The Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters recently to 14 companies that sell supposed “cures” and “treatments” for cancer to unsuspecting customers.
Legitimate medical products such as drugs and devices intended to treat cancer must gain FDA approval or clearance before they are marketed and sold. The agency’s review process helps ensure that these products are safe and effective for their intended uses.
Nevertheless, it’s always possible to find someone or some company hawking bogus cancer “treatments,” which come in many forms, including pills, capsules, powders, creams, teas, oils, and treatment kits. Frequently advertised as “natural” treatments and often falsely labeled as dietary supplements, such products may appear harmless, but may cause harm by delaying or interfering with proven, beneficial treatments. Absent FDA approval or clearance for safety, they could also contain dangerous ingredients.
As it happens, two of the companies are based near where I live, and it was especially interesting to hear their leaders defend the bogus treatments. Like Oxygen Health, a company that sells products like Liposomal Vitamin C, which Oxygen claims is helpful for “colds, flu, cancer… and diabetes.” (It’s not.)
How does founder Michael Carroll justify that description?
“All information that we had placed on our website (is) based on research from many naturopaths,” Carroll wrote in an email. “However, that research is not acceptable (to) the FDA.”
That’s like saying the natural history museum you manage places humans with dinosaurs because Creationist researchers said it’s true. Naturopaths aren’t credible doctors or scientists and their research carries no credibility. As the saying goes, if alternative medicine worked, it’d be called medicine.
Carroll, for the time being, scrubbed his website of anything suggesting a treatment for cancer, complying with the FDA’s demands.
It’s amazing to see the full list of companies the FDA sent letters to, and the cancer-treating products they’re selling. You’ll find everything from “asparagus extract” to “Chewables Vitamin C.”
People who buy it are wasting their money and getting nothing substantive in return, while possibly ignoring the informed opinions of doctors who actually understand the disease as much as anyone can.
Not that people like Carroll care. He’s too busy counting his cash to care about people suffering from his products.
(Image via Shutterstock)