FTC Charges Producers and Marketers of "Immune Plus"
with Making False Claims about Its Ability to Cure AIDS
FTC News Release
February 7, 1991
The producers and marketers of a purported AIDS cure known as "Immune Plus" have been charged by the Federal Trade Commission with falsely advertising and deceptively marketing the product to consumers. According to the FTC complaint, the defendants' practices caused "substantial financial injury" to consumers (Immune Plus sells for more than $300 per month) and also may have led individuals in need of other treatments to forgo them.
The FTC is seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction halting the practices, pending the court's resolution of the FTC's request for a permanent injunction and redress for consumers.
According to the FTC complaint, the defendants have represented that Immune Plus — a formulation of vitamin and mineral supplements and fatty acid tablets — can cure patients with AIDS or AIDS-related complex ("ARC") or cause them to go into remission, can eliminate or reduce AIDS or ARC symptoms, and can cause someone who has tested HIV-positive to become HIV-negative. These claims are false, according to the complaint.
Moreover, the FTC complaint alleges, the defendants have claimed that Immune Plus has been proven effective by scientifically valid clinical studies. But the efficacy of Immune Plus has not been demonstrated by such studies, the FTC complaint says.
The claims were made in newspaper advertising and through a promotional videotape.
The complaint names:
- True Health, Inc., of Dallas, Texas, the manufacturer and original distributor of Immune Plus; its president Richard M. Stokley, vice-president Robert L. Williams, and Secretary-Treasurer Earl D. Milton;
- International White Cross, Inc. ("IWC") of Carrollton, Texas, the principal distributor of Immune Plus; its president and director Daniel M. Gagliardo, and Secretary-Treasurer Judith Gagliardo;
- the Hopland Band of the Pomo Indian tribe, which has its headquarters in Hopland, California, and is a distributor for IWC; Hopland's tribal chairman Donald Ray, its manager J. R. Lasiter, and Ron Lincoln, a tribal agent;
- ASAC Corporation of Dallas, Texas, which is doing business as AMW Advertising Agency and which created the ads for Immune Plus; and ASAC officer and director Alan M. Weiss; and
- Terry L. Pulse, MD, a Grand Prairie, Texas, physician who appeared in the videotape endorsing Immune Plus.
The complaint was filed today in US District Court for the Northern District of California, in San Francisco. The FTC's San Francisco Regional Office, which handled the investigation, received cooperation and assistance from the US Food and Drug Administration offices in Dallas and San Francisco, the California Food and Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Division of the Texas Department of Health, and the offices of the Attorneys General of California and Texas.
- Civil Action No. C-91-0377 (Northern District of California).
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This page was posted on August 27, 2006.