Ad Alert

Mito Red Light

Company removes FDA logo in response to inquiry.

The FDA’s logo is a lot like Shaq: It’s everywhere.

Over the years has found companies using the FDA’s logo to market everything from teeth whitening kits to granite cookware to weight-loss supplements, and now, red light devices marketed to improve skin’s appearance, among other things, from a company called Mito Red Light.

There’s just one problem: The FDA prohibits its logo from appearing on “private sector materials.” According to the FDA Logo Policy:

To the public, such use would send a message that FDA favors or endorses a private sector organization or the organization’s activities, products, services, and/or personnel (either overtly or tacitly), which FDA does not and cannot do.

Following an inquiry by, Mito Red Light saw the light and promptly removed the FDA’s logo from its website, becoming just the latest company to scrub the agency’s seal from its marketing materials in response to a inquiry.

But wait, there’s more.

  • While Mito encourages consumers to “[e]hance your skin, sleep, performance and recovery with next-generation light therapy,” experts warn that “they don’t know yet if [red light therapy] is effective for all its claimed uses” and that “more clinical trials are needed to confirm its effectiveness as a treatment.”
  • Marketers of FDA Class II products such as Mito’s red light devices only need to show the FDA that their product is “substantially equivalent” to another product that the FDA has already given “clearance” before the product can be sold. In other words, it’s not that rigorous a review standard.
  • If you’re thinking that A+ rating from the BBB above means the company has a ton of positive customer reviews on its BBB page, think again. The company has a grand total of zero customer reviews. (Fun fact: Customer reviews don’t factor into BBB ratings, and accredited businesses, which pay annual membership fees to the BBB that can add up to thousands of dollars, are given more control over their pages than non-paying, unaccredited businesses.)

The bottom line

Red light devices like Mito’s cost hundreds of dollars even though their effectiveness at treating a variety of ailments is not settled science. Consumers need to do their research before making such a substantial investment in their health that may not pay off.

Find more of our coverage on medical devices here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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