Brisbane clothing company Lorna Jane Pty Ltd has been fined almost $40,000 for trying to selling activewear it claimed could protect against coronavirus.
- The TGA alleged Lorna Jane represented its “anti-virus activewear” for therapeutic use
- The company launched its “LJ Shield exclusive technology” this month
- It claimed to have developed a “chemical-free treatment that when applied to activewear, protects wearers against viruses and bacteria”
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued three infringement notices totalling $39,960 in fines for alleged unlawful advertising in relation to COVID-19.
The company came under fire after it claimed on its website that its “anti-virus activewear” prevented and protected against infectious diseases.
“This kind of advertising could have detrimental consequences for the Australian community, creating a false sense of security and leading people to be less vigilant about hygiene and social distancing,” Department of Health deputy secretary Adjunct Professor John Skerritt said.
The TGA alleged Lorna Jane represented its “anti-virus activewear” for therapeutic use and therefore believed it was a therapeutic good within the meaning of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.
The company launched its “LJ Shield exclusive technology” this month, claiming it had worked for two years to develop a “chemical-free treatment that when applied to activewear, protects wearers against viruses and bacteria”.
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Its website claims the LJ Shield “keeps you protected from viruses and germs”.
Company founder Lorna Jane Clarkson.(One Plus One)
“LJ Shield breaks through the membrane shell of any toxic diseases, bacteria or germs that come into contact with it, not only killing that microbe but preventing it from multiplying into anymore,” the website stated.
“Any bacteria that comes in contact with the fabric is terminated when it comes in touch with the LJ Shield particles.”
Lorna Jane was contacted by the ABC formally for a response, but the company’s website also included an explanation of the new clothing line.
“We didnt want to mislead anyone. Our testing shows that LJ Shield is an important part of stopping the spread of both bacteria and viral infections and should be used in combination with other precautionary measures such as face masks and thorough and frequent hand washing,” the website read.
“People think when they try on a garment they are the first ones to wear it but you have no idea how many people have touched or tried it on prior.
Lorna Jane promotes its ‘LJ Shield anti-virus activewear’.(Supplied)
“In a sense, you could be touching somebody’s armpit or groin and with our garments worn so close to the body, we knew we had to do something better.
“We are not saying that LJ Shield will stop you coming into contact with bacteria, we are saying LJ Shield is an added protection like hand sanitiser but for the clothes you wear.”
But the TGA said the advertisement referred to therapeutic goods that were not included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).
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