FTC: These Eleven Companies Cannot Cure Cancer

We’re sorry, but there is no cure for cancer. The FTC is going after eleven companies that claim otherwise by selling potions, herbs, and a “systematized program of thinking good thoughts” masquerading as cures. You shouldn’t need a federal agency to tell you that the “Miracle Water for Cancer” doesn’t actually cure anything, nor does it reverse weight gain and aging. Bummer. Six of the snake oil companies agreed to settle, but five will crawl before a judge and argue that they can cure cancer. Let’s look at the list…

The six companies that won’t pretend to cure cancer anymore include:

  • Ni-Gen Nutrition of Troy, Mich., which allegedly marketed an electrolyte liquid and apricot seeds as cures.
  • Westberry Enterprises of Pineville, La., which the agency said sold teas that contained algae and other ingredients.
  • Jim Clark’s All Natural Cancer Therapy of Louisville, Ky., which allegedly sold digestive enzymes and coral calcium as treatments.

Included among the five bullshit-spewing companies:

  • Omega Supply of San Diego, which allegedly sold hydrazine sulfate, a substance classified by the government as a potential cancer-causing agent.
  • Herbs for Cancer, which allegedly sold 16 types of teas to fight specific cancers, plus a 17th type for “cancers not on our list.”

They will be sued, convicted, and hopefully sentenced to cut weeds in Chernobyl.

FTC cracks down on bogus online cancer cures [The Los Angeles Times]
FTC Sweep Stops Peddlers of Bogus Cancer Cures [FTC]
Cure-ious? Ask. [FTC]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. Parting says:

    Those people should burn in hell. This kind of false publicity, is simply outrageous.

  2. I_Elohel says:

    I’m very glad that these companies are being prosecuted. It’s companies like these that instill, in certain people, a false sense of security.

    For example, person “A” has a form of cancer but person “A” is a strong advocate of, lets say, herbal remedies(not shooting down herbal remedies, now). These companies are leading people like this down a path that could significantly shorten the lives of people like this.

    The real question is how are you supposed to quantify lost life. When can you draw the line between deceptive business practices and actual human rights violations?

    • johnva says:

      This is certainly among the most egregious abuses of the “alternative medicine” quacks. I’m surprised and happy to see the FTC actually cracking down. The purveyors of fake HIV cures should be put on the list for prosecution next.

      This really points to the overall problem with allowing a class of unregulated medicine (which is what “alternative medicine” is). While some alternative treatments may well work, if you don’t regulate it then quack snake oil salesmen will take advantage of the loophole. In my opinion, all things sold as health products should be regulated by forcing their makers to scientifically prove safety, efficacy, and manufacturing quality. If you can’t prove it, you shouldn’t be able to sell it.

    • Wow. Good thing my Kinoki Footpads aren’t on there. This just proves they work! But I am glad someone is taking these people to task. The sad part is that some companies(and Kevin Trudeau) will use this to say that the Government is doing this to supress “the truth”, b/c they are in the pocket of Big PHARMA.

      @I_Elohel: I heard someone once say “I wonder what a herbal remedy person would do if they got Ebola. Nothing makes you seek out the so-called “non-effective” modern medicine like bleeding from your eyes.”

      @Heresy Of Truth: A person is smart, but people are dumb. These companies peddle logical fallacies b/c they know it will appeal to the masses. How many times do you have friends who will just spout out what they heard from a Dr.(on tv, of course) who said this will cure something. The herd mentalty kicks in, and that once “smart” person is now doubting themselves in favor of what everyone else “knows” to be true. I have a lady I work with whose daughter has a baby which was constipated. Her chiropractor told her to bring the baby in, and he could cure it in a few sessions. In the year that I have known her, I have watched her go to the guy at least once a week, and rope in two other people to go to him. In contrast, my Father has bad back problems. I finally convinced him to see a physical therapist. What did the PT tell him? He’ll have to come often for a few weeks, then they will taper off until he doesn’t need to come in anymore. There’s the difference between quacks and real medicine.

