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AG Nessel Requests Michigan Business Retract False Claims About COVID-19 Prevention
May 18, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sent a notice of intended action to a West Michigan-based business after the owner made misleading claims about a product's ability to prevent COVID-19 in a televised segment.
Stephanie Davison is the principal of Skin Envy, LLC, which operates non-surgical weight-loss centers in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. She is also on the TLC reality show 90 Day Fiancé.
The Department received a complaint following Davison's appearance on a local West Michigan lifestyle show to promote Skin Envy's ipamorelin/sermorelin injections.
During the TV segment, Davison credited the injections for preventing COVID-19, adding they boost the immune system. Her website also claims sermorelin "strengthens the immune system" while neglecting to mention potential side effects.
Medical professionals at the Department of Health and Human Services expressed concern that Davison's statements are untrue and unsupported by any medical evidence.
Accordingly, the Department of Attorney General has probable cause to believe the business has engaged in the following unfair trade practices:
- Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have or that a person has sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that he or she does not have.
- Failing to reveal a material fact, the omission of which tends to mislead or deceive the consumer, and which fact could not reasonably be known by the consumer.
- Making a representation of fact or statement of fact material to the transaction such that a person reasonably believes the represented or suggested state of affairs to be other than it actually is.
- Failing to reveal facts that are material to the transaction in light of representations of fact made in a positive manner.
In response, the Department told Davison to provide assurances within 10 days that Skin Envy, LLC will provide a public retraction, no longer claim that its sermorelin injections prevent COVID-19, and will not use the video making this claim in any advertising going forward.
"Misleading and false claims related to consumer products will not be tolerated," said Nessel. "It is my hope Ms. Davison will abide by our notice and that further action is not necessary in this matter."
"There are proven, scientific methods to prevent COVID-19," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and MDHHS deputy director of health. "We urge Michigan residents to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Wearing masks, washing hands frequently and avoiding indoor gatherings are other ways to prevent COVID-19. Michiganders should be suspicious of claims that products such as sermorelin can prevent them from getting COVID-19."