The Federal Trade Commission has charged a Switzerland-based company and its U.S. counterpart with making numerous unsubstantiated claims for a variety of dietary supplements and devices that they sell on the Internet. In its complaint filed in federal court, the Commission alleges that the defendants advertise that their products and programs can cure advanced and terminal cancers, AIDS, and other serious diseases.
The FTC's complaint names Dr. Clark Research Association (DCRA), a California corporation that uses a San Diego address; Dr. Clark Behandlungzentrum GMbH, a company based in Munchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and doing business as Dr. Clark Zentrum (DCZ), and their owner, David P. Amrein.
The products at issue are:
- the "Zapper," (sold as the "Super-Zapper Deluxe") a device that purportedly kills disease causing parasites in the body with electricity;
- the "Syncrometer," a device that purportedly can diagnose diseases;
- "Dr. Clark's New 21 Day Program for Advanced Cancers," a regimen that includes dietary supplements. It purportedly cures advanced cases of cancer, and, when used with the "Super-Zapper Deluxe," renders surgery and chemotherapy unnecesssary; and
- the "Complete Herbal Parasite Program" - also called the Herbal Parasite Cleanse.
"Zapping outlandish promises that appeal to health and safety concerns of U.S. consumers is one of our top priorities" said Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Unfortunately, questionable products abound on the Web. The FTC, with its partners, will continue the fight to protect consumers from these compelling but deceptive health claims."
Said FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., "The FDA takes a dim view of devices that make phony claims to cure or treat serious disease or illness. Besides being a waste of money, such products can prevent the user from obtaining needed medical treatment.
According to the FTC, the defendants advertise and sell their products on the Internet at "www.drclark.net" and "www.drclark.com" The Web sites contains statements such as:
- "Cancer can now be cured....just like many other illnesses."
- "Electricity can now be used.....to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites in minutes, not days or weeks as antibiotics require." (Zapper claim)
- "We have seen amazing results in hopeless cases with this program that are nothing short of miraculous." (The 21 day cure for advanced cancers claim)
The FTC charges that the defendants did not have a reasonable basis to substantiate the claims made in their advertisements.