Federal Trade Commission goes after false cancer cures

 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking legal action against companies making deceptive claims that their products cure or treat cancer while offering either no proof, or quoting false clinical evidence.

The products affected include essiac teas and other herbal mixtures, laetrile, black salve (a corrosive ointment), and mushroom extracts.

Here’s a list of the companies and their bogus products.

Alexander Heckman aka Omega Supply

  • Laetrile (can cause cyanide poisoning at high doses)
  • Hydrazine sulphate (a potential carcinogen)
  • Cloracesium (contains celsium chloride)

Native Essence Herb Company

  • Herbal concoctions (Rene Caisse essiac tea blend and cat’s claw)
  • Chaparral

Daniel Chapter One

  • Various herbal formulations
  • Shark cartilage.

Gemtronics, Inc

  • RAAX11 (made of chrysobalanus icaco, a derivative from a tropical bush, and agaricus, a medicinal mushroom)

Mary T. Spohn aka Herbs for Cancer

  • Various Chinese herbal teas

Nu-Gen Nutrition, Inc

  • Cantron (electrolyte liquid)
  • Apricot seeds (containing laetrile)

Westberry Enterprises, Inc

  • Several teas
    • Burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm bark, and Turkish rhubarb root
    • Melatonin
    • A woody vine known as cat’s claw
    • Saltwater blue-green algae
    • A mixture of roots, leaves, and barks from various plants

Jim Clark’s All Natural Cancer Therapy

  • Marketed metabolic therapy products (laetrile, apricot seeds, digestive enzymes, okra-pepsin-E3, and coral calcium)

Bioque Technologies, Inc

  • Extract from the soursop or guanabana tropical fruit tree
  • Serum GV

Holly A. Bacon aka Cleansing Time Pro

  • Black salve


  • Essiac tea

The bottom line?
The FTC has a website at that is intended to raise awareness about bogus cancer cures. The site explains how to recognize and report bogus claims seen on the Internet. It urges people to seek professional advice if they’re considering trying any products themselves.

9/20/08 19:51

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.