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New & Edible Pill Form ‘Sunscreen’ Is Anything But; Summer Trend Is Getting More & More Popular While Skin Cancer Rates Rise; Product Isn’t Actually Sunscreen At All

FDA Just Sent ‘Warning’ Letters To A Few Companies But Schumer Wants The Rogue Pills Pulled From The Market Until Companies Clean Up Their Act, Especially On Social Media

Schumer: FDA Should Be Burning Mad Over ‘Shady’ Pills That Suggest They’re Akin To SPF Sunscreen

On the heels of a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning against a handful of companies marketing ‘sunscreen pills’ this summer season, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is urging new action and demanding the pills and capsules be immediately pulled from the online and retail marketplace before the summer season—and the sales of these pills—heats up.

“The FDA should be burning mad at the handful of companies marketing shady pills and capsules as a new alternative to long-tested SPF sun protection,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Failing to effectively rein in these marketing attempts would be a glaring error by the FDA and so they must turn up the enforcement heat before consumers literally get burned. While an agency warning is a good step, it might not be enough to force the necessary marketing changes that are still fueling summer sales, like on Instagram. So, I am urging the FDA to consider the timing of these companies’ claims as it relates to when consumers are most likely to purchase these pills and go beyond a warning by pulling them from the marketplace entirely until the offending firms clean up their act.”   

Schumer, today, said the recently-announced FDA warning against offending companies was a good step, but that it is not enough, especially given that the majority of these pills will be sold in the coming weeks when consumers flock to beaches, pools and parks for summer fun. Schumer said social media is also helping to fuel summer sales of ‘sunscreen pills’, pointing to Instagram posts by Sunsafe Rx that show sunbathers basking at beaches and pools, amongst other places, while being ‘protected’ by the pills.

The FDA just recently warned and announced federal action against four companies marketing sunscreen-like pills that claim they can protect consumers from the dangers of sun exposure: Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare, and Sunergetic. The FDA warned that theses pills are giving people false hope and false protections against the most common dangers from the sun, which include sunburn and skin cancer risk. Schumer says a simple warning might not be enough.

Sunsafe Rx promises that their pills are ‘always working’ to protect your whole body from the sun. The company says their pills aren’t ‘messy,’ and won’t ‘rub off,’ like standard SPF sunscreen may. The pills also claim to protect users from UVA and UVB rays while not blocking the production of Vitamin D.

Solaricare pills, available at Walmart, feature curious consumer reviews that claim ‘Harvard has done studies’ on how the product can ‘prevent sunburn.’

Sunergetic’s version of these pills promise to help you “Maintain a healthy lifestyle and accomplish your goals and supercharge your health.”

Advanced Skin Brightening Formula pills promise to “inhibit the enzymatic process” that leads to a slew of skin ailments delivered by overexposure to the sun. 

The FDA has said these four companies are “…illegally marketing pills and capsules labeled as dietary supplements that make unproven drug claims about protecting consumers from the harms that come from sun exposure without meeting the FDA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.”

Schumer, today, said these claims mislead consumers and carelessly put people’s health at risk without thinking about the long term effects unprotected sun exposure can have on a person. Schumer said these deceiving pills and capsules are not actually sunscreen at all and that sole use by an individual could contribute to the larger uptick in skin cancer rates now plaguing Americans.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the rate of American melanoma cases among adults has tripled from the 1970s. In 1975, the rates were 7.9 per 100,000 people and has now increased to 23 per 100,000 in 2015. And according to the National Cancer Society, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.

Schumer warned that if unregulated brands of sunscreen pills and capsules such as Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare, and Sunergetic are not removed from the online and retail marketplace consumers will be put at risk from sun damage and its harmful effects, including cancer. Schumer urged the FDA to go beyond their official warning and remove these products from the marketplace entirely or until the relevant firms clean up their act and more responsibly market these products.