The FTC announced 11 law enforcement actions challenging deceptive advertising of bogus cancer cures. The FTC charged the companies with making unsupported claims that their products cured or treated one or more types of cancer. In each case, the company is charged with violating the FTC Act, which bars deceptive claims. Some complaints allege that the companies also falsely touted clinical or scientific proof for their products.
The FTC also announced a new Web site about bogus cancer cures. The site – www.ftc.gov/curious – tells consumers how to spot and report bogus claims they see online, and urges people with cancer to talk to their treatment team about any products they’d like to try.
The site features a video and includes a list of resources on cancer treatments from a variety of agencies within the federal government. Information is provided in English and Spanish.
The cases announced today began through an Internet surf conducted by the FTC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Competition Bureau Canada in June 2007. Following the surf, the FTC sent warning letters via e-mail to 112 Web sites between August 2007 and January 2008. Of these, nearly 30 percent either closed their sites or removed the problematic cancer treatment claims. The remainder were reviewed to determine whether a law enforcement action was warranted or whether they should be referred to the FDA or the Competition Bureau.
To read the press release, click here.