Analysis of Proposed Consent
Order to Aid Public Comment
In the Matter of Global
Instruments Ltd., and Charles Patterson
File No. 022 3122
The Federal Trade Commission has accepted,
subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent
order from Global Instruments Ltd. and Charles Patterson,
individually and as an officer of the corporation.
The proposed consent order has been placed
on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments
by interested persons. Comments received during this period
will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days,
the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments
received and will decide whether it should withdraw from the
agreement or make final the agreement's proposed order.
This matter concerns practices related
to the advertising, offering for sale, sale, and distribution
of various electromagnetic, ultrasonic, and combination electromagnetic
and ultrasonic pest control devices. The Commission's proposed
complaint alleges that proposed respondents violated section
5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45,
by making numerous representations about Global's pest control
products for which they lacked a reasonable basis. Specifically,
the complaint alleges that the following representations were
- Global's electromagnetic pest
control products repel, drive away, or eliminate mice, rats,
and cockroaches from homes and other buildings in two to
four weeks and drive them away by sending a pulsating signal
throughout or altering the field around the electrical wiring
inside homes and other buildings; they act as an effective
alternative to or eliminate the need for chemicals, pesticides,
insecticides, exterminators, and pest control services;
- Global's combination electromagnetic/ultrasonic
pest control devices effectively repel, control or eliminate
mice, rats, cockroaches, rodents, insects, spiders, silverfish,
and bats from homes and other buildings and upset nesting
sites of mice, rats, and cockroaches within walls, ceilings,
and floors by using the products' pulse or electromagnetic
technology through the household wiring;
- Global's ultrasonic
pest control devices effectively repel, drive away, or eliminate
mice, rats, bats, crickets, spiders and other insects from
homes and eliminate the need for toxic chemicals, poisons
or traps; and
- Global's pest control products are effective
within a space of a given size (for example, 1000 sq. ft.
or 2000 sq. ft.).
The proposed consent order contains provisions
designed to prevent proposed respondents from engaging in
similar acts and practices in the future. Part I of the proposed
order prohibits the following representations unless respondents
possess competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates
- that any pest control product repels,
controls, or eliminates, temporarily or indefinitely, mice,
rats, cockroaches, or any other insects or animal pests
and that it does so in an area of a certain size;
- that any pest control product is an effective
alternative to or eliminates the need for chemicals, pesticides,
insecticides, exterminators, or any other pest control product
or service; and
- that any pest control product will alter
the electromagnetic field, send a pulsating signal, or otherwise
work inside the walls or through the wiring of homes or
other buildings in a manner that effectively repels, controls,
drives away, or eliminates mice, rats, cockroaches, or any
other insects or animal pests.
Part II of the proposed order requires
respondents to possess and rely upon competent and reliable
evidence, which when appropriate must be competent and reliable
scientific evidence, for claims about the benefit, performance,
or efficacy of any product.
Part III of the proposed order requires
the respondents to maintain certain records for five years
after the last date of dissemination of any representation
covered by the order. These records include: (1) all advertisements
and promotional materials containing the representation; (2)
all materials relied upon in disseminating the representation;
and (3) all evidence in respondents' possession or control
that contradicts, qualifies, or calls into question the representation
or the basis for it.
Part IV of the proposed order requires
distribution of the order to current and future principals,
officers, directors, and managers, and to current and future
employees, agents, and representatives having responsibilities
with respect to the subject matter of the order.
Part V of the proposed order requires that
the Commission be notified of any change in the corporation
that might affect compliance obligations under the order.
Part VI of the proposed order requires that for a period of
three years, respondent Charles Patterson will notify the
Commission of the discontinuance of his current business or
employment or of his affiliation with any new business or
employment involving the marketing of any consumer product.
Part VII of the proposed order requires
the respondents to file a compliance report with the Commission.
Part VIII of the proposed order states
that, absent certain circumstances, the order will terminate
twenty (20) years from the date it is issued.
The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate
public comment on the proposed consent order. It is not intended
to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement
and proposed order or to modify their terms in any way.