UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
In the Matter of
MELINDA R. SNEED and JOHN L. SNEED, d/b/a Arthritis Pain Care Center.
The Federal Trade Commission, having reason to believe that Melinda R. Sneed and John
L. Sneed, d/b/a Arthritis Pain Care Center, have violated the provisions of the Federal
Trade Commission Act, and it appearing to the Commission that this proceeding is in the
public interest, alleges:
1. Respondent Melinda R. Sneed does business under the assumed name, Arthritis Pain
Care Center. Respondent John L. Sneed participates with Melinda R. Sneed in formulating,
directing, or controlling the policies, acts, or practices of Arthritis Pain Care Center,
including the acts or practices alleged in this complaint. Respondents' principal office
or place of business is 3615-F Pioneer Parkway, Arlington, Texas 76013.
2. Respondents have promoted, offered for sale, sold, and distributed to the public
products containing a substance described as cetylmyristoleate, cetyl myristoleate,
cerasomal-cis-9-cetylmyristoleate, or CMO, including products identified with the name
CMO [hereinafter referred to collectively as "CMO"]. These products are
"foods" and/or "drugs" within the meaning of Sections 12 and 15 of the
Federal Trade Commission Act.
3. The acts and practices of respondents alleged in this complaint have been in or
affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade
4. Respondents have disseminated or have caused to be disseminated advertisements or
promotional materials for products containing CMO, including but not necessarily limited
to the attached Exhibits A through H. Advertisements for respondents' CMO products have
been disseminated through, among other media, a web site on the Internet. These
advertisements and promotional materials contain the following statements:
A. Arthritis - Arthritis -
Do You Have It or
[Depiction of Know Someone Who Does?
gnarled, Don't be fooled by reports from The
Arthritis Foundation ...
deformed hand.] There IS a natural treatment for your
arthritis - CMO
AS SEEN ON T.V.!!
* * *
The Arthritis Foundation and your doctor will often tell you that you can't treat
arthritis with anything except prescription drugs. THAT'S A LIE!
Prescribed drugs have harmful, long-term effects. Methotrexate, for instance, when
taken over time will DESTROY your liver. - Ask your doctor. That's why
you must have monthly liver tests!
Prednisone is a STEROID. Steroids affect your adrenal glands. That's why you must be
weaned off very slowly. -- Ask your doctor.
And surgery...of course they want to offer this option (lots of money), but do they
guarantee these treatments? - NO!
Doesn't it make more sense to at least TRY a natural product which
NO SIDE EFFECTS?
Just read Dr. Len Sands (San Diego Clinic), "Arthritis
Defeated at Last"
For a detailed, frank discussion of healing arthritis naturally.
An all-natural product with
9 Out of 10 report partial to
With just 1 treatment!
JOIN THE THOUSANDS WHO HAVE RECEIVED
FREEDOM FROM ARTHRITIS "ONCE AND FOR ALL"
Why do we get arthritis?
Most doctors agree that it is an auto-immune disease. We can't take an antibiotic for
it, we can't build up our immune system to cure it once we have it, and we can't seem to
find anything that will reverse its devastating results...UNTIL NOW with CMO!
The only product that has actually REVERSED
the arthritic process for thousands!
Unlike everything else, CMO is not a pain reliever, not an anti-inflammatory, not
a steroid or other cortisone. CMO is an IMMUNOMODULATOR, which helps to normalize
the immune system.
Instead of treating the symptoms of pain and inflammation, CMO acts directly
against the cause of the arthritis - the erroneously programmed "memory T-cells"
of your own immune system that cause the attacks against your joints. The bad programming
is why, as time passes, arthritis only gets worse. Once the problem is corrected, the
attacks on your joints are halted and the symptoms of pain and inflammation are promptly
remedied. CMO corrects the root cause of arthritis by erasing the memory of those
badly programmed memory T-cells.
Once the destruction of your joints is halted, your body can begin to normalize.
Although the major benefits come promptly, minor improvements continue for several months.
With the pain and inflammation relieved, the joints can function normally.
