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Osaka police investigate pharmacy for claiming dandelion tea prevents coronavirus

A procession of Osaka Prefectural Police investigators and others are seen carrying out seized material from the Suyama-Hoken drug store, which is suspected of spreading misleading claims about certain products' effectiveness against the novel coronavirus, in Ikuno Ward, Osaka, on March 19, 2020. (Mainichi/Yuma Hori)

OSAKA -- A pharmacy in this western Japan city that reportedly tried to promote dandelion tea as a preventative against the novel coronavirus was searched by Osaka Prefectural Police on March 19.

Suyama-Hoken drug store in Ikuno Ward was investigated under suspicion of having contravened the Act on Securing Quality, Efficacy and Safety of Products Including Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices by promoting uncertified medical products.

According to investigators, the pharmacy is suspected of having advertised on pamphlets that dandelion tea, made from dandelion leaves, was effective in preventing infection from the novel coronavirus, among other claims. The products have not received medicinal certification from the national government.

The Consumer Affairs Agency has called for citizens to be vigilant against what it describes as a rampant spread of certain products being promoted as effective against the novel coronavirus despite no scientific proof to back the assertions.

(Japanese original by Kumiko Yasumoto and Yuma Hori, Osaka City News Department)

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