FTC moves against web-sites making false health claimsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Wild Wild West : One Thread
FTC: Web companies making false health claims
By Elizabeth Cohen CNN Medical Unit
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Federal Trade Commission is expected to announce Thursday morning it has told six companies to stop making what the agency said were bogus claims for health products on the Internet.
The products, according to the FTC, made a wide range of claims, including that mild electric current kills parasites that "cause" cancer or Alzheimer's, and that herbs can treat cancer so patients should cancel conventional treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy.
The FTC also targeted sites that marketed the herb St. John's Wort for the treatment of HIV and AIDS. According to the FTC, there's no proof the herb helps patients, and doctors have warned that St. John's Wort can interfere with protease inhibitors used to treat AIDS.
The agency has proposed consent decrees that charge the Web site owners with making false and unsubstantiated health and safety claims. Five of the companies agreed to settle the charges, and the commission filed a complaint in federal district court against the sixth.
The charges are part of "Operation Cure All," the agency's effort "to crack down on unscrupulous marketers who use the Internet to prey on the sickest and most vulnerable consumers," according to an FTC press release.
The six companies are Viable Herbal Solutions, ForMor International, Oasis Wellness Network, Aaron Company, Jaguar Enterprises, and Western Herb and Dietary Products Inc, which the FTC filed a complaint against in court. Some of the companies operate on more than one Web site.
The FTC didn't tell the companies to stop selling the products, but rather plans to order them to stop making claims that the products are effective at treating or preventing diseases.
In addition, the FTC's proposed consent decree orders one company, MaxCell Bioscience, to pay a $150,000 fine. MaxCell is the parent company of Oasis Wellness. The agency says MaxCell claims that a dietary supplement containing the hormone DHEA reverses the aging process and prevents and treats numerous diseases. The FTC also says that the company claims that a urine test it sells provides a clinical gauge of an individual's overall healthiness and youthfulness.
The companies could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.
Find this article at: http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/06/14/internet.health/index.html
See also: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2001/06/cureall.htm
-- Buddy (email@example.com), June 14, 2001
One of the web-sites is www.colloidalsilver.net.
-- Buddy (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 14, 2001.