FDA warns consumers about fraudulent flu products - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

FDA warns consumers about fraudulent flu products

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The Food and Drug Administration has posted a consumer update, warning about flu products that are not always what the label says they are.

Cold and flu products claiming they can boost immunity and reduce the severity of the flu are still on shelves, but the FDA is keeping its eye on them.

"If the company continues to sell the product without removing the deceptive and illegal language, the firm may be subject to enforcement action, which could include seizure of the products or other legal sanctions," says FDA Regulatory Counsel Brad Pace, J.D. in the warning posted on the FDA's website.

While some products may relieve symptoms, that's not what their labels say.

Buzzword marketing like "remedy," "immune boosting formula," and "flu shot alternative" are often used, even though small-print disclaimers say otherwise.

Over-the-counter drugs and supplements might be effective for relief of pain or discomfort, but the consumer update re-enforces that there are "no legally marketed over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to prevent or cure the flu."

The FDA has released a list of "flu fraud red flags" for consumers to look out for.

These flu claims on unapproved products may mean they are fraudulent:

reduces severity and length of flu
boosts your immunity naturally without a flu shot
safe and effective alternative to flu vaccine
prevents catching the flu
effective treatment for flu
faster recovery from flu
supports your body's natural immune defenses to fight off flu

The update also states that the only way to prevent the flu, aside from adopting a healthy lifestyle, is to get a flu shot.