March 26, 2020 — The makers of Purell and Target Up&Up hand sanitizers have been hit with class action lawsuits for overstating the effectiveness of their products without proof.
In January 2020, the FDA sent a warning letter to Purell because there was no scientific evidence to support its germ-killing claims.
The FDA cited the manufacturer of Purell, GOJO Industries Inc., for falsely advertising Purell may be effective against viruses such as the Ebola virus, norovirus, and influenza.
Target’s in-store brand of Up&Up hand sanitizer and Purell both claim to eliminate 99.99% of germs, but lack proof to back up their claims.
“Target is aware that consumers’ fear of flu and other viruses, together with Defendant’s implied misrepresentations that it prevents such diseases and illnesses, drives sales and, as a result, earns profits for the company.”
The FDA said it is not aware of any studies demonstrating that decreasing the number of viruses on the skin reduces infection rates.
The proposed class action lawsuit against Target was filed on March 20, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California — Case Number 2:20-cv-02667.
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