RACGP calls out ‘anti-virus activewear’

Paul Hayes

16/07/2020 8:13:31 PM

Clothing manufacturer Lorna Jane has been forced to rebrand a range of activewear the company claims protects ‘against viruses and germs’.

Lorna Jane store
‘We didn’t want to mislead anyone,’ a Lorna Jane spokeswoman said of the misleading claims. (Wikimedia commons)

RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon was clear when discussing the ‘LJ Shield exclusive technology’ Australian activewear brand Lorna Jane said ‘keeps you protected from viruses and germs’.
‘Active wear is great for the gym, but it can’t protect you against viruses or bacteria,’ he said.
‘I suspect Lorna Jane is cynically trying to exploit fears concerning the COVID-19 pandemic to sell clothes.’
Since Dr Nespolon spoke out on Wednesday night, the popular brand has edited its website, with the terms ‘anti-virus’ replaced with ‘anti-bacterial’ in reference to the clothing line.
‘We started working on this technology at the start of the year when we named it ... we didn’t want to mislead anyone,’ a Lorna Jane spokeswoman said. ‘We are not trying to profiteer in any way on the fear around COVID-19, because we were developing this and working with our partners on this before the outbreak.’
According to the Lorna Jane website, the LJ Shield technology ‘is applied as a water-based, non toxic mist and permanently adheres to our garments’.
‘Any bacteria that comes in contact with the fabric is terminated when it comes in touch with the LJ Shield particles,’ the website states.
‘LJ Shield is sprayed onto the fabric as a light weight mist and permanently adheres to surface of the material to act as a shield of protection for you.
‘LJ Shield breaks through the membrane shell of bacteria or germs that come into contact with it, not only killing that microbe but preventing it from multiplying into anymore.’
Dr Nespolon warned consumers to be wary of such claims.
‘If you spray their product onto any fabric and expect that it will act as a “shield of protection” for you by breaking through the “membrane shell of any toxic diseases”, I have some bad news for you – this will not happen,’ he said.
‘The only thing that will be “terminated” by the “shield particles” is the money in your bank account.’
In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, when the world is dealing with an ever-evolving global pandemic, the advice of scientific and medical experts is more important than ever, Dr Nespolon said.
‘The real problem with marketing products like this is that it can lull people into a false sense of security and make them less likely to wash their hands regularly, socially distance or wear a mask where distancing is impractical,’ he said. ‘That is why we have very strict laws concerning therapeutic claims.
‘It is timely to remind this company that earlier this year former celebrity chef and prominent anti-vaxxer Pete Evans was fined $25,000 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for marketing a … “light frequency machine” featuring recipes that could supposedly treat the “Wuhan coronavirus”.
‘Listen to the medical experts, not clothing companies.’
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