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Posted January 30, 2013

Maker of Cold and Flu Supplement Warned For Making Drug Claims

On January 24, 2013, the FDA and FTC jointly issued a warning letter to Flu and Cold Defense LLC, after a review of the company's website and marketing materials found statements made about the cold and flu dietary supplement GermBullet to be drug claims.

Examples of these statements include:

"[GermBullet] gives your body defenses a higher probability of effectively combating germs, so that you remain healthy." 

"I am an airline pilot and I was getting sick all the time, at least once every few weeks. Once I started using GermBullet I'm not getting sick anymore."

GermBullet was also found to be misbranded because the Flu and Cold Defense website describes a laboratory that independently tested the product as "an FDA recognized virology lab" despite the fact that the agency has not "recognized" any virology lab that has independently tested the product. 

GermBullet contains a blend of organic essential oils including lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary and pine. It does not contain zinc. It was promoted to reduce illness-causing bacteria, cold and flu viruses and fungi.

See ConsumerLab.com's Reviews of Echinacea Supplements and Zinc Supplements for tests of other cold and flu products. Also see ConsumerLab's answers to the questions Do any supplements help prevent or treat a cold? and Do any supplements help for flu?.

See Related Warnings:

Consumers May Be Eligible For Cold, Allergy and Weight Loss Supplement Refunds

Zicam Nasal Gel Recalled Due to Potential Bacterial Contamination

Airborne Settles Lawsuit Over False Advertising of its "Miracle Cold Buster"

Airborne to Pay $30 Million for Deceptive Advertising of Cold Remedy -- Refunds Available

Airborne Settles Over False Advertising -- $7 Million to States