Zylast hand sanitizers and antiseptic lotions allegedly protect people from major diseases such as Ebola, a claim that is too good to be true.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has filed a complaint against the company behind the products, looking to prohibit them from finding their way to the hands of consumers.
FDA Lawsuit Against Hand Sanitizers That Allegedly Stop Ebola
How to protect yourself against infectious diseases? Not through hand sanitizers, the FDA warns.
The FDA launched a lawsuit against California-based Innovative BioDefense and its President and CEO, Colette Cozean, to stop selling hand sanitizers, antiseptic lotions, and other topical antiseptics under the Zylast brand.
The Zylast hand sanitizers and other products claim to be effective in protecting people from major diseases such as Ebola, the flu virus, norovirus and rotavirus. However, Innovative Biodefense have not proven the products to be safe and effective, with no approval acquired from the FDA.
"We're concerned that people potentially exposed to pathogens may use these products with a false sense of safety," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. He added that consumers may believe in the claims of the Zylast products, instead of doing the principal methods of preventing infections that include frequent hand washing and wearing protective clothing such as gloves.
The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to Innovative BioDefense in 2015, when it claimed that its products may prevent diseases without going through the approval process of the FDA. The company largely ignored the FDA and the FTC, and went ahead with the manufacturing and selling of the Zylast hand sanitizers and antiseptic lotions.
If the court grants the permanent injunction against Innovative BioDefense, the company will need to acquire FDA approval and certification that their products really work, before Zylast goes back to shelves.
FDA vs Sunscreen Pills
The case against the Zylast hand sanitizers mirrors FDA's action against sunscreen pills, which claimed to protect consumers from the harmful effects of sun exposure just by ingesting them.
The FDA said that sunscreen capsules do not work in providing protection against sunburn. Gottlieb said that the products were "putting people at risk" because they would go out without sunscreen after taking the sunscreen pills, falsely thinking that it would be enough to protect themselves from the sun.
The FDA recommended for people to stick with their sunscreen lotions. Consumers are also advised to follow the proper sunscreen tips, including which SPF to use and how long they last.