FDA targets 14 companies advertising fake cancer products

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on companies fraudulently promoting their products as cancer treatments.

The agency on Tuesday sent warning letters to 14 U.S. companies, ordering them to stop selling products claiming to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure cancer. The warning applies to more than 65 products including pills, ointments, oils, teas and diagnostic devices.

The products, marketed without FDA approval, are often sold through social media platforms and websites. The FDA requested each company to respond to the warning letter with a plan on how they'll correct the violations, whether they take the products off the market or alter advertising to comply with agency regulations.

"Consumers should not use these or similar unproven products because they may be unsafe and could prevent a person from seeking an appropriate and potentially life-saving cancer diagnosis or treatment," Douglas Stearn, director of the Office of Enforcement and Import Operations in the FDA's Office of Regulatory Affairs, said in an agency news release.

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