Consumer Health Digest #11-15
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
June 2, 2011
Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.
FTC curbs Oreck Corporation claims. The Federal Trade Commission has approved a settlement agreement under which Oreck Corporation must pay $750,000 and refrain from making unsubstantiated claims for any vacuum cleaner or air cleaning product. Oreck's Halo vacuum cleaner, which retailed for $599.95, contained a light chamber that generated ultraviolet light. Oreck's Proshield air cleaner, which cost as much as $399.95, uses an electrostatic charge to filter air particles. The FTC objected to claims that the products could prevent or substantially reduce the risk of flu, colds, and other illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, molds, and allergens. FTC settlement requires Oreck Corporation to stop making false and unproven claims that its ultraviolet vacuum and air cleaner can prevent illness. FTC news release, April 7, 2011]
Illegal STD claims attacked. The FDA and FTC have announcedan effort to curb the marketing of products marketed with unproven claims of effectiveness against sexually transmitted diseases. [FDA, FTC act to remove fraudulent STD products from the market. FDA news release, May 3, 2011] So far, the agencies have jointly warned 12 companies to stop claiming that various products can prevent or cure STDs. The products—some of which are said to be dietary supplements—have been claimed to be effective against herpes, chlamydia, genital warts, and HIV. The targeted companies and products are:
Disintegrate Formula, Echinacea/Golden Seal, Detox Formula, Burdock Extract,
International Institute of Holistic Healing
Oil of Oregano P73 Physician’s Strength, Essaic Tonic Liquid Drops, Colloidal Silver 500ppm (Liquid)
H-Stop Dx, H-Guard Dx, Molluscum Dx, Wart Dx
Herpaflör Outbreak Response Topical Liquid, Herpaflör Outbreak Response Tablets, Herpaflör Outbreak Response Combo Pack, Herpaflör Daily Formula Tablets, Herpaflör Complete Package
Medavir, ViraBalm, Vyristic Immune Support, Medavir H-Elimination Kit
Never An Outbreak
O2xygen Force (Oxygen Force/OxyForce), DMSO Cream, DMSO Roll-on, DMSO Cream w/Aloe, AlkaLife
Another chelationist disciplined. The Georgia Composite Medical Board has concluded that Viktor Bouquette, M.D. improperly diagnosed and treated a 56-year-old woman who died in 2002 while undergoing intravenous chelation therapy. The consent order (shown below), requires Bouquette to (a) pay a $5,000 fine plus $800 for Board costs, (b) complete 20 hours of board-approved continuing medical education in environmental medicine and 10 hours in record-keeping, and (c) refrain from providing intravenous chelation therapy to patients without fully documenting the need for such treatment on the patient's chart. The order indicates that Board's peer-reviewer concluded that Bouquette had (a) failed to document a possible source of lead exposure, (b) failed to conduct a through physical examination, (c) relied on a provoked urine test rather than a standard blood test to measure the patient's lead level, and (d) administered intravenous EDTA chelation, which should not be done unless a patient has severe lead poisoning. Bouquette disputed the peer-reviewer's conclusions, but the Board agreed with them and Bouquette consented to be disciplined as noted. Bouquette is medical director of the Atlanta-based Progressive Medical Center, which claims to be "the most comprehensive integrative medical facility in the Southeast." In 2003, the patient's survivors sued Bouquette, several other staff members at the clinic where he worked, and Metametrix, the lab that had tested the provoked urine specimen. In 2006, Metametrix settled in an agreement with confidential terms. The suit against Bouquette and the others was dropped.
This page was posted on June 2, 2011