New York City Defendants Settle FTC Charges:

FTC Alleges That the Companies Made False and Unsubstantiated Claims
for Their Cell Phone Radiation Protection Devices

FTC News Release
November 14, 2003

Two New York-based companies that marketed devices that purport to block harmful radiation from cell phones or video display units (VDUs) have agreed to pay $85,000 for consumer redress to settle Federal Trade Commission charges. Tecnozone International, LLC, Tecnozone America, LLC, and their principals advertised that their "Tecno AO protectors" provide substantial protection to consumers from electromagnetic energy emitted from cell phones and video display units. The defendants also claimed that the effectiveness of their devices have been validated by studies at major European Universities. The FTC alleged that the defendants' claims were false and unsubstantiated. In addition to paying redress, the settlement with the FTC prohibits the defendants from making any claims about a product's ability to reduce exposure to, or prevent penetration of, electromagnetic energy unless the claims are true and they have competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate such claims.

In addition to Tecnozone International and Tecnozone America, the FTC's complaint names Marvin Jemal, Stephen Jemal, and Jacob Dresdner. According to the Commission, the defendants advertised and sold two "Tecno AO" devices — one for cell phones and one for video display units — to consumers nationwide over the Internet, and through radio, print, and television ads. The "Tecno AO" device for cell phones is a small almond-shaped device designed to fit to any flat surface on a cell phone. The device sold for $49.99. The Tecno AO for VDUs is a seven inch long metallic-looking device designed to be placed on a video display unit, typically a television or computer monitor, and sold for $99.95. The companies allegedly claimed that the devices substantially protect consumers from electromagnetic energy emitted by cellular telephones and video display unit radiation. To induce consumers to purchase these devices, the defendants' ads contained statements such as:

The FTC alleged that the defendants' claims that their devices substantially protect consumers from electronmagnetic energy emitted by cell phones and from VDU radiation are false and unsubstantiated. The complaint further alleged that the defendants' claims that scientific testing proves that their devices work are false and unsubstantiated.

The proposed stipulated judgment and order to settle the FTC charges prohibits the defendants from:

The settlement requires the defendants to pay $85,000 in consumer redress. The settlement contains an avalanche clause that would make the entire $120,884 judgment due if the defendants do not make the required payments within 90 days after the entry of the consent order.

Finally, the settlement contains various recordkeeping requirements to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendants' compliance.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint and stipulated final order for permanent injunction was 5-0. They were filed in the US District Court, Southern District of New York, on November 14, 2003. The stipulated final order requires the court's approval.

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This page was posted on November 21, 2005.

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