December 18, 2014

Attorney General sues telemarketers of two ‘miracle cures’

Attorney General Tom Miller is taking legal action against a company marketing a human growth hormone spray and another firm selling a product that telemarketers claim could treat hundreds of ailments, including cancer.

“Some health care claims that are nothing short of outrageous,” Miller says.

Today a district court judge has ordered the Las Vegas company selling the human growth hormone spray to quit doing business in Iowa and to provide refunds to Iowans who may have purchased the product, which sold for $249 a bottle. In a phone call Miller’s investigators recorded, a telemarketer claimed the human growth hormone spray was the “only known product…proven to kill cancer cells.”

“The claims are just so out-of-bounds,” Miller says.

Miller’s investigators caught another Las Vegas company making similar wild claims to try to sell marine phytoplankton supplements. One of the company’s telemarketers pitched the product to someone he thought was an elderly woman, but who turned out to be an investigator for Miller’s office.

“They found that this marine phytoplankton, they found that it’s actually helping with or fully reversing over 500 different health problems — things arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, sleep disorders, even cancer,” the telemarketer said. “We’re not supposed to say ‘cure for cancer’ but my wife is a survivor definitely because of the marine phytoplankton. I believe that 100 percent.”

Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the state’s top public health official, says there is no such thing as a miracle cure for cancer.

“I have a mother who is having health problems and is having trouble remembering things and I would just hate for her to be a victim of these kind of fraudulent and basically unbelievable health claims,” Quinlisk says.

According to Quinlisk, the telemarketers use “scientific double-speak” to try to fool people into buying the products. Miller is asking a judge to forbid the company marketing the marine phytoplankton supplements from selling the product in Iowa.