Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued nasal spray company Xlear for claiming that its xylitol-containing saline nasal spray could help fight COVID-19. Specifically, the FTC alleged that Xlear had violated the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act.
The Department of Justice also accused the company of violating the Federal Trade Commission Act.
American Fork, Utah–based Xlear released a statement denying the charges, arguing that federal authorities have violated its First Amendment right to free speech.
“Xlear’s response [to the allegations] outlines a series of studies, including two randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and other clinical and lab data, that more than substantiate Xlear’s statements regarding COVID-19,” said Nathan Jones, Xlear’s CEO, in a press release.
Jones cited an RCT that found that the Xlear nasal spray reduced the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 by a factor of eight.
Xlear has also asserted that its nasal spray has antiviral, virucidal and bacterial properties supported by scientific research.
Jones also points to an in vitro study that showed that its nasal spray was more effective against the Delta variant than Remdesivir.
Xlear’s marketing said its nasal spray provided “up to four hours” of protection and recommended using its product “as part of a layered defense to prevent getting COVID-19.”
In an October press release, FTC accused Xlear of making “unsupported health claims.”
The complaint said the agency had repeatedly warned the firm about its practices before filing the suit.