The absolute last thing you need when you or a family member is seriously ill with cancer is an illegal scam from snake oil salesmen.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
has charged five companies with making false and misleading claims for
cancer cures and said yesterday that it has reached settlements with several others. In their press release, the five companies being sued for false and deceptive advertising will go before administrative law judges and included the following:
Settlements were reached with other companies who paid restitution ranging from $9,000 to $250,000. In all, over a 100 warning letters were sent out asking companies to address the bogus claims.
The FTC, the Food and Drug Administration FDA) and Canadian authorities, are launching a consumer education campaign warning about bogus claims for cures. It includes videos and a wealth of information in a cartoon format, including excellent snippets such as this:
advantage of the feelings that can accompany a diagnosis of cancer.
They promote unproven – and potentially dangerous – remedies like black
salve, essiac tea, or laetrile with claims that the products are both
“natural” and effective. But “natural” doesn’t mean either safe or
effective when it comes to using these treatments for cancer. In fact,
a product labeled “natural,” can be ineffective and even downright
Interestingly, one of the lawyers for the five companies was maintaining that the FTC's actions represent censorship. The reality is that there are no credible scientific evidence that any of the products
marketed by these companies can prevent, cure, or treat cancer, since few if any, have undergone controlled clinical trials.
Given the high standards maintained by the FDA and other regulatory authorities, the burden of proof lies with the companies to prove their claims or risk being labelled snake oil salesmen at best.