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FDA cracks down on Fort Lauderdale company for false health claims about CBD

South Florida Sun Sentinel - 9/10/2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission are warning sellers -- including a Fort Lauderdale company -- to stop advertising that their CBD products can cure diseases without reliable proof.

The company, PotNetwork Holdings, is one of six across the country since March that have been warned about advertising their CBD-infused products as treatments for serious diseases and medical conditions.

On its website, the Fort Lauderdale company had said " a 2015 study found that CBD may be neuprotective in adult and neonatal ischemia, brain trauma, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).” The website also said CBD could help with the progression of arthritis, and said "in some lab studies, CBD has also shown the ability to kill cancer cells directly without the help of our immune system.”

PotNetwork operates, which sells Liquid Gold Gummies (Sweet Mix), Liquid Gold Gummies (Sour Mix) and blue CBD Crystals Isolate. Along with misleading advertising, the FDA said PotNetwork is marketing its CBD gummies as food across state lines -- an action prohibited by federal law. The health claims on the website are now removed.

The FTC said other companies have made such unproven claims as their CBD products can effectively treat diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and neuropsychiatric disorders. One even claimed its products have "anti-emetic, anti-convulsive, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties,” and that “CBD is a viable option for minimizing these effects within the brain.”

As CBD products flood the market, the FTC has become more aggressive in policing the medical and wellness claims companies are making to ensure they are not misleading -- particularly in light of the fact that the health effects of cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, has not been scientifically confirmed.

The warning letters issued by the FTC over the last six months urge sellers to review all product claims they are making to ensure they are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence and notify the FTC within 15 days the actions they are taking to address the agency’s concerns. They also warn the companies of potential legal consequences.

In July, the FDA, which has the task of ensuring the CBD products are safe, held a public hearing to gather information about the safety, manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale of products containing CBD. At this time, the agency is reviewing the information and has not issued regulations.

Cindy Krischer Goodman can be reached at, 954-356-4661, Twitter and Instagram @cindykgoodman


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