Remaining Defendants in Phony AIDS Treatment
and Cure Case Agree to Settle FTC Charges

FTC News Release
September 12, 1994

Durand Keith Demlow, Lifeline, Inc., and Lifeline's president, Robert B. Danek, have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they made false claims in connection with the promotion of a phony AIDS cure sold under the names "Imuno-Plex" and "Natur-Earth." Under two separate settlements, the defendants would be permanently prohibited from, among other things, making false or misleading representations about the safety or efficacy of the product or any other food or drug.

In September 1993, the FTC filed its complaint detailing the charges in the case, naming Mary L. Redhead and Thelma M. Magno (also known as Thelma Magno-Humphries), both doing business as EarthBound, as defendants. The Commission amended its complaint in March 1994 to add as defendants Demlow, doing business as Durand Demlow Advertising Art, Lifeline and Danek. Durand Demlow Advertising Art is based in Lake Oswego, OR; Lifeline is based in Albuquerque, NM; and Danek resides in Albuquerque.

The FTC alleged that defendants Redhead and Magno represented that Imuno-Plex, a food supplement, would cure or alleviate a variety of conditions and symptoms related to AIDS and AIDS-related complex, including thrush, a fungal disease, and lesions from Kaposi's sarcoma, a type of cancer. Demlow's advertising agency allegedly helped prepare the Imuno-Plex advertisement and brochure, and Lifeline and Danek allegedly supplied the Imuno-Plex product to Redhead and Magno, and promoted it as a treatment for HIV disease. The FTC complaint states that Lifeline and Danek also sold the identical product, using the name "Natur-Earth," to potential distributors, claiming that it could cause the remission of various forms of cancer, in addition to the AIDS claims made for both products. Redhead and Magno have already settled the FTC charges.

Under the proposed consent order to settle the charges against Demlow, which requires federal court approval to become binding, he would be prohibited from making any of the specific false claims about Imuno-Plex that are challenged in the FTC's complaint; making or assisting others in making false or misleading representations about the safety or efficacy of Imuno-Plex, or any other food or drug; and making safety or efficacy claims for which he does not possess substantiation in the form of competent and reliable scientific evidence.

Under a separate proposed consent order, Lifeline and Danek would be prohibited from making false statements about Natur-Earth, as well as other false, misleading or unsubstantiated statements about the efficacy or safety of Natur-Earth or any other food or drug. In addition, the order would prohibit Lifeline and Danek from knowingly providing products or services to any person or company making false or misleading representations about Natur-Earth or false, misleading or unsubstantiated claims about the efficacy or safety of any food or drug.

The order also would permanently prohibit Lifeline and Danek from assisting with the marketing of any food or drug without taking reasonable steps to determine the truthfulness of any safety or efficacy claims made to consumers.

Finally, the proposed orders also contain various record-keeping, notification, and reporting requirements designed to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendents' compliance.

The Commission vote to file the consent orders was 4-0. The consent orders were filed in the US District Court for the District of Oregon, in Portland, on Sept. 9. The FTC's Seattle Regional Office is handling the case.

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