The US Federal Trade Commission has announced Operation CBDeceit, a crackdown on claims of cannabidiol (CBD) in online ads on websites and social media. Operation CBDeceit's goal is to protect consumers from CBD sellers who make misleading claims about their products. Initial action has been taken against dozens of sellers of CBD products, but Operation CBDeceit has already claimed the scalp of more than a dozen sellers in the US, Canada, and Australia.
One of the affected vendors claimed its products prevented serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, according to the FTC. The FTC said: "It is illegal to promote a product that claims to prevent or treat a disease unless there is competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims”.
“The six settlements announced today send a clear message to the emerging CBD industry not to make false health claims that are not supported by medical science”, said David Boies, FTC Director of Consumer Protection. The proposed fines in five of the six cases range from $20,000 to $85,000, and the proposed administrative order settling the FCC's allegations also includes a requirement that providers immediately stop publishing unsupported health claims.
The FTC has already warned several cannabidiol sellers of the potential for false health claims in their products. The letter includes a warning that the companies concerned must contact the FTC to clarify in detail the concerns of the authorities. Otherwise, one should not be surprised to hear about it from the FCC, the FDA, or the US Department of Health (HHS).