People are living longer than ever before. As we age, it’s common to develop new aches, ailments, and illnesses — and then we often go online to learn about products and treatments to help maintain and improve our health. But a word to the wise: there’s a lot of false and misleading information out there, including what some promoters are saying about stem cell therapy. The truth is, stem cell products have not been shown to be safe or effective for most ailments, and could actually be harmful.
Today, the FTC and Georgia’s Office of the Attorney General (AG) filed a joint complaint against a current and former chiropractor and several of their companies, including Stem Cell Institute of America. The complaint says that the defendants falsely advertised that stem cell therapy could treat a variety of ailments and even replace approved treatments — when it couldn’t. The agencies also say that the defendants sold this scheme to other chiropractors and healthcare providers, teaching them to make the same claims about stem cell therapy and administer injections. According to the FTC and the Georgia AG’s Office, these claims that stem cell therapy could treat joint pain and other ailments were baseless.
If you’re looking to treat a medical ailment, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t trust a website just because it looks professional, uses medical terms, or has success stories from “real people,” which can be made up.
- Think critically about any claims you see, especially health claims about new procedures.
- Do your research online. Search for the name of the company treatment, or procedure plus the words “scam,” “complaint,” and “review.”
- Then, check out so-called treatments and claims with your health provider. Don’t make medical decisions based on advertising or marketing materials.
If you spot a scam, tell your state attorney general’s office and report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.