FTC Charges Seattle Couple with Deceptive Marketing on Cancer Cure

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The Federal Trade Commission said that it has proposed a stipulated final judgment that would prohibit a Seattle couple from marketing unproven cures for cancer and other diseases.


The judgment bars the couple from "engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices" in connection with their selling herbal products and an electrical device called the "Zapper," which they claim can cure cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. The FTC also prohibits the couple from making any claim that products are effective in treating any disease or condition, unless they have "scientific evidence to support the claims."


The proposed judgment requires court approval before it can be enacted.


The FTC said that in June, it filed a complaint against Western Dietary Products, which was doing business as Western Herb & Dietary Products Inc., and its principals Marvin and Minguelina Beckwith. The complaint alleged the Beckwiths marketed and sold through their Web site, www.curecancer.com, various herbal formulas as cures for cancer, AIDS and a number of diseases. The defendants claimed that the diseases were caused by a specific type of parasite and that their herbal remedies, in conjunction with the Zapper electrical device, would cure the diseases immediately.


"...[I]n conjunction with the advertising, offering for sale or sale of the Zapper electrical unit or any other covered product or service, the defendants and their successors ... are hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from misrepresenting that use of any such product in the treatment of cancer which makes surgery or chemotherapy unnecessary," the FTC said in its complaint.


In addition, the proposal includes a suspended judgment of $50,000, which will become due if the defendants make "material misrepresentations or omissions" in their financial disclosures to the court.


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