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|FDA Warns Individuals and Firms to Stop Selling
Fake Cancer 'Cures' June 17, 2008
Warning Letters have been sent to 23 U.S. companies and two
foreign individuals marketing a wide range of products
fraudulently claiming to prevent and cure cancer, according to
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today. The FDA also
warns North American consumers against using or purchasing
the products, which include tablets, teas, tonics, black salves,
and creams, and are sold under various names on the Internet.
Those companies and individuals warned, the complete list of
fake cancer 'cure' products and their manufacturers along with
a consumer article on health scams can be found here, http:
"Although promotions of bogus cancer 'cures' have always
been a problem, the Internet has provided a mechanism for
them to flourish," said Margaret O'K. Glavin, the FDA's
associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "These warning
letters are an important step to ensure that consumers do not
become the victim of false 'cures' that may cause greater harm
to their health."
The FDA urges consumers to consult their health care
provider about discontinuing use of these products and to
seek appropriate medical attention if they have experienced
any adverse effects.
The products contain ingredients such as bloodroot, shark
cartilage, coral calcium, cesium, ellagic acid, Cat's Claw, an
herbal tea called Essiac, and mushroom varieties such as
Agaricus Blazeii, Shitake, Maitake, and Reishi.
Because these products claim to cure, treat, mitigate or
prevent disease, and these products have not been shown to
be safe and effective for their labeled conditions of use, they
are unapproved new drugs marketed in violation of the
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Examples of fraudulent claims for these products include:
* "Treats all forms of cancer"
* "Causes cancer cells to commit suicide!"
* "80% more effective than the world's number one cancer
* "Skin cancers disappear"
* "Target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone"
* "Shrinks malignant tumors"
* "Avoid painful surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or other
The Warning Letters are part of the FDA's ongoing efforts, in
collaboration with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and
Canadian government agencies, to prevent deceptive
products from reaching consumers. The initiative originated
from consumer complaints and a web search for fraudulent
cancer products conducted by the FDA, FTC and members of
the Mexico–United States–Canada Health Fraud Working
Group. Earlier this year, FTC sent Warning Letters to 112 Web
sites falsely promoting cancer "treatments" and referred
several others to foreign authorities.
Parties that fail to properly resolve violations cited in Warning
Letters are subject to enforcement action up to and including
seizure of illegal products, injunction, and possible criminal