FDA: Hand sanitizers cannot claim they can protect people from getting sick

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(CNN) — The FDA ordered Purell to stop claiming it can keep people from getting sick and kill the Ebola virus. The Food and Drug Administration says not to believe everything hand sanitizer companies say on their websites.

The agency wrote a strongly worded letter to GOJO Industries, which makes Purell, warning the company to stop making unproven claims, specifically GOJO’s site claiming Purell may kill the Ebola virus. They say no hand sanitizers have been tested against Ebola.

The letter also calls out the company for claiming Purell kills MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and other germs, and that it can reduce student absenteeism by 51 percent.

The FDA doesn’t say these claims are definitely untrue. The issue is the agency forbids hand sanitizers from claiming they can protect people from getting sick. Only federally approved drugs are allowed to do that.

The FDA says if Purell wants to get approved as a drug, it can market whatever it can prove. If not, it has to stop making those claims.

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