Does CMO work for everyone? NO, and we offer no guarantees (but neither does your
doctor). If you are generally healthy and temporarily willing to give up coffee, alcohol
and caffeine, you can be one of the hundreds who have received COMPLETE relief for their
The treatment of arthritis with CMO has been proven by actual case experiences
and clinical studies. These studies are available in the book by Dr. Len Sands,
"Arthritis Defeated at Last." Our customer base includes individuals, clinics,
M.D.s, D.O.s and chiropractors. We have helped hundreds find relief with CMO.
* * *
CMO is a registered trademark of the San Diego Clinic.
* * *
[Exhibit A, http://www.choicemall.com/apcc]
THE EFFECTS OF
ONCE & FOR ALL!
* ALL NATURAL
* ONE TIME TREATMENT
* NO SIDE EFFECTS
* IMAGINE! NO MORE DRUGS
* STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS
* CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED
DON'T SUFFER ANOTHER DAY!!
* * *
What causes arthritis?
The arthritic process is regulated by 'memory T-cells' which have been erroneously
programmed causing attacks on your joints and cartilage. In osteoarthritis this faulty
programming usually results from physical damage . . . . The damage results in an immune
response involving the memory T-cells producing attacks against the affected joints. . . .
Although various types of rheumatoid arthritis are caused by infective micro-organisms,
memory T-cells are again involved in the same arthritic process. Without CMO it
continues to worsen.
* * *
Does CMO improve joint mobility?
Absolutely! If the joint can be moved just slightly (by the afflicted person or even by
someone else) joint mobility can usually be restored. . . .
Does CMO stop arthritis pain?
Arthritis pain will disappear completely in almost every instance. In a few extreme
cases, pain was reduced by only 50% to 70% which was still such a major benefit that it
allowed the persons to function almost normally again.
Does CMO reduce inflammation?
Yes, and it does so very effectively. . . .
How long before it takes effect?
Most people begin to feel relief within two to four days. . . . some may need as many
as four weeks of treatment.
* * *
Is CMO used for any other ailments?
Current studies include CMO as part of therapeutic protocol for other disorders
with auto-immune components including multiple sclerosis, lupus, emphysema, silicon breast
disease, certain cancer treatments, benign prostate hyperplasia and possibly other lung
disorders. . . .
* * *
What about more severe cases?
Even persons previously confined to a bed or a wheelchair have responded dramatically
and are now no longer dependent on others for care. A number of these received additional
benefit from repeating the treatment again. . . .
What about joints where the cartilage is completely worn away?
Unless the bones have fused together, the usual problem is not lack of mobility but
pain. The majority of such dramatic cases have responded favorably resulting in painless
movement, even in the knees.
Does it work for everyone?
. . . . So far, CMO has been able to help everyone who has not suffered liver
impairment . . . .
Currently, we are expreiencing [sic] an 80% to 90% success rate.
Is it expensive?
The cost of the treatment is very modest when compared with what most arthritis victims
are spending monthly on pain and inflammation medications that only mask the symptoms.
Since, in most cases, you only need to take one treatment of CMO,,[sic] it actually
saves you thousands of dollars, not to mention the pain and disability reversed.
* * *
Does that mean that a person takes CMO only once and that's it?
YES. Unbelievable isn't it! Most afflicted persons need to take the capsules for only a
couple of weeks to be free of arthritis symptoms forever. No further medication is ever
necessary, not even CMO.
Does it work for both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis?
Both types respond equally well. It also works for most other types of arthritis such
as those associated with ankylosing spondylitis, reiter's syndrome, sjogren's syndrome,
behcet's syndrome and psoriasis. It has also been found to relieve various types of back
pain of undetermined origin (probably arthritis related).
Is CMO harmful in anyway?
. . . . It's a prefectly [sic] safe naturally derived substance. . . .
Can I continue with my usual medications while taking CMO?
Yes, but after a few days you probably won't need your pain medication. The only drugs
that has any effect on CMO are Methatrexate and Rheumatrex. These two conventional
arthritis drugs tend to nullify the CMO. There are no adverse drug reactions, you
simply won't feel anything or get any results with your CMO. Always check with your
doctor before changing or taking any medication. Avoid steroids.
