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Nov 18 2014

‘Cancer – There is Hope’ seminars reported to Trading Standards

Trading Standards officers have contacted venues in Manchester and Milton Keynes warning them against possible breaches of the Cancer Act (1939).

Dr Francisco Contreras of the Oasis of Hope clinic in Mexico is to discuss his “innovative integrative programme” in London, Milton Keynes and Manchester.

After hearing of the planned seminars, I wrote to Trading Standards. I feel that to allow such events to go unchallenged gives credibility to quackery, putting cancer patients and their loved ones at risk of physical, emotional and financial harm.

The seminars, advertised by Yes to Life and by Andrew Nuttall, are to cover:

  1. A concise explanation of the most effective and sought after cancer therapies within traditional, natural and emotional medicine.
  2. Expose the myths and methods of conventional treatment.
  3. Help develop plans to identify and beat cancer.
  4. Ways in which to support a weakened immune system, with suggested therapies to support the body through cancer and standard treatments.

Contreras also plans to offer private consultations.

The Oasis of Hope clinic offers a selection of unorthodox, unproven and expensive treatments for advanced cancers, including intravenous vitamin C, ozone therapy and laetrile. As the Mail on Sunday reported last month, medical experts have described Yes to Life’s claims regarding intravenous vitamin C as ‘quackery’.

According to the Cancer Act (1939), no person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement “containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof”. An advertisement could be “any notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, and any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting sounds”.

ThreeSixty Clinic Personal Training told Manchester Trading Standards that they are not advertising the event and that they are offering the space to Yes to Life for free. Andrew Nuttall informed Milton Keynes Trading Standards that the topics discussed would not breach the Cancer Act. Hackney Trading Standards have been informed of Yes to Life’s advertising of the Manchester event.

There have been three prosecutions under the Cancer Act in the last year. Previous seminars discussing cancer treatments, such as the Totnes Cancer Conference, have been investigated by Trading Standards and organisers were warned about possible breaches of the law. This resulted in a change of venue and for a subsequent event, a promise not to discuss treatments for cancer.

Yes to Life have not responded to my request for comment.

UPDATE 20/11/14

Newham Trading Standards have contacted Holiday Inn, Stratford regarding the London seminar and discussed the issues.

The advertising quoted above has been amended and now reads:

  1. A concise explanation of the most effective and sought after cancer therapies within traditional, conventional, natural and emotional medicine.
  2. Ways in which to support a weakened immune system, with suggested therapies to support the body through cancer and standard treatments.

The venue for the Manchester seminar has been moved from Threesixty Clinic Personal Training to Pioneer Theatre, Manchester Conference Centre.

Laura Thomason

Project Leader, Good Thinking Society