Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Kevin Trudeau and various regulatory agencies continue to war over the content of the infomercials during which he hawks his book Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About (list $30, discounted at online booksellers, published by Alliance Publishing). Trudeau paid the Federal Trade Commission a $2 million fine last year to settle claims over an infomercial concerning the efficacy of coral calcium as a curative for cancer. He had run-ins in the 1990s with the state of Massachusetts over larceny charges and the federal government over issues of credit-card fraud. He pled guilty in both cases. After the 2004 FTC settlement, Trudeau agreed to stop pitching coral calcium, but he continues to publish books and newsletters pitching cures for ailments. He argues, sensibly enough, that written words, unlike products, are protected by the First Amendment, and so far, a federal judge has agreed with him. However, critics of what's in Trudeau's book, including the New York Consumer Protection Board, respond that he stretches whatever evidence exists for the cures he's propounding, and they say he leads buyers of his book astray by encouraging them to abandon traditional medicine for untestable approaches. But his book continues to sell well, as evidenced by the best-seller lists in the New York Times and on sites such as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Here is a transcript of a Trudeau infomercial (it includes editorial comments by the transcriber). Read more here in a New York Times story, reprinted in the Seattle Times (and elsewhere) here and in a Miami Herald story.
Here are links to FTC documents relating to Trudeau, including injunctions, final orders and settlements of claims.