[Exhibit B, consumer brochure]
* * *
CMO is an all natural oil substance which was discovered to exist in some animals such
as cattle and whales .It is a third chain "fatty acid ester. One of the building
blocks used to make CMO exists in beef tallow. Fatty acids have many functions essential
to good health. This fatty acid can help control inflammation and may PREVENT arthritis.
Studies and Testimonials Available Upon Request
The treatment of arthritis with CMO and the supplements listed have been proven
by actual case experience and clinical studies. Please E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a
copy of these studies and/or testimonials. Our customer base includes individuals,
clinics, M.D's, D.O's, and chiropractors. Although no formal studies have been conducted,
CMO has also been reported to help reduce the effects of emphazema, fibro-myalgia, lupus,
chronic bronchitis and certain skin disorders. Thousands have used CMO successfully.
[Exhibit C, consumer brochure]
D.A Miracle Product of Nature
No More Arthritis
No More Pain
* * *
CMO - Cerasomal-Cis-9-Cetyl-Myristoleate, is an all natural, completely safe, nutrient
compound that is derived from an oil found in certain mammals. CMO corrects the root cause
of arthritis erasing the memory of those malfunctioning "Memory T-Cells". Once
the destruction is halted, the body can begin to normalize and the joints begin to
function normally again - FREE FROM PAIN. Many sufferers of arthritis who have in the past
had to limit their activity due to pain are now living their lives again - PAIN FREE after
only 12-24 days of treatment.
[Exhibit D, advertisement in Par-Fore magazine, February 1997]
E.San Diego Clinic
Subject: Heart Disease Relative to CMO
There have been no formal studies conducted with respect to the effects of CMO on
individuals with heart disease.
However, considering that CMO is a naturally derived nutritional supplement that has
shown to help normalize various physiological and immunological body processes in humans,
and since it appears to be completely non-toxic in its use by thousands of consumers and
in previous animal studies, we would expect that it would have no ill effect on
individuals with coronary problems.
On the contrary, we have received interesting reports regarding persons with certain
other ailments who have taken CMO for arthritis as recommended by their physicians and
other health care professionals;
1) There have been reports on individuals suffering from hypertension (high blood
pressure) whose blood pressure has completely normalized or lowered substantially.
2) There have been reports of individuals suffering from hypotension (low blood
pressure) whose blood pressure has completely normalized or raised. substantially.
3) There have been reports of individuals with high and even extremely high blood
sedimentation rates whose sed rates have normalized, even in Lupus patients.
4) There have been reports of individuals with cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat
rhythm) whose arrythmia has disappeared.
* * *
[Exhibit E, San Diego Clinic memorandum, January 1997, available from Arthritis Pain
F.The New Arthritis
Condensed Highlights From Case Histories Recorded By The San Diego Clinic
FROM CASE HISTORY #38:
Medical Doctor. Pain and stiffness in hands for several years. Unable to perform simple
office surgery. One day of CMO brought relief. Dexterity and fine surgical ability
returned gradually. Ordered CMO for his patients.
FROM CASE HISTORY #332:
Female. Age 66. Rheumatoid arthritis rendered hands useless, gnarled, inflexible,
agonizingly painful six years ago. Pain relieved and full use of hands restored after five
days of CMO.
FROM CASE HISTORY #39:
Male. Medical Doctor/psychiatrist. This physician complained of persistent pains along
his spine and in his feet. He became completely free of pain in both the spine and feet
within two days of starting CMO capsules. Remission continues.
FROM CASE HISTORY #33:
Medical Doctor. Auto wreck ten years earlier damaged hip, caused limp and arthritis.
CMO relieved pain permanently in one day for the first time after many years. The limp
problem is irreparable. Ordered CMO for his patients.
* * *
YOU CAN JOIN THE
OF PEOPLE WHO
HAVE ENJOYED THE
BENEFITS OF CMO
* * *
[Exhibit F, consumer brochure]
* * *
As you know, I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 38, and am now almost 51. I
have run the gamet as far as prescription medications go. The symptoms where of course
suppressed over the years, but my condition slowly worsened none the less. I have been in
constant pain over the years, and at times had to resort to prescription narcotics to
relieve the agony. After . . . my purchase of CMO, my arthritis began to go into a
remissive state quite rapidly. . . Should my arthritis ever decide to rear it's ugly head
again, you can be sure I won't hesitate to purchase another bottle. . .
