Fair Trading takes beef with unsubstantiated cancer cure – business fined $11,592
14 June 2018
A Queensland business has been ordered to pay more than $11,000 by the Brisbane Magistrates Court today (13 June 2018) for failing to substantiate claims, following an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation.
Sun Beef Pty Ltd, trading as SunUltima, operated by directors Colin Uebergang and Anthony Roger Asmus, failed to comply with a notice issued by the OFT which was seeking to substantiate claims about its product curing skin cancer.
Sun Beef was fined $10,000, plus professional costs of $1,500, in addition to $92 court costs. A conviction was recorded.
The court heard the OFT received a complaint in 2017 regarding a SunUltima product in an advertisement. The product, a 5ml SunUltima Skin Cancer Cure, retailed for $560 and was marketed as a ‘natural herbal derived skin cancer cure’.
SunUltima’s website also featured testimonials from three people who claimed the product had cured their cancers.
The OFT commenced an investigation into SunUltima as it was concerned the trader was misleading vulnerable consumers, many of whom may be desperate for a cure, that the SunUltima product was a cure for skin cancer.
As the Queensland marketplace regulator, the OFT requested SunUltima provide information to substantiate the claims, identify the people who had provided testimonials and show the product was appropriately endorsed for the treatment of skin cancer.
SunUltima refused to provide documents substantiating the claims made for the product.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said the result served as a prompt to businesses to treat consumers fairly.
“Businesses must ensure they are aware of their Australian Consumer Law obligations and aren’t misrepresenting their products to consumers,” Mr Bauer said.
“A failure to follow these obligations will result in enforcement action by Fair Trading.
“It is particularly despicable when a business preys on desperate and vulnerable consumers. The OFT will investigate and bring matters like this before the courts.”
More information on consumer and business rights and responsibilities can be found at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).