LA settles with CA company accused of advertising home COVID-19 test kits without FDA approval

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer on Monday announced a settlement with a company over allegations that it misleadingly touted a product as a home test kit for COVID-19.

California-based Yikon Genomics Inc., allegedly advertised the testing kits despite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve any such product for the virus, Feuer noted at press conference.

The company's website and social media platforms claimed that the test kits, which it was selling for $39, could "be used to confidently screen for" the presence of "antibodies in the blood stream, making it possible to detect current or recent viral infections of COVID-19," according to the city attorney.

The company also allegedly mislead consumers by stating that the test kits were now FDA-approved, prosecutors said.

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Feuer added that the company has since agreed to stop its alleged marketing campaign of the tests and provide full refunds to individuals that purchased them.

The genetic testing company claims that no tests kits were actually delivered, though Feuer could not confirm that.

The settlement is part on an ongoing effort from prosecutors to tackle illegal price-gouging and other consumer scams tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"We're fighting to protect a very anxious public from falling victim to COVID-19 related schemes, including so-called at-home tests that are falsely advertised and should not be used for in-home testing," Feuer said in a statement. "In this crisis, Angelenos' health depends on accurate, reliable information and legitimate products that can actually help them."

Individuals who think they might be a victim of price gouging and other scams are urged to contact the city attorney's office by calling (213) 978-8070.

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