FTC Settles With Bogus Internet Marketer

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached a settlement with Comstar Communications, Inc., and its president, Randall A. Carasco, who marketed and sold cell phone radiation protection patches through television, radio and Internet advertising.

The defendants allegedly claimed that their products could block up to 99 percent of radiation and other electromagnetic energy emitted by cellular telephones, thereby reducing consumers’ exposure to this radiation. In February 2002, the FTC issued a complaint against the West Sacramento, California-based defendants alleging that these claims were false and unsubstantiated.

The consent order prohibits the defendants from the future marketing or selling of any product that purports to reduce consumers’ exposure to radiation and electromagnetic energy, unless the claims are true and can be substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

The order also prohibits the defendants from making unsubstantiated representations about the benefits, performance, or efficacy of any product or service. The settlement requires the defendants to clearly disclose that most electromagnetic energy emitted by cell phones comes from parts of the phone other than the earpiece, where the Comstar product is placed.

Additionally, the settlement prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting the results of any test, study, or research. The settlement contains various recordkeeping provisions to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendants’ compliance.

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