FTC Charges Seasilver with Making False Claims (cont.)

In addition to the violations caused by its product claims, Seasilver USA has had ongoing sanitation problems at its manufacturing facility. As recently as December of last year, FDA cited the company for using equipment that cannot be properly cleaned and for permitting its employees to work the production line in street clothes. Employees in facilities like Seasilver USA's must wear garments that protect against contamination of food and food containers.

Operation Cure.all

The multi-jurisdictional nature of these deceptive marketing practices, particularly with the growth of the Internet, requires law enforcement organizations, domestically and internationally, to work in full cooperation to combat the problem effectively. In its continuous efforts through Operation Cure.All, the FTC, FDA, Health Canada, Canada's Competition Bureau, the Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) of Mexico, and state Attorneys General, the FTC, FDA, Health Canada, Canada's Competition Bureau, and state Attorneys General are working cooperatively to detect and deter fraudulent marketing of health-related products. For additional information on Operation Cure.All. see the FTC's Cure.All Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/cureall/index.html.

Tips for Consumers

Consumers are encouraged to ask the following questions before deciding whether to purchase a health-related product:

  • What is the product?
  • What is the evidence that this product will do whatever the product purports to do (e.g., counteract the disease or medical condition being relieved; lead to better results than conventional treatment?)
  • Have results from studies of this product been published in any peer-reviewed medical journals?
  • Can I have copies of the publications or references to these publications?
  • What are the training and credentials of the provider?
  • Is the provider willing to communicate with my primary care physician and/or my health insurance company?

The FTC vote to authorize staff to file the complaint in this matter was 5-0. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court of Nevada, on June 12, 2003.

NOTE: The Commission authorizes the filing of a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant actually has violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.

The FTC has established a telephone hotline recording that it will kept update with the latest developments. Distributors are urged to use this number: 1-877-862-0886 (option #5).

Source: Federal Trade Commission Press Release, June 19, 2003 (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/06/seasilver.htm)

Last Editorial Review: 2/1/2005