The Nebraska Science Festival wrapped up activities last week with a lunch and learn event at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. The guest speaker was Dr. Leigh Turner, an ethicist from the University of Minnesota who warned Nebraskans of the false advertising tactics by businesses and the lack of evidence of success in the cell based medical procedures.
Dr. Turner stated, “Often what you see is this big gap between advertising claims and not much or any evidence supporting the claims they’re making. This poses risks to people – financial risks, physical risks, emotional risks. They are some real concerns and problems with a market like this.”
He says the problem is not with the person but rather with the business that is giving them misleading and inaccurate information and sometimes we can raise the question, ‘is it fraudulent’. Dr. Turner goes on to say that it is easy to dupe people, take advantage of them and prey on them.
“There’s the possibility of false advertising claims that someone is paying thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars for something that is packaged as a stem cell treatment but there is not a stem cell product in it at all,” said Dr. Turner. He says there are also problems with dosage and it may be administered by a person who is not qualified or has background in stem cell research.
Dr. Turner is calling on the FDA to play more of a role in policing the marketplace and investigating businesses. He says you shouldn’t be able to say whatever you want just to sell a product and make money from people in need. He recommends that people do their homework.
More than 50 people attended the free event held on April 27th at the Scott Conference Center.