The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent more than 50 warning letters to Web sites selling illegal products that claim to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure the H1N1 swine flu virus. As a result, more than 66 percent of the Web sites have removed the offending claims or products, the agency said.
The unapproved, uncleared or unauthorized products targeted by the FDA include:
* An electronic instrument that claimed to strengthen the immune system and prevent H1N1 virus-related symptoms.
* A shampoo that claimed to protect against the virus.
* A supplement that claimed to cure H1N1 infection within 4 to 8 hours.
* A dietary supplement that claimed to protect infants and children from contracting the H1N1 flu virus.
"Unapproved, uncleared or unauthorized products that claim to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure the 2009 H1N1 flu are illegal and a potentially significant threat to the public health," the FDA said in a news release.
In addition to the warning letters, the agency identified the offending Web sites and products on the FDA Web site.
The agency "will consider further civil or criminal enforcement action against those Web sites that fail to resolve the violations cited in warning letters," the FDA said. "Actions could include seizure, injunction and criminal prosecution."