HOME TESTING KITS
The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any COVID-19 home testing kits with which we can test ourselves. Yet, we've seen companies offering such tests for home use. We rapidly secured a settlement imposing an injunction against Yikon Genomics, preventing it from advertising or selling such kits unless the FDA later approves them, and requiring restitution for consumers who bought the kits. We have also issued a cease and desist letter to Matrix Wellness Group over the at-home test it is selling.
We anticipate taking further action on the sale of home test kits very soon.
An article you might like from NPR:
Video from Fox11 LA:
ALLEGED CURES AND TREATMENTS
Televangelist Jim Bakker and his show advertised and sold a product called Silver Solution, which purportedly could treat coronaviruses like the one causing COVID-19. We contacted Bakker and the show, which quickly removed all references to the product from any platform associated with the show. The federal government and the Missouri Attorney General have also pursued Bakker and the show.
In addition, we contacted the company behind the Safe Baby Healthy Child website, which sells vitamins and supplements, because it made claims that Vitamin C could be effective against COVID-19.
(The FDA has never validated this claim, and the National Institutes of Health have cautioned that large doses of some vitamins could be dangerous.)
The company behind the site immediately removed all the problematic claims.
EVEN CARIBBEAN CRUISES…
We contacted Norwegian Cruise Lines following reports that its staff had promoted Caribbean cruise locations as inherently safe from COVID-19. The company quickly replied that it had put a stop to such claims, and was launching an internal investigation into how they were made in the first place.
On March 4, Los Angeles declared a public health emergency, triggering the California price gouging statute. Price gouging is the sale of a consumer good or service for a price that is more than 10% higher than it was prior to the emergency being declared. Governor Newsom just added a prohibition against new sellers (which didn't offer the product before the emergency) that are offering a product for sale at a price more than 50% higher than it costs to make or obtain.
We've been investigating potential price gouging online and in brick and mortar stores and following up on the hundreds of complaints we’ve received from Angelenos. To assist us, Amazon is providing the names of its third-party sellers we allege are gouging customers and the prices at which those sellers offered the items for sale before the emergency was declared.
Examples of criminal cases we've filed alleging price gouging include:
- A seller of protective masks whose price for a package of ten allegedly went from $39.99 before the emergency to as much as $269.99 afterwards; and
- A seller of hand sanitizer who allegedly sold two-liters for $129 before the emergency and $249 the day after it was declared.
We have numerous additional price gouging investigations underway and anticipate numerous filings very soon.
An interview you might like from ABC7:
SAFER AT HOME
Our office is enforcing the Mayor's Safer at Home Order regarding non-essential businesses which jeopardize public health by staying open. In most instances, we are happy to report, businesses comply when we reach out. When they don't comply, we refer them to LAPD.
We have filed four prosecutions so far, with more on the way next week.
An article you might like from Newsweek:
Gun rights activists and others have sued the city in two separate cases to exclude gun stores from being deemed non-essential under the Safer At Home Order. Our office defeated an attempt in the federal case to impose an emergency order that would have opened gun stores. We'll be defending another such effort in state court Monday morning.