Carson City, NV
* * *
My arthritis pain and swelling in my hands is gone and there is no more pain in my
back, hips or legs. I am also suffering from emphezemia and have noticed an improvement,
I'd say at least 40%. It seems to be getting better every day. . . CMO seems to be the one
thing I needed 10 years ago. . .
* * *
I did the CMO treatment on a 12 day basis and before the 12 days were up, around the
fifth or sixth day, I noticed remarkable improvement in my hands, especially those sore
knuckles and my lower back. By the end of the twelve days I also noticed that a burning
pain from the small of my back down through my leg to my foot was disappearing. It has
been 8 weeks since I finished my treatment and I'm here to tell you that all my pain is
gone. So golfers, tennis players, softball players and anybody with arthritis pain, do
yourself a favor and do the CMO treatment.
Fort Worth, Texas
* * *
To potential users I would say that one bottle may be perfect for some; others may need
more. It is worth the committment to take a product that is natural, can not hurt you, and
can only make you 'whole' once again. . .
Dataw Island, SC
[Exhibit G, consumer brochure]
* * *
Now where CMO comes from is quite an interesting history. The -- it was originally
discovered at the United States Government National Institutes of Health. A researcher
there by the name of Harry Deal (phonetic) back in 1971 discovered this substance existing
in a string of mice, called Swiss Albino mice, which are generally used in laboratories
And he found it had a remarkable property. It had the property of preventing the
formation of arthritis in animals who were injected with arthritis inducing substances.
And even more remarkably it had the property of literally and totally reversing all
arthritic symptoms in these same laboratory animals.
He continued to research this pretty much of his own volition and as much as he could
in the NIH without a great deal of funding for it. It didn't seem like the NIH had a great
deal of interest in this particular substance.
At any rate, it is totally different. The significant thing about CMO is that it is not
treating the symptoms of inflammation or pain. It is in fact going directly into the
immune system and stopping the arthritic process itself, which allows the body to cope
with and heal itself and rid itself of the inflammation and pain.
* * *
Once this is accomplished, there is no need for any further medication, not even for
CMO. The CMO has gone in, done its job, and it is not needed any longer in most instances.
There are a few cases where more quantities, larger and more prolong therapy with CMO can
prove to be beneficial. But once it's over, it seems to be over.
* * *
[P]eople that were treated eight, ten, 12 years ago, as a result of the studies and the
compounds produced by Harry Deal with the NIH, these people have not needed any further
treatment for arthritis. They have been able to discontinue all medication. They haven't
needed any more pain pills. They haven't needed any more anti-inflammatory drugs.
And this is of enormous benefit to most patients, simply because of the fact that many
of these things are harmful. They're harmful to the liver. They're harmful to the kidneys.
We had a patient in here just a -- just a few days ago, an antique dealer, a woman who was
taking between, I believe, eight and 15 Tylenol every day. And her test results on liver
function indicate that she was definitely suffering from liver impairment as a result of
this kind of medication.
And this is -- she has -- she's been amazed. She was taking CMO for only a matter of
five days, and she saw very significant improvement already, despite her liver damage. . .
. So it's a great benefit, because once you're done with this program, it appears that you
are likely to be done forever. We can't say for sure that perhaps at some point in the
future this same individual may encounter some circumstances that could trigger the
process anew. But should that happen ten years down the line, you know, you can just take
* * *
CMO was rather buried in the NIH for a number of years, to the point that when the
individual who discovered it retired, he himself had to continue on the research on his
own. There was no funding available from the NIH. And once it was -- even though it was
proved within the laboratories of the NIH to have these magnificent properties of
seemingly permanently reversing the effects of arthritis.
