By Brett Bolton, Special Counsel and
Kate Williams, Solicitor
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's recent
action against Sunshine Coast cancer cure 'guru' Darryl
Jones is a warning to all companies of the dangers of making
misleading or deceptive claims when promoting goods or services to
Earlier this year, the Federal Court ordered a temporary
injunction against Jones in relation to the cancer treatment claims
he was making. These court orders temporarily restrain Jones from
making any cancer treatment claims unless he has first obtained
written medical or scientific advice to support the claims.
Darryl Jones: "Cancer loves glucose"
The injunctions follow allegations by the Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that Jones, the principal of the
Darryl Jones Health Resolution Centre, had made misleading claims
about his ability to successfully treat cancer patients on the
Centre's website and in his publication The Truth About
The allegations stem from statements made on the Centre's
website about its methodology for treating cancer and other
life-threatening diseases "without dispensing pharmaceutical
drugs, advocating radium therapy, surgery or harmful
chemotherapy". The Centre's treatment advocated the
elimination of glucose from a patient's diet, undertaking
resistance exercise and taking substantial doses of Vitamin B17.
The home page of the Centre's website boldly stated:
"Discover why practically every chronic modern-day
illness and disease can be treated naturally and very effectively,
without the use of radiation or chemotherapy!!!"
The ACCC argued that these claims (and others such as
"cancer loves glucose") amounted to a representation by
Jones that excluding glucose from a patient's diet was a
treatment for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Dr Raymond Snyder, the doctor who provided a report to the ACCC
in response to Jones' cancer treatment claims, said that there
was no accepted scientific basis for such a claim.
Misleading and deceptive conduct
Businesses have an obligation under the Trade Practices Act 1974
not to engage in any conduct in business that is likely to mislead
or deceive. A breach of this obligation can in some cases lead to a
Until further notice, Jones has been restrained from making any
representations about the ability for cancer or any other medical
condition to be successfully prevented or treated by any means,
unless he has first obtained written medical or scientific advice
certifying that the treatment is supported by reliable scientific
evidence or expert medical opinion.
Jones was also ordered to disclose details of the patients he
has 'treated' and all of his publications regarding cancer
treatment, and to prominently publish details of the court orders
on his website. Ordinarily, such disclosure orders are not made
until the Court determines that the person concerned has engaged in
misleading and deceptive conduct. The Court noted that it was not
making such a finding at this stage, but that considering the
seriousness of the matter and the high level of public interest
surrounding the case, it was appropriate to take these actions at
this early stage.
The lesson for all businesses is that a cautious approach should
be taken when promoting goods and services to customers to avoid
falling foul of the Trade Practices Act.
For more information about misleading and deceptive conduct,
please contact HopgoodGanim's Competition and Trade Practices
This was an interlocutory decision about the appointment of a tutor for the child appellant, to carry on his proceedings.
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