumers from these dangerous frauds that are readily advertising through sites like Google and Amazon.

The Center for Inquiry (CFI), an organization that promotes reason and science over superstition and pseudoscience, has alerted the Federal Trade Commission about the predatory practices of companies that target vulnerable consumers. In a letter to the FTC, CFI urged the agency to use its power under the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act to take action against the advertisers and sellers of so-called "homeopathic vaccine detoxification" products.

"As Americans continue to struggle with coordinated misinformation campaigns designed to frighten and confuse them, the free pass for homeopathy hucksters must end," said Aaron D. Green, CFI staff counsel. "Scammers that sell fake medicine to those in need are callously exploiting the uninformed. But this is about more than lost money - it's about preventing lost lives."

CFI has identified a particular homeopathic product sold by Liddell Laboratories, an oral spray marketed as a "vaccine detox," advertisements for which appear when searching Google for "how to undo a vaccine." The product's label declares, without evidence, that it "counters the ill-effects of vaccines" such as fever, pain, swelling, and fatigue.

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While there is no reliable evidence that homeopathic products have a benefit greater than a simple placebo, the untested ingredients are far more dangerous than a sugar pill. The "detox" product sold by Liddell Laboratories lists among its ingredients "Morbillinum," better known as the measles virus; "Natrum Muriaticum," or table salt; and the tree from which "Thuja Occidentalis" is derived contains thujone: a neurotoxic, genotoxic and carcinogenic abortifacient.

"The uncontrolled trade of pseudoscientific remedies extends beyond damage to the individual victims," writes CFI in its letter to the FTC. "Misinformation dissuades patients from seeking evidence-based treatments, while deception and fraud induce the purchase of worthless products. Compounding financial harm from the initial purchase, the patient forgoes science-based, effective treatment while also introducing unknown, untested, and seemingly unregulated substances into their bodies."

"Federal authorities empowered to protect consumers from these harms must step up and end this fraud and abuse," said Green. "In the midst of a resurgent pandemic and an out-of-control storm of misinformation, there is not a moment to lose."

The Center for Inquiry is currently engaged in two consumer-protection lawsuits against retailers Walmart and CVS for misrepresenting homeopathy's safety and efficacy by selling homeopathic products right alongside real, evidence-based medicine on its shelves and its online store, with no distinction made between them, under signs indicating them as treatments for particular ailments.

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See also: Homeopathy Supplement Peddler's Despicable Anti-Vaccine Goldmine.

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Previously:

* Dear Pharmacists: Stop Selling Snake Oil.

* More Homeopathy Hokum.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on August 26, 2021


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