EcoWaste warns public against false ads of ‘virus blockers’

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - CDN Digital | September 15,2020 - 03:30 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — An environmental health group has cautioned consumers against misleading and false advertisements of virus blocking products rampantly sold in online shopping platforms amid the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

EcoWaste, in an emailed statement, said it had notified the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday, September 14, 2020, about the proliferation of virus blocker products in online shopping sites.

Among the false advertisements that the group noted from its monitoring on online shopping sites monitoring were claims of the products’ ability to neutralize viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens up to 99 percent; the suitability of the product’s use for all ages; and that the products are approved by the FDA International.

FDA International is a non-existent organization or agency as each country has its own FDA.

“Our monitoring of online shopping sites over the weekend shows the unchecked marketing and promotion of disinfection or sterilization cards containing chlorine dioxide with misleading health claims,” EcoWaste Chemical Safety Campaigner Thony Dizon said.

Among those advertised as devices to deter the spread of COVID-19 are disinfection or sterilization cards, or virus blockers that are claimed to be to be “made in Japan.” These devices which are worn on the neck claim to release chlorine dioxide “to repel or kill viruses, bacteria, fungi, and others by releasing chlorine dioxide for 30 to 45 days.”

Read: FDA cautions public against using homemade hand sanitizers, disinfectants

During the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak last March, Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency had already warned the public against false or misleading advertisements of anti-virus products describing them as having no objectivity and rationality as the claims have no scientific bases. The Japanese authority had also said the false claims are in possible violation of laws on mislabeling and health promotion.

“Our own FDA in May 2020 issued Advisory No. 2020-852 against ‘made in USA’ SDS Blocker Anti-Virus and ‘made in Japan’ Virus Shut Out, two disinfectant products that were found to make misleading health claims,” EcoWaste said.

Quoting the FDA, Ecowaste said, “potential hazard may come from exposure to ingredients such as chlorine dioxide or chlorite.” The FDA also warned that exposure to these chemicals, either through inhalation and skin contact, may cause irritation in the mouth, esophagus, or stomach. The person exposed may also experience shortness of breath and other respiratory problems.”

“To protect consumers against deceptive marketing and promotion of disinfection and sterilization cards, the EcoWaste Coalition requested the FDA to issue the necessary public health warning and to impose regulatory sanctions against erring parties,” FDA said. /bmjo

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TAGS: Advisory No. 2020-852, ecowaste, EcoWaste Chemical Safety Campaigner Thony Dizon, false advertisements, FDA International, Food and Drug Administration, virus blocking products

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