Federal Court Decision on deceptive breast cancer testing service sounds warning to others

March 10, 2014

Cancer Council WA has welcomed a decision in the Federal Court which has found Perth Doctor Alexandra Boyd and her company Breast Check engaged in conduct which was misleading or deceptive over its breast imaging service.

The ACCC brought the action after being alerted to the issue by Cancer Council, alleging Dr Boyd and Breast Check falsely claimed their services could detect breast cancer. Cancer Council Director of Education and Research, Terry Slevin, said CCWA believed the claims being made were not based on sound scientific evidence.

“People should be able to believe the health information and claims made by service providers, and we believed the claims made by these companies did not have a sound basis in scientific evidence,” Mr Slevin said.

“Specifically, we believe very close scrutiny is justified of any company offering thermography or Multifrequency Electrical Impedance Mammograph (MEM device) and claiming these devices are legitimate forms of breast cancer screening,” Mr Slevin said.

"On the strength of this case, we believe any business making these claims using these technologies serving as breast cancer screening devices should cease doing so immediately. Mr Slevin said this case should send a very strong signal to any business in Australia making similar claims that there is a high standard of evidence required.

“For that reason, we are pleased and relieved by today’s findings in favour of the case put by the ACCC in the Federal Court.”

“Actions of this kind by the ACCC take an important step to assist consumers to have faith in health claims made, as it places a clear onus on those companies making such claims –to ensure they have a sound basis for their claims.

“We believe the ramifications of this case will be of benefit to the health of Australians with regard to cancer services and beyond,” Mr Slevin said.


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