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The politics of hand sanitizer

Conservative Review

Can you recall pre-quarantine times, when hand-washing was a non-discussed topic and the C-word, corona, made you think about enjoying a beach somewhere? The pace of change in 2020 is evident in the optics of new standards and procedures, from social distancing to how, where, and when we can go out. As we adapt to the ever-changing world around us, can we be confident in guidelines being issued? In particular, can we trust our health and well-being to a hand sanitizer?

On January 17, 2020, before COVID-19 was an issue in the United States, GOJO Industries, the manufacturer of Purell, received a warning letter from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration regarding PURELL Healthcare Advanced Hand Sanitizers. Case #599132 is a look into the marketing language and claims of the manufacturer. The FDA expresses to GOJO Industries, “Your labeling claims that PURELL® Healthcare Advanced Hand Sanitizers are effective in preventing disease or infection from pathogens such as Ebola, MRSA, VRE, norovirus, flu, and Candida auris, and in preventing the spread of infection, go beyond merely describing the general intended use of a topical antiseptic as set forth in the above-referenced relevant rulemakings.”

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