Government Persists with Efforts to End Marketing of “Cancer Cures”

Apr 05, 2011   

Continuing the Daniel Chapter One (DCO) saga, the Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has recently resumed its action against the dietary supplement distributor. DCOs troubles with the FTC began nearly three years ago when the FTC sought to enjoin the company from marketing its products as effective in curing cancer. According to the FTCs Final Order, DCO was prohibited from advertising its dietary supplements in this manner because it had no scientific evidence to support these claims. However, that was not the end of DCOs troubles.

At the direction of the FTC, the DOJ brought a complaint in 2010 for civil penalties, seeking to disgorge DCOs “ill-gotten” profits. According to DOJ, the Company continued marketing and selling its products in violation of the FTC Final Order. However, because DCO appealed the FTCs final order, this contempt action has been stalled pending the resolution of the remaining issues in the original FTC action. With DCOs appeal being denied, the stay has recently been lifted and the DOJ is continuing its efforts to stop the dietary supplement company from reaping the rewards of its deceptive advertising.

While it appears that DCO has its hands full with the FTC and DOJ, other federal agencies have pursued actions against the company as well. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have each targeted DCO in connection with its marketing and sales of these products. In August of 2008, the FDA issued a Warning Letter (found here) to Daniel Chapter One based on a review of the companys website. The Warning Letter stated that four of the companys products were “promoted for conditions that cause the products to be drugs . . .” and the marketing of these products was a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Specifically, the Warning Letter pointed out claims describing the ingredients of the products, as well claims in the form of testimonials. Many of these claims indicated that the products reduce the risk of cancer or that ingredients in the products are cancer-fighting or can inhibit tumors.

While the FTC, FDA, and IRS all have distinct areas of regulatory authority, as revealed by the case of Daniel Chapter One, their paths often cross. For more information regarding the jurisdictional overlap between FDA, IRS and FTC, please contact us at contact@fidjlaw.com.