No protection from the law

The US Federal Trade Commission has charged two companies that sold devices that purportedly protect users from electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellular telephones with making false and unsubstantiated claims.

In separate court actions announced today, the FTC alleges that Stock Value 1, and Comstar Communications (Comstar) falsely represented that their products block up to 97% or 99% of radiation and other electromagnetic energy emitted by cellular telephones, thereby reducing consumers’ exposure to this radiation.

According to the FTC, the defendants lacked a reasonable basis to substantiate their claims. The Commission is seeking permanent injunctions, consumer redress, and other equitable relief.

‘These companies are using a shield of misrepresentation to block consumers from the facts,’said J. Howard Beales III, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

‘There is no scientific evidence that their products work as they claim.’

Stock Value 1, based in Boca Raton, FL, and also known as SV1, and its president, Deborah Jenkins, marketed and sold two products – ‘SafeTShield’ and ‘NoDanger’ – that purportedly block electromagnetic energy emitted from cellular and cordless telephones to consumers throughout the United States. These products consist of metallic fibre patches that are placed over the earpieces of cellular and cordless telephones.

Comstar, based in West Sacramento, CA, and its president, Randall Carasco, marketed and sold their products under the names ‘WaveShield,’ ‘WaveShield 1000,’ and ‘WaveShield 2000.’

The complaints allege that the companies, in both cases, failed to disclose in their advertising that the vast majority of electromagnetic energy emitted by cellular and cordless phones comes from the antenna and parts of the phone other than the earpiece.

The companies allegedly also failed to disclose that the WaveShield, NoDanger, and SafeTShield products have no effect on this other electromagnetic energy. These facts, the FTC said, would be material to consumers’ decision to buy or use their products.

Both complaints further allege that the companies made false statements that their products had been scientifically ‘proven’ and ‘tested,’ when in fact that was not the case.

According to a May 2001 Report by the US General Accounting Office, ‘Scientific research to date does not demonstrate that the radio frequency energy emitted from mobile phones has adverse health effects, but the findings of some studies have raised questions indicating the need for further investigation.’