Millions of Americans distrust the government. Millions more distrust the health care and pharmaceutical industries. In both cases, the suspicion is often justified. But by and large, both the government and those creating medications and treatments for our health ills are working in the best interests of the people. Sure, there’s all kinds of squirrely, sketchy cronyism going on, but if you consider where we are today compared to where we were a century ago, it’s hard to say we’re not better off.
Although we’ve managed to make huge strides toward eradicating many diseases, there are still chronic illnesses that kill with impunity. A century ago, diseases, such as polio, killed people en masse. A few decades ago, AIDS and HIV were a huge concern. But today? Those have been relegated to the back burner. Now, we worry mostly about cancer and heart disease.
And we should. Together, those two kill more Americans than anything else.
When it comes to cancer, our hopes for a cure or silver bullet allow for plenty of snake oil salesmen to gain a foothold. Case in point: There are numerous companies out there selling supposed “cancer cures” and a lot of people who buy into them based on their inherent distrust in both Big Pharma and the federal government. The Food and Drug Administration, however, has decided to bring down the hammer.
Recently, 14 companies received warning letters from the FDA regarding the supposed “cancer cures” or treatments they’ve been selling. The letters warn these companies they must stop selling products that claim to cure or treat cancer or face serious consequences. The FDA said these products can’t or won’t treat or cure cancer and can actually be harmful.
“These companies used slick ads, videos, and other sophisticated marketing techniques, including testimonials about miraculous outcomes,” according to a FDA blog post.
Although some people might not think what these companies are doing to be particularly damaging, consider this: Americans shell out $30 billion per year on these types of “alternative therapies.” We’re spending a lot on products that don’t work — and which might be unsafe.
Here are the 14 companies the FDA singled out and the products which landed them in hot water. Have you ever bought any of these products?
1. AIE Pharmaceuticals
The FDA targeted AIE Pharmaceuticals based on the products sold on two websites: atihealthnet.com and naturalvigor.com. Specifically, the FDA pointed to Cevrogin, Cholestrien, ImmunPro, Livral Complex, and Prozidan as the problem products the company sold. These products are marketed not only toward cancer patients, but those suffering from hepatitis, AIDS, and diabetes.
Next: Despite it’s name, this next company isn’t so amazing.
2. Amazing Sour Sop
The company Amazing Sour Sop sells a variety of health-related products, including the hemp drinks seen in the photo above. But in the FDA’s letter, the company was specifically warned about Sour Sop Capsules, Sour Sop Tea Bags, and Sour Sop Leaves. The government said the company claimed these products could help treat or prevent cancers of the prostate and bladder, as well as arthritis.
3. BioStar Technology International
Products sold by BioStar Technology International on the website biostarorganix.com also managed to catch the eye of the FDA. There’s a relatively lengthy list of problem products, too: Angiostop, Asparagus Extract, Ashwagandha, Desbio Venus Fly Trap, Liver Chi, Kidney Chi, OliveLeaf Qi, Revivn, Safed Musli, and Weight Less No. 4 all were included in the FDA’s warning.
4. Caudill Seed and Warehouse
Caudill Seed and Warehouse had only one product show up on the FDA’s radar, something sold under the name Vitalica. The letter sent to the company said the product was sold on the website glucormed.com, which was linked to from the company’s main site cs-health.com. The company claims for Vitalica include it could counteract “inflammation, carcinogenesis, and damage from UV radiation.”
A relatively popular site for alternative medications, DoctorVicks.com was not spared by the FDA in its recent round of warning letters. And there is a whole slew of products the FDA evidently has problems with. They include the following, directly from the letter:
“Freeda Vitamins – Garlic 400 mg, Freeda Vitamins – Niacin (B3) 500 mg, Freeda Vitamins – Quercetin 50 mg, Freeda Vitamins – Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 50 mg, Maxi Health – Livamax with Milk Thistle, Maxi Health – Maxi Omega-3 2000, Maxi Health – Triple Maxi Omega-3 Concentrate with D3 2000IU, Maxi Health – Maxi Resveratrol – Kosher Heart & Memory Formula, Freeda Vitamins – Chewable Lecithin Gram-O-Leci 1000 mg, Freeda Vitamins – Magnesium Citrate 400 mg, and Zahler’s – ParaGuard (Former BugFree) – Kosher Parasite Formula.”
