The Food and Drug Administration is warning that many products claiming to treat or cure autism do not work and may present serious risks. In a notice to consumers, the agency said it has warned several companies that they will face legal action if they do not stop peddling products to the autism community using false or misleading information.
The FDA specified five therapies that may “carry significant health risks” and commonly rely on false claims in marketing to those with autism — chelation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, miracle mineral solution, detoxifying clay baths and CocoKefir probiotics products.
While there are legitimate therapies and interventions to ease symptoms of autism, there is no cure for the developmental disorder and the public should be skeptical of any treatment advertised as such, the agency indicated.
“Existing autism therapies and interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about improvement,” FDA pediatrician Amy Taylor said in the notice.
Consumers should be leery of products that claim to be a “quick fix,” those that purport to treat a wide range of conditions and anything advertising a scientific breakthrough or a secret ingredient. What’s more, personal testimonials should not be seen as a substitute for scientific evidence, the FDA said.