Summary of Action

TINA.org investigated Balance of Nature, Inc., a Utah-based dietary supplement company founded by Dr. Douglas Howard, and found that the company and its founder deceptively claim that taking Balance of Nature’s “Fruits and Veggies” supplements can prevent and help treat the coronavirus by boosting a person’s immune system.

Such deceptive marketing claims have been airing on the radio, including on The Joe Piscopo Show, Kevin McCullough Radio, and America First with Sebastian Gorka (all three of which are sponsored by Balance of Nature), as well as on YouTube, Twitter, and a company podcast series, among other platforms.

As a result of these findings, TINA.org filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 14, 2020 urging the agencies to take action.

It is worth noting that Balance of Nature is no stranger to either government agency. In 2018, the National Advertising Division referred the company to the FTC’s attention for its use of unsubstantiated marketing claims about its dietary supplement, including claims that it enhances the immune system, prevents pneumonia, mitigates symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and prevents cancer. At that time, the Commission decided not to take action. Subsequently, in August 2019, the FDA sent the company a warning letter because of its use of unapproved drug treatment claims to market its supplements – claims such as “Fruits and Veggies’” ability to treat multiple sclerosis, diabetes and arthritis.

Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, the company is capitalizing on the fact that there is no known treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 and marketing its “Fruits and Veggies” supplements as a way to prevent and treat coronavirus.

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