6. Everything Herbs
You can see one of the problems that landed Everything Herbs in trouble, Lapacho, above. But that was only one of several. In the FDA’s warning letter, it said, “Art.-C, Black Walnut, Cleavers, Inkberry, Korean Ginseng, Lapacho, Red Clover, and Whole Apricot” were all problematic. Like the others, these products promised they could cure or treat cancers, seizures, and many other health problems.
7. Hawk Dok Natural Salve
You can see a product called “Skin Cancer Treatment” sold by Hawk Dok Natural Salve in an FDA-sourced photo above. The name of this product says it all. It’s essentially telling consumers it is a treatment for skin cancer. But it was only one of a few the FDA warned the company about. The others were Booster Cleansing Tablets, Genital Wart Remover & Relief, and Smokeless Tobacco Cancer Treatment for Gums and Lip Sores.
8. Healing Within Products & Services
Yet another company with a whole slate of products the FDA has problems with is Healing Within Products & Services. Sold through the company’s main site at healingwithin.com, the letter called the company out on these products: Astragalus Glycerite, Black Salve, Healthy Prostrate & Ovary, Hepato-C, NanoSilver, Normalose, Original Herbal Tea Remedy, ProBoost Thymic Protein A, and Siberian Chaga Mushroom Extract.
9. LifeVantage Corporation
LifeVantage might be one of the few companies on this list that is recognizable to many people. Similar to Herbalife, the company employs a multi-level marketing structure to sell its primary product Protandim. Sold on nrf2science.com, lifevantage.com, and protandim.com, the Protandim NRF2 Synergizer pill promises to help prevent cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
10. Nature’s Treasure
With a name like Nature’s Treasure, you might expect some top-of-the-line products. But instead, the company sells a series of products that don’t deliver on their promises. Specifically, the FDA’s letter warned about KR22 Oxicell, Dysbiocide, Colostrum LD, FC-Cidal, Diabend, Matcha Tea, and NeurO2. These products were sold as treatments for cancer, liver disease, and even malaria.
11. Oxygen Health Systems
Oxygen Health Systems earned the FDA’s ire with a long list of potentially fraudulent cancer cures and other products. The products were sold on three websites, oxygenhealthsystems.com, thetruthaboutcancerstore.com, and totalhealinginstitute.com. The FDA’s list included Graviola, Graviola Max, Liposomal Complete Complex Plus, Liposomal Curcumin, Liposomal Vitamin B17 Amygdalin, Liposomal Vitamin C, Palladium Lipoic Complex, Premium Flax, Rerum Blue, and Super Liposomal Plus.
Here’s the list for Sunstone: Chelated Boron, Circulatory Detox & Support Syrup, Essiac Tea, Fermented Yeast Culture, Premium Organic 8 oz., Virxcan-X Salve, and Virxcan-X Tablets. If you’ve purchased one of these, you might have been taken for a ride. But what would you expect from a company that sells a product with a name like “Plague-Buster Syrup”?
13. The Vibrant Health Store
Evidently, the FDA thinks shopping at the Vibrant Health Store won’t lead to vibrant health. Like others on this list, the FDA has a laundry list of products it feels aren’t honest. They include Black Drawing Ointment, Burdock Root, Kid-e-Trac, Liver D-Tox Formula, Rash Ointment, Red Clover Blossoms, Relax-Eze, and St. John’s Wort.
14. The Vitamin C Foundation
With a name like The Vitamin C Foundation, you’d imagine it would have some legit products. The FDA feels otherwise. The problems the FDA has problems with include Cardio-C, Chewables Vitamin C, Sodium Ascorbate, True Liposomal Vitamin C, and World’s Finest Vitamin C Powder, all of which are (or were) available through the company’s site, inteligentvitaminc.com.