Two Defendants in Phony AIDS Treatment and
Cure Case Agree to Settle FTC Charges

Will Pay $9,430 for Consumer Redress

FTC News Release
June 22, 1994

Mary L. Redhead, of Yelm, WA, and Thelma M. Magno, of Portland, OR, have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they falsely promoted "Imuno-Plex," an algae-based food supplement, as a treatment or cure for HIV disease, AIDS and AIDS-related complex (ARC) and their symptoms. The proposed settlement would prohibit Redhead and Magno from, among other things, making false or misleading representations about the safety or efficacy of Imuno-Plex, or any other food or drug, in the future, and require them to pay $9,430 in consumer redress.

In September 1993, the FTC filed a complaint in federal court against Mary L. Redhead, doing business as EarthBound, and Thelma M. Magno—also known as Thelma Magno-Humphries—doing business as EarthBound, and Post Office & More. The Commission amended its complaint in March 1994 to add defendants: Durand Keith Demlow, doing business as Durand Demlow Advertising Art; Lifeline, Inc.; and Lifeline's president, Robert B. Danek. The case against these defendants is still pending.

The FTC alleged that the defendants, in numerous statements in the Imuno-Plex ads, and an informational brochure that they disseminated to prospective customers, maintained that use of the product would cure or alleviate a variety of conditions and symptoms related to AIDS and ARC, including thrush — a fungal disease — and lesions from Kaposi's sarcoma, a type of cancer. In addition, the defendants' ads and brochure allegedly represented that Imuno-Plex would retard the progress of AIDS dementia and arrest or reverse the progress of AIDS or ARC. The ads and brochure also represented that the effectiveness of Imuno-Plex had been demonstrated by scientifically valid clinical studies.

Under the terms of the proposed consent decree to settle the charges, filed in federal court, Redhead and Magno would be prohibited from making any of the false statements about Imuno-Plex; false or misleading representations about the safety or efficacy of Imuno-Plex, or any other food or drug; and safety or efficacy claims for which they do not possess substantiation in the form of scientific evidence.

In addition, Thelma Magno would be permanently prohibited from knowingly providing services to any person or company making false or misleading representations about Imuno-Plex, or false or misleading health-related claims in connection with the marketing of any food or drug. Also, Magno would be permanently prohibited from assisting with the marketing of any food or drug without taking reasonable steps to determine the truthfulness of any safety or efficacy claims made to consumers.

Finally, the settlement would require the defendants to pay $9,430 in consumer redress, the full amount that consumers paid them for orders of Imuno-Plex. The proposed order also contains various recordkeeping, notification, and reporting requirements designed to assist the FTC in monitoring the respondents' compliance.

The Commission vote to file the consent decree was 5-0. The consent decree was filed in the US District Court for the District of Oregon, in Portland, on June 20. The FTC's Seattle Regional Office is handling the case.

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This page was posted on August 27, 2006.

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