June 19, 2008

FDA Warns Against Fake Cancer Cures

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it is cracking down on the sale of products that fraudulently claim to prevent or cure cancer.

The products contain ingredients such as bloodroot, shark cartilage, coral calcium, cesium, ellagic acid, Cat's Claw, an herbal tea called Essiac, and mushroom varieties such as Agaricus Blazeii, Shitake, Maitake, and Reishi, the FDA said Tuesday in a news release.

The agency sent warning letters to 23 U.S. companies and two foreign individuals saying the products are being marketed in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Although promotions of bogus cancer 'cures' have always been a problem, the Internet has provided a mechanism for them to flourish, said Margaret O'K. Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. These warning letters are an important step to ensure that consumers do not become the victim of false 'cures' that may cause greater harm to their health.