The California-based marketer of a supplement called Thrive, which consists mainly of Vitamin C and herbal extracts, is barred from continuing to make baseless claims that it can treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of COVID-19, under an administrative settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.
“There’s no proof that this product will prevent or treat COVID-19, and no proof that any CBD product will treat cancer,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This case, and the hundreds of warning letters we’ve sent, demonstrate that we will remain vigilant against companies that lack the scientific proof to back up their claims.”
According to the FTC’s administrative complaint, since at least December 2018, Ching has advertised and sold Thrive online, through his Whole Leaf Organics website, and in March 2020 he began marketing it as an “anti viral wellness booster” that treats, prevents, or reduces the risk of COVID-19. In addition, the FTC alleged Ching falsely stated that these benefits of Thrive were clinically proven.
The complaint also alleged that Ching used his Whole Leaf Organics website to advertise and sell three CBD-containing products, CBD-EX, CBD-RX, and CBD-Max, falsely claiming they were effective cancer treatments. CBD-EX is an ingestible capsule consisting mainly of a combination of cannabidiol and herbal extracts. CBD-RX and CBD-Max are oils composed primarily of CBD and hemp extract.