December 10, 1999
Tip-Offs to Rip-Offs
Product No. 1: Pure emu oil
|FDA determined that a pure emu oil product
marketed to treat or cure a wide range of diseases was an unapproved drug. Its marketer
had never submitted to FDA data to support the product's safe and effective use.
One Product Does It All
" ... extremely
beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis ... infections ... prostate problems,
ulcers ... cancer, heart trouble, hardening of the arteries, diabetes and more. ... "
"completely eliminating the gangrene ...
"... antibiotic, pain reliever ... ."
Be suspicious of products that claim to cure a
wide range of unrelated diseases--particularly serious diseases, such as cancer and
diabetes. No product can treat every disease and condition, and for many serious diseases,
there are no cures, only therapies to help manage them.
Cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and other serious diseases
are big draws because people with these diseases are often desperate for a cure and
willing to try just about anything.
Disease!!! My husband has Alzheimer. On September 2, 1998 he began eating 1 teaspoon full
of ... Pure Emu Oil each day. ... Now (in just 22 days) he mowed the grass, cleaned out
the garage, weeded the flower beds, and we take our morning walk again. It hasn't helped
his memory much yet, but he is more like himself again!!!"
Personal testimonies can tip you off to health
fraud because they are difficult to prove. Often, says Reynaldo Rodriguez, a compliance
officer and health fraud coordinator for FDA's Dallas district office, testimonials are
personal case histories that have been passed on from person to person. Or, the testimony
can be completely made up.
"This is the weakest form of scientific
validity," Rodriguez says. "It's just compounded hearsay."
Some patients' favorable experiences with a
fraudulent product may be due more to a remission in their disease or from earlier or
concurrent use of approved medical treatments, rather than use of the fraudulent product
skin cancer in days! ..."
Be wary of talk that suggests a product can bring
quick relief or provide a quick cure, especially if the disease or condition is serious.
Even with proven treatments, few diseases can be treated quickly. Note also that the words
"in days" can really refer to any length of time. Fraud promoters like to use
ambiguous language like this to make it easier to finagle their way out of any legal
action that may result.
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