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Settlement In Cancer Treatment Cases

Jul 24, 2002 | AP

Two California companies that touted insulin injections and "acoustic lightwave therapy" as cancer treatments have settled federal charges that they lacked proof their methods worked and were safe.

BioPulse International Inc. and BioPulse Inc., based in San Ysidro near the Mexican border, are now barred from making unsupported claims or misrepresenting the safety of treatments, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday. The companies treat patients at a Tijuana, Mexico clinic.

The settlement also contains a suspended fine of $4.3 million, which is due in full if the companies are found to have misrepresented their ability to pay, the FTC said. By settling, the companies do not admit to breaking any law.

Calls to the companies and their officers seeking comment were not immediately returned Wednesday.

The FTC's complaint said the companies marketed two "alternative" therapies to treat numerous serious diseases, including cancer.

According to the government complaint, one BioPulse ad said: "At the BioPulse clinic in Tijuana, patients have seen tumors decrease substantially or even disappear from the brain, lung, bone, prostate, liver and breast."

BioPulse's "insulin-induced hypoglycemic sleep therapy" involved injecting insulin into cancer patients to starve cancer tumors and "cleanse the body through sweating," the FTC said. A seven week treatment cost up to $39,900.

The acoustic lightwave therapy allegedly worked by shining special lights on patients to destroy cells or organisms that caused arthritis, diabetes, flu, headaches, parasites, lyme disease, pneumonia, and some cancers.

"We asked them to substantiate their claims, to show us these therapies worked and they didn't give us sufficient proof," said Laura Fremont, an FTC attorney.

The FTC said the company allegedly also made unsupported safety claims about the insulin therapy.

The complaint and proposed settlement were filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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