U.S. Water News Online
WASHINGTON -- A New Jersey lab settled federal charges that
it provided false test results for a do-it-yourself anthrax test kit.
The Federal Trade Commission said Sani-Pure Food Laboratories
never used anthrax to verify the effectiveness of the ``PurTest
Anthrax Test'' marketed by Vital Living Products Inc. In February,
Vital Living settled FTC charges that it misrepresented the
effectiveness of its test.
The latest settlement bans Sani-Pure, based in Saddle Brook, from
testing to detect the presence of biological or chemical weapons or
hazards and misrepresenting test results.
Ross Pearlson, an attorney for Sani-Pure, said the company will
abide by the order and is glad to have resolved the matter.
By settling, the company does not admit to breaking any law.
Soon after the mail-borne cases of anthrax were detected last
year, Vital Living said it would sell the first over-the-counter
anthrax test kit. It was described as an accurate and effective home
test for detecting spores in air, water and on surfaces. By early
November, the Matthews, N.C.-based company said it had received more
than $150,000 worth of orders.
The FTC said Vital Living promoted the test kit with unsupported
claims. The agency said its investigation prevented the kits from
reaching consumers and the settlement stopped the company from
selling the test or similar products without proof that they work.
Vital Living hired Sani-Pure to test its kit and the lab reported
that tests using anthrax showed that the PurTest was effective, the
FTC said. However, the FTC said the lab never used anthrax and
instead tested the kit with a more common bacteria that causes food
poisoning and can not be used to simulate anthrax.
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