Elixirs sold by a Fulton County business seem to hold the promise of fighting disease and restoring health.
There’s a “cold curing, immune boosting, inflammation fighting” elixir made with turmeric, ginger, lemon and cayenne. An “infection healing, allergy reducing, system rebooting” so-called antibiotic made with water, lemon, ginger, garlic and oil of oregano. And a product called “Feel Better,” with turmeric, ginger, lemon and cayenne, for “cold curing, immune boosting, inflammation fighting.”
The company also sells juices said to cleanse the blood or colon, restore the skin, strengthen the liver or relieve stress; smoothies that can power the brain or smooth digestion; and almond milks that can lift the mood and suppress appetites.
But none of the products has been proven safe and effective for health uses, a federal agency has warned the company, Bamboo LLC, and owner Kelley Sibley Henry. That’s a violation of federal law that says such claims mean the products are drugs and can’t be sold interstate without approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
What’s more, the unpasteurized juices that Bamboo sells may be adulterated, potentially putting consumers at risk, the FDA says in a recent letter to the Palmetto business outlining what it calls significant violations of federal law.
In an emailed statement, Henry said only that the company is responding to the FDA letter within the required time frame and providing required documentation. The letter gave the company 15 days to respond with steps it is taking to correct the violations.
Juice “cleanses” have been a big buzz in recent years, with advocates saying that by drinking liquified vegetables and other natural substances, people can detox their bodies or lose weight.
However, Science-Based Medicine, a blog founded by a Yale neurologist, says there is no basic science reason or clinical evidence to support the idea that cleanses can flush toxins from the body. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a government agency that explores complementary and alternative medicine, says that unpasteurized juices used in cleansing or detox programs may have harmful bacteria that can make people sick.
Georgia corporation records show Henry established Bamboo in 2013.
On Bamboo’s Facebook page, she says that five years ago, she was making juice in her mother’s kitchen, wanting to build a company that “inspires the community to be healthier while giving back to the planet.” “I was desperate to share my story of how juicing changed my health!” the post says.
Earlier this year, the company sought to address concerns that arose about an FDA inspection in March. But the warning letter says that the company’s plan was inadequate to protect against food safety hazards from juices, such as a toxin that causes botulism.