Deceptive Claims Must Stop, Consumers Must be Notified
The Federal Trade Commission today upheld charges against Daniel Chapter One, an herbal products company, and its officer for making deceptive claims that shark cartilage and certain other herbal formulations prevent, treat, and cure cancer, and lessen the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
The Commission’s opinion and order prohibit Daniel Chapter One and James Feijo from advertising that the four dietary supplements at issue – BioShark, 7 Herb Formula, GDU, and BioMixx – inhibit tumor formation or growth; eliminate tumors; treat or cure cancer; or heal the effects of radiation or chemotherapy unless the claims are true, non-misleading, and based on scientific evidence. In addition, Daniel Chapter One and Feijo are prohibited from making health claims about any dietary supplement, food, drug, or other health-related product or service unless the claims are substantiated by scientific evidence.
The Commission opinion – authored by Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch – affirmed the initial decision by Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell, which found that Daniel Chapter One and Feijo had made unsubstantiated cancer-related claims about the four products.
The Commission order also requires Daniel Chapter One and Feijo to send a letter notifying purchasers that the FTC has found advertising claims for the products deceptive because they were unsubstantiated. The letter also will inform consumers of the importance of consulting with health care providers before using any herbal product in order to ensure that all aspects of their medical treatment work together.
Today’s announcement follows a lawsuit that began in September 2008 as part of Operation False Cures, a law enforcement sweep aimed at peddlers of phony cancer remedies. An administrative trial took place in April 2009, and the administrative law judge issued an initial decision in August 2009.
The Commission vote to issue the opinion and order was 4-0.
Copies of the Commission’s decision and order are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580; 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
(FTC File No. 082-3085; Docket No. 9329)
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