W-Five Exposes CCRG Cancer Scam
So far in 2006 the media in Canada and elsewhere are having a field day with one of the favourite topics of investigative shows - scams, and where else can you find the best scams, especially those involving false hope in miracle cures? Why, of course, it's in Canada!
W-Five, a production of CTV that has been around forever, well known to Rainbow Investigations, again showed a hard hitting scam coming out of Canada. This time it was a scam involving a miracle cure for cancer.
The issue of the show of January 28-29 was an Ottawa based group known as CCRG, or the Canadian Cancer Research Group run by a layman, Bill O'Neill. The show had numerous examples of people who used the CCRG services, with no improvement in the condition of the victim. Among those who have used CCRG's services in the past include famous Canadian curler Sandra Schmirler, who passed away at the young age of 36.
The show demonstrated that when O'Neill was visited by role-players with a hidden camera he made survival claims which he later denied. In one situation a document which potential clients received, O'Neill described the document as being "forged". Numerous scientific people rejected various claims by O'Neill, including one U.S. analyst, who does support various alternative treatments, so long as the treatment can be tested and shows results through testing.
For a video of the show from W-Five, from the CTV site, click here.
Many of the prominent health fraud activists in North America have commented on CCRG. Quackwatch, the site of U.S. healthfraud activist Dr. Stephen Barrett, comments on CCRG right here.
Canada's most famous health fraud activist is Dr. Terry Polevoy. Dr. Polevoy has had many personal battles with Bill O'Neill and the CCRG. Most recently, O'Neill has been blaming Dr. Polevoy for an apparent RCMP visit to his house.
Dr. Polevoy's site on CCRG is right here.
By far the overwhelming take home point of the W-Five presentation was that in Canada, at least at the political level, all of this is no big deal. The beginning of the show demonstrated how former Canadians, particularly Hulda Clark, now operate health fraud scams in Tijuana, Mexico of all places. The show implied, subtely or not so subtely, that even in Tijuana, at least there is some attempt to try to shut down the worst health fraud artists. But in Canada, is there ever such a thing?
There is the odd case that the Competition Bureau, usually with a push from the U.S. FTC, is able to do something about such as the cancer scam a few years ago out of Penticton (see Rainbow Investigations story of August 4, 2005 under Investigative Health News). But, as the CCRG example shows, for the most part, in Canada, getting involved in health fraud is a smart business decision.
How many millionaires have found their riches through Canadian health fraud scams? Just amoung the ones we know about - Phytopharma (remember Chantel LeGrand and Plant Macerat?) and the infamous Patrice Runner; Truehope with their cure for bipolar illness; numerous other Montreal based dietscams, one in particular being an international organization, currently operating at least a half dozen major scams in the U.S. On the same weekend, CBC ran a story on Marketplace about fraud artists selling fake prescription drugs out of mailboxes. And, of course, Bill O'Neill and the CCRG.
If there ever was an example of where the Canadian Government, (about to be changed), and Canadian politicians simply don't get it, this is it! The recent election campaign did have some issues of crime come up, but of course, it was all on issues of violent crime, and handguns, etc. We recognize these are important issues that can't be ignored, but when does the issue of fraud ever come up?
As much as we who have been active in health fraud have accomplished by our advocacy on this issue over the years, we obviously are not making enough of a difference, as the fraud out there now is as bad as it has ever been.
We, [the activists], will have to re-think our approach on this - just exposing the fraud does not appear to be enough in these strange times.
Don't miss the next chapter in this battle, whatever it may be....
Date of Story: Sunday, January 29, 2006
Story Posted By: Ron Reinhold
Source: Ron Reinhold
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