ARCHIVESWebsite shut down by FTC

Published on Thu, Jun 28, 2001
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ARCHIVES
Website shut down by FTC

Owners of a local home business are facing charges of false advertising and deceptive business practices. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges that Marvin and Miguelina Beckwith, owners of Western Dietary Products, made unsubstantiated claims that herbs and electrical devices they sold through an internet website could cure cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, arthritis and AIDS.

Operating out of a home on Blaine Road, the FTC alleges that the couple has, since at least 1999, put the public at risk and caused consumers to suffer monetary loss and possible injury to their health. On their website, www.curecancer.com, the Beckwiths claimed that “the discovery of the cause and the cure for all cancer has stood the test of time and it is here.” Copies of web pages submitted to the court claim all diseases are caused by unidentified parasites that the herbal formulas sold by the company can kill in a matter of days. The site also makes claims that conventional treatments, such as radiation therapy and surgery, are unnecessary when the herbal cures sold by the company are used.

Court documents allege that the Beckwiths have been unjustly enriched by their actions. An herbal package they sold claiming it would cure AIDS cost $1176.90 and a cancer cure package cost $997.90. The web site also stated that “a repeat purchase may be necessary if you have had cancer for a long time.”

In U.S. District Court in Seattle on June 13, the Beckwiths agreed to a preliminary injunction against making the described claims. The website was no longer on-line last week.

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