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FTC Takes Action Against Companies Promoting Bogus Cancer Cures

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Monday, September 22, 2008 10:39 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA & Prescription Drugs, Cancer, FTC, Bogus Cancer Cures, Online Cancer Cures

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IMAGE SOURCE: © Cure-ious?ASK. by Federal Trade Commission

The only thing worse than a cancer diagnosis, is the promise of a bogus cure.

Hundreds of internet sites are falsely claiming they are “selling the cure for cancer” and now the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking action against several of those companies.

The FTC, last week, disclosed actions being taken against 11 companies that used deceptive advertising to promote bogus online cancer cures.

The agency is charging the companies with making unsupported claims that their products cured or treated one or more types of cancer.

The companies are charged with violating the FTC act, which prohibits deceptive claims. Some complaints also accuse the companies of falsely claiming to have clinical or scientific evidence of their products.

Lydia Parnes, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection says, “There is no credible scientific evidence that any of these products, marketed by these companies, can prevent, treat or cure any type of cancer.”

Actions have been taken against 11 companies. Six of which have already reached settlements with the agency; the other five will be prosecuted.

When you take into consideration the sheer number of sites on the internet claiming to have a cure for cancer that can be easily found, eleven sites is a small dent into a bigger problem.

A Google search using the words “cancer,” “miracle” and/or “cure” resulted in thousands of results. While some were legitimate scientific procedures, many contained a list of sponsored links that are paid for by the companies so their bogus cures are on the first page of Google’s results.

In one such instance, there was a website advertising “Miracle Water for Cancer” that claimed the product could control the disease, while aiding weight loss and the promise of the fountain of youth.

Another website claimed to have a miracle cure “the drug companies hope you never find out about,” that is a vitamin that will “virtually wipe out the chance of developing cancer.”

There are is no shortage of sites ready and willing to “sell snake oil to consumers,” said Parnes.

At the start the investigation, the agency found 112 websites making unsupported cancer-cure claims. The agency sent each company a warning letter that stated because the products claimed to cure, prevent or treat cancer, and the products are not proven to be safe and effective for their labeled use, they are unapproved new drugs marketed in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Nearly all the sites have since removed unsubstantiated claims or shut down all together.

Each company that settled has agreed to cease making unsupported claims; however, they have not admitted any wrongdoing.

The agency has also launched a website called, Cure-ious? Ask. that will host educational materials to help consumers detect and report false cancer claims. It also urges people with cancer to talk to their doctors about any new products they would like to try.

“This is not a random or short term effort by the agency,” said Parnes. “We have been investigating for quite some time and we plan to continue.” #


1 Comment

Posted by Jennifer
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 4:26 PM EST

If the FTC is successful in silencing Daniel Chapter One, individual consumers seeking to improve their health and the health of American society as a whole will suffer important losses.

The American consumer has rights to information, choice, safety and redress (the right to be heard). Presented to Congress as the Consumer Bill of Rights by President Kennedy in March of 1962, these rights form the backbone of wellbeing for individual consumers and for success of the American market economy.

In terms of free-flowing information, the FTC mandates that consumers may only receive health information from producers and sellers that the FTC has determined is proven by the ’science’ it selects. No historical knowledge, consumer experience, or traditional practice satisfies FTC demands. The FTC recognizes only expensive double blind ’studies’ as support for health claims. Daniel Chapter One has asked its lawyers, and its lawyers have agreed, to challenge this policy as violating Daniel Chapter One’s rights under the U.S. Constitution.

By depriving consumer choice and the right to hear sellers’ knowledge about health aspects of their products, the one-size-fits-all FTC health information standard deprives consumer access to alternative health approaches. If the FTC had enforced this standard against Daniel Chapter One® over the past thirty years, hundreds of people who provide testimony that Daniel Chapter One products improved or even saved their lives may not have survived.

With regard to safety, the FTC standard forces individual consumers to use highly toxic chemical products whose benefits, according to its ’science,’ outweigh their toxicity. The FTC sets this standard despite the fact that regulators acknowledge they routinely reverse approvals for many of these dangerous products. The FTC, with no staff scientists or science capability, relies on old, selective science. From both old and new science, including genetics, the truth is that biochemical individuality makes one person’s potential poison another’s possible cure.

The Constitution allows individuals to make potentially risky choices for themselves. The FTC does not. Instead, the FTC makes highly risky choices for consumers who have no way to object. Government and business fight the consumer rights battle between themselves. Consumers have no voice. Most businesses sign an agreement to say only what the FTC permits because their overriding goal is to sell products. Daniel Chapter One’s goal is to help people honestly and the help of consumers will be crucial to take this historic stand.

If the FTC has its way with Daniel Chapter One, consumers will be denied useful information, blocked from possibly lifesaving choices, forced to use dangerous products and have nowhere to complain about their treatment. This outcome stems from well intentioned regulators attempting a Herculean job – making people’s decisions for them – with minuscule resources. It is time to bring the government back into line with the Constitution and the Consumer Bill of Rights.

Comments for this article are closed.

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