LETTER TO CUSTOMERS (INCLUDING DISTRIBUTORS) WITH WHOM RESPONDENT HAS DONE BUSINESS PRIOR TO EXECUTING THIS ORDER
[To be printed on letterhead of Natural Heritage Enterprises]
[Name and address of recipient] [Date]
Dear [recipient's name]:
I recently entered into a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding advertising claims for Rene Caisse's Original Herbal Tea Remedy, also described as "Rene Caisse's Essiac Tea" or "Essiac Tea" ("Essiac Tea"). The agreement does not constitute an admission by me that I have violated any law. As part of that settlement, I agreed to send you the following message prepared by the FTC about the science on Essiac tea and disease:
Not much scientific research has been done on Essiac tea. The research that has been done, however, does not demonstrate that Essiac tea is an effective remedy in fighting cancer or any other disease. One group that looked into Essiac tea as a possible cancer remedy, the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative, wrote: "No formal clinical studies demonstrating that any observed positive outcomes in cancer patients can be attributed to the use of Essiac rather than to other therapies or to the natural history of the disease were found." The group assessed the science on cancer and Essiac: "Weak evidence of effectiveness. Little evidence of harm. This is a widely used agent which has been incompletely studied."
If you are interested in the scientific research that has been done on alternative cancer treatments including Essiac, you may want to read a report published by the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment. The report is called, "Unconventional Cancer Treatments," and was published in 1990. Chapter 4 deals with herbal treatments including Essiac. The report collected the available published studies on Essiac tea and other alternative cancer remedies. According to the report, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York conducted tests on Essiac tea in the 1970s and 1980s to see if the tea had any success in shrinking tumors or retarding their growth rate. The tests did not reveal any effect on the tumors. The National Cancer Institute, an agency of the U.S. government, also tested Essiac tea in 1983, and again no antitumor activity was noted. A study conducted by an agency of the Canadian government, based on physicians' reports on patients who were trying Essiac tea, also showed no positive results. According to the Office of Technology Assessment, the Canadian agency "concluded that this review provided no evidence that the progression of cancer in these patients had been altered by taking Essiac."
Even less is known about the effectiveness of Essiac tea in remedying other diseases. There are no formal clinical trials indicating that Essiac tea is effective in alleviating or curing any disease. You should also know that, while most studies don't indicate serious adverse health effects from taking the tea, the studies do note that some people experience nausea, vomiting, or other possible side effects.
If you do take Essiac tea, you should make sure to let your doctor or health professional know because of potential interactions with other treatments.
Michael D. Miller