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The COVID-19 pandemic creates the perfect storm of hopes and fears that dishonest business try to exploit with fake promises of protection and healing. But when these promises are not backed by science, the consequences can often cost you money and your good health.

The FTC filed a complaint to stop Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics, from making claims that Thrive, a pill with Vitamin C and herbal extracts, is scientifically proven to prevent or treat illnesses like COVID-19. The defendant claimed Thrive boosts immunity to help protect people from getting COVID-19 — and would treat the disease if they get it. What’s more, Mr. Ching claimed that several CBD products sold by Whole Leaf Organics — including CBD-EX, CBD-RX and CBD-MAX — treat cancer. But the FTC says there is no solid scientific evidence backing up those claims. In fact, Mr. Ching has agreed to a preliminary order in a California federal court that says he can’t say Thrive works against COVID-19, or that CBD-EX, CBD-RX and CBD-MAX are effective cancer treatments.

The best way to fight the Coronavirus is with facts, not false promises. Follow these tips:

  • If you’re tempted to buy a product claiming to protect you from COVID-19, or to treat cancer, check with your doctor or other health care professional first.
  • Stay informed. To learn more about the Coronavirus, visit the CDC’s FAQ page. Visit the FDA to learn about the development and approval of treatments for the Coronavirus.
  • Sign up for consumer alerts from the FTC. Also, check out the FTC's Coronavirus information page at
  • See a product claiming to treat, cure or prevent the Coronavirus? Report it to the FTC at

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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April 28, 2020
Thank God something in the Federal government is still honest and truthful. One breath of fresh air. Thank you. Keep doing what you're doing, take down the GREED!
April 28, 2020
I believe the email providers, Microsoft, Google, etc., should just delete this obviously dishonest and misleading type of junk/phishing emails, before they ever get to my inbox. They don't seem to make any effort to, though. Maybe there is some way the Regulators could enforce some vigorous filtering on their part?
Bruce in Wisconsin
April 28, 2020
Thank you for alerting us to this fraud....hopefully a stiff monetary penalty will be forthcoming to further get Mr. Marc Ching's attention.
April 28, 2020
CBD is not a treatment!. It may relieve the pain somewhat and help with an appetite which may help the body take in needed vitamins and nutrients though but it is not going to cure anything.
May 04, 2020
It figures We have many who are scam artists and the FTC is well on top of them and their own schemes they do unto us and if they think they can slide by without being caught they have another guess coming to them and thanks to our folks at the FTC that are our nations watch dogs in consumer affairs daily.