Trading Standards instruct Oasis of Hope UK to remove cancer claims from website

Oasis of Hope UK advertising at Yes to Life seminar, 22/11/14. Photograph: Laurie Phillips

A week ago, Oasis of Hope UK was instructed  to remove claims from its website following our complaint to Nottingham Trading Standards under the Cancer Act (1939).

All content was removed from the website yesterday.

Oasis of Hope is a controversial cancer clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, which offers a range of unproven treatments for advanced cancers, including laetrile, high-dose vitamin C, ozone therapy and sodium bicarbonate. The UK office was founded by Andrew Nuttall in order to promote the clinic to patients throughout Britain and Europe.

Nuttall had already been warned last month about possible breaches of the Cancer Act, after we contacted Trading Standards about a series of seminars he had organised together with the charity Yes to Life. During his seminar talks, Francisco Contreras, director of Oasis of Hope, suggested that the treatments he offers work in a similar way to conventional cancer treatments, even describing high-dose vitamin C as “chemotherapy”

The Cancer Act (1939) states that no person should take part in 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”.

The Oasis of Hope UK website appeared to be in clear breach of this. The following claims are just a few examples of dangerously misleading content still found on the site yesterday morning:

Oasis therapies often work when chemotherapy fails

Chemotherapy, Radiation & Surgery Rarely Cure

Survival rates in stage IV cancers are 3 to 5 times better

Such claims put vulnerable patients and their families at risk of serious harm.

We had been assured by Nottingham Trading Standards that they would be monitoring the Oasis of Hope UK website in order to ensure that the claims were removed. We will notify them if any problematic claims return.