The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court against Utah-based company Xlear on Oct. 28, saying it has deceptively advertised its nasal spray as a treatment and preventative of COVID-19.
The lawsuit asks a federal court to permanently ban the company from promoting the nasal spray as a treatment for COVID-19 and also asks that monetary penalties be levied against it.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
The DOJ filed the complaint on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission, which alleges the company has violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Consumer Protection Act by making false claims about the benefits.
The spray's main ingredients are saline, grapefruit seed extract, and xylitol, a plant-derived sweetener commonly used in oral care products.
"Companies can't make unsupported health claims, no matter what form a product takes, or what it supposedly prevents or treats," said Samuel Levine, director of the trade commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a press release on the lawsuit.
"That's the lesson of this case and many others like it, and it's why people should continue to rely on medical professionals over ads."