  3. Heresy Of Truth says:

    I’m glad they are going after these companies. It’s true that you should have enough common sense to know better, but I have had patients (I’m a nurse) that are so desperate, that they will try anything. It has nothing to do with how smart these folks are, but how dire their health, and levels of desperation are. These companies do nothing but prey upon people in need. I get asked about stuff like this, often when real medical care is financially crippling to a patient, and they are desperate for help.

  4. Trai_Dep says:

    Ironically, when the Holy Rollers say that if a poisonous snake bites you while you’re rolling around speaking in tongues, you won’t die of cancer, they are correct. Technically.

  5. mechanismatic says:

    Here’s me always looking at the dark side, but the problem with this is that any money the government gets out of the companies is not going to the poor dying people they suckered. The government should use any money they get from the companies to subsidize more affordable healthcare. If they’d done that in the first place, then maybe people wouldn’t be making companies like this rich…

  6. ywgflyer says:

    Hydrazine sulfate?!

    …in other words, rocket fuel. And they’re selling this crap as a cancer CURE?

    Sick.

  7. GoVegan says:

    This is a victory for consumers! I saw the FTC website though and found very little information about bogus cures. I have a feeling that the FTC only goes after the really “big fish” that people who have been scammed become vocal about. I do wish that our government would put more effort into research natural and alternative cures such as the German Commission E so we could figure out what has a chance of working and what doesn’t.

    • johnva says:

      @GoVegan: It wouldn’t need to be marketed as an “alternative cure” if it actually worked. Once it’s scientifically validated, it’s just medicine.

      • GoVegan says:

        @johnva: I agree, I am just saying that the government should be more proactive about testing things that are not patentable (I hope that’s a word). Unless there is profit involved, no one is going to spend the thousands of dollars required to test a product and I think this is an area that the government should provide more funds for research and testing. I also wonder if part of the whole problem is people not having access to decent health insurance and they are in search of lower cost ways to deal with their health problems. If I didn’t have health insurance and had some disease that would wipe my family out financially, I would probably be looking at some of those bogus remedies myself.

  8. Moosehawk says:

    Talk about really taking advantage of the emotionally distressed and sick. I’m sure these cancer patients that are crawling to these “herbal supplements” and cures are only doing so as a last resort and just handing these greedy asshats money. Or even worse would be if they were taking this stuff as an alternative to radiation/surgery.

  9. ShirtNinja says:

    While what these companies are doing is horrible and dishonest, playing on the insecurities of those with a horrible, debilitating disease, what bothers me about them is more savage. What bothers me is that there are actually people out there who believe drinking tea made from algae will cure their illness.

    People, please. Something that is advertised on the TV Guide channel or ends up in your Spam folder will not cure anything.

  10. Skipweasel says:

    Now they need to go after Mannatech. Trouble is they are always very careful never to make any actual claims for their snake-oil.

  11. Ninja Tree says:

    sulfate wtf….. isn’t sulfur something we try to avoid regularly?

  12. GothGirl says:

    Quackery is alive and well in 2008, there will never be a shortage of people willing to take advantage of people in there darkest hour.

  13. gzusrox says:

    dr johanna budwig a german dr, now deceased has had a 90% success rate curing cancer with flaxseed oil mixed with cottage cheese. and in bad cases she gave the patient flaxseed oil enemas. google it.

  14. chefh says:

    The list goes on of people & clinics who have an extremely high success rates curing or reversing cancer without drugs. People like Gary Null, Robert Young, Helda Clarke, Lorraine Day MD, Gabriel Cousins MD & Anne Wigmore.

    The medical industry has most of us scared into doing their toxic and harmful therapies. The medical industry is a for profit and knows how to manipulate the gov’t to get their drugs approved. This started when the Catholic church INVESTED in sugar plantations hundreds of years ago. The Catholic Church sponsored medical schools and rewrote the courses. Sugar was known to be harmful way back then. But now the church needed to promote (or confuse us) about their investment in the sugar plantations. So the word Quack came about when a doctor told you to stop eating sugar. So this was why doctors needed new training, to protect the Catholic churchs stake in sugar$$$$. So the best way was to sponsor the medical schools and teach what benefited them. Read Sugar Blues by Dufty. This practice has never changed. Nowadays Doctors get their current training from the “cute” drug reps and drug company sponsored conventions. Or by us seeing an add for a drug and telling our doctor that we need that new drug that was on TV. An easy see for any doctor, after all its all income.