* * *
We picked up the exploration of that substance, and we continued, and we did some
studies on 48 patients. And we were absolutely amazed by the results. We got between 70 to
100 percent improvement in joint mobility and in pain reduction. Only two of the 48
patients didn't respond to CMO, and both of those, it turned out, have substantial liver
* * *
Basically -- well, many people say that it's a blessing, because they were looking
forward to spending thousands and thousands of dollars for the rest of their life taking
-- just taking things to be able to allow them to just barely function during the day.
Whereas they take CMO and they return to somewhere between 70 and 100 percent of their old
selves. I did, personally.
* * *
And there have been another -- other disorders that people have -- various doctors who
have been utilizing CMO have found to be beneficial, things like lupus, multiple
sclerosis, emphysema and the like, simply because along with other medications, where CMO
seems to work along with other medications to help the process along, as a result of its
effect on the immune system.
* * *
We're getting about 96 percent success rate [with CMO].
* * *
[Exhibit H, audiocassette tape distributed by Arthritis Pain Care Center, "Health
Program Interview On CMO with Dr. Len Sands"]
5. Through the means described in Paragraph 4, respondents have represented, expressly
or by implication, that respondents' CMO products:
A. Are effective in the mitigation, treatment, prevention, and cure of most forms of
arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
B. Provide permanent relief from symptoms of arthritis, including pain, impaired
mobility, swelling, and joint deformities.
C. Are as effective as or superior to prescription medications in the treatment of
arthritis and the relief of arthritis symptoms.
D. Are completely safe and without adverse side effects.
E. Are effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, lupus, emphysema, chronic
bronchitis, silicone breast disease, cancer, benign prostate hyperplasia, hypertension,
hypotension, and cardiac arrythmia.
6. Through the means described in Paragraph 4, respondents have represented, expressly
or by implication, that "case histories" and testimonials of consumers appearing
in the advertisements or promotional materials for respondents' CMO products reflect the
typical or ordinary experience of members of the public who use the products.
7. Through the means described in Paragraph 4, respondents have represented, expressly
or by implication, that they possessed and relied upon a reasonable basis that
substantiated the representations set forth in Paragraphs 5 and 6, at the time the
representations were made.
8. In truth and in fact, respondents did not possess and rely upon a reasonable basis
that substantiated the representations set forth in Paragraphs 5 and 6, at the time the
representations were made. For example, studies have not examined the efficacy of the
ingredients in respondents' CMO products in the prevention or cure of arthritis; or in
comparison to prescription medications for the treatment of arthritis or the relief of
arthritis symptoms; or in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, lupus, emphysema, chronic
bronchitis, silicone breast disease, cancer, benign prostate hyperplasia, hypertension,
hypotension, or cardiac arrythmia. In addition, there is insufficient information
available to determine the reliability of other purported studies or the applicability of
such studies to the respondents' products. Therefore, the representation set forth in
Paragraph 7 was, and is, false or misleading.
9. Through the means described in Paragraph 4, respondents have represented, expressly
or by implication, that:
A. Clinical studies prove that CMO is a safe and effective treatment for
B. Studies were conducted at the National Institutes of Health that prove that CMO
reverses the effects of arthritis.
10. In truth and in fact:
A. Clinical studies do not prove that CMO is a safe and effective treatment for
B. No studies conducted at the National Institutes of Health prove that CMO reverses
the effects of arthritis.
Therefore, the representations set forth in Paragraph 9 were, and are, false or
11. In the advertising and sale of CMO products, respondents have represented that John
Sneed is an endorser of CMO products. Respondents have failed to disclose adequately that
Sneed has a material connection with respondents' CMO products in that, at the time of
providing his endorsement, Sneed had a financial interest in Arthritis Pain Care Center
and received a financial benefit from respondents' sales of the product. These facts would
materially affect the weight and credibility given by consumers to the endorsement and
would be material to consumers in their decisions to purchase the product. Therefore, the
failure to disclose adequately these facts, in light of the representations made, was, and
is, a deceptive practice.
12. The acts and practices of respondents, as alleged in this complaint, constitute
unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and the making of false advertisements, in or
affecting commerce, in violation of Sections 5(a) and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission
THEREFORE, the Federal Trade Commission this ____day of _________, 1998, has issued
this complaint against respondents.
By the Commission.
Donald S. Clark