    I’m not saying that these busted companies had the right answers. If one has cancer then you should contact a top notch practitioner that will show you how to build good blood, positive thoughts and stress free lifestyle. Just look what Norman Cousins did with laughter therapy.

    A doctor should always explain to you how a disease is caused. That means the doctor has a better chance of telling you what not to do so you can recover. And don’t forget that our bodies have an incredible immune system that can heal itself. Just look what happens when you get a cut. Your blood rushes in and eventually makes new flesh. Your body can do the same internally.

    Cancer can be very serious, and one should rely on more than one opinion when it comes to recovery.

    As the previous post said about the 90% success rate, that is not far from the truth.

    • margit says:

      @chefh: Yeah, most people think my grandmother died of a brain tumor, but the truth is, she just didn’t think enough happy thoughts.

    • LittleNell says:

      @chefh: Thank you for giving me yet another reason to keep on teaching university classes–your post contains so much misinformation it boggles the mind.

      Every so often, I run across someone advocating a new cancer ‘cure’ that I’ve already read about in a 17th- or 18th-century quack pamphlet, and I want to bash them over the head with a clyster. Where hope falters, credulity creeps in…

  15. dragonfire81 says:

    It pains me that anyone is foolish enough to get duped into these cancer cure scams, but then again what’s that saying about desperate men…

  16. Baron Von Crogs says:

    Maybe they DO cure cancer but the pharmaceutical lobbist are so powerful they forced the goverments hand, so they can keep selling treatments.

    *Puts on tinfoil hat*

    • @BaronVonCrogs: I today’s day and age, where one lone kook with a website can get over a million hits in a day, do you really think that people can suppress information? My webcam sometimes gets 200 hits a day. And it’s just updating pictures of my computer and room. If someone had “the cure”, and they had proof on a website, it would make front page news. Luckily, most news organizations fact check their stories, which is why, for the most part, kooks never make it to the front page. The ones that don’t give us the story about perpetual motion, or the machine that w/electrolysis produce hydrogen with water, but they don’t tell you it takes more energy to produce the hydrogen, so the machine costs more energy than would be viable.

    • mike says:

      Didn’t Dogbert have some sort of business where it sold pills that can cure anything? It was called a Placebo. He made quite a killing.

      I agree with BaronVonCrogs. The pharma lobby is pretty strong. I doubt any of these companies actually can cure cancer, but if people are buying these things without having to do any research, they should be forced to part with their money.

      Don’t get me wrong: taking advantage of people who are desperate for a cure is wrong and criminal. But taking advantage of the stupid and idiotic, well that’s capitalism.

  17. nforcer says:

    But there already is a cure for cancer. It’s called DCA.

    [media.www.studentprintz.com]

    Read up on it. It’s really interesting stuff. No BS here.

  18. Joe_Bloe says:

    man, the wingnuts really come out for this subject.

  19. Anonymous says:

    My Attorney Scott wrote:
    As the attorney for Jim Clark and Carrie Hatcher in this matter, I can tell you that neither of them did anything wrong – except for one thing: They actually believed that you could tell the truth and sell products in this country.

    I see this a lot in my practice. Perfectly honest and decent individuals – such as Jim and Carrie – think that as long as they tell the truth and honor their contractual arrangements with customers, then they can make whatever honest claims they may. That is unfortunately not the case in “The Land of the Free.”

    Here, if you violate in any way the medical monopoly stranglehold on the American medical community that doctors, the drug industry, and their enforcement arm (the FDA/FTC) have, then look out ! They WILL come after you.

    That was the unfortunate fate of these two very honest individuals. They sold products that competed with the Pharmaceutical Industry. God forbid that you sell natural remedies. They did not have a single complaint.