Combatting Unlicensed Stem Cell Interventions through Truthful Advertising Law: A Survey of Regulatory Trends

Ubaka Ogbogu

Abstract

This paper proposes the adoption and application of consumer protection legal frameworks, specifically truthful advertising laws and enforcement strategies, as a means of combatting the proliferation of clinics offering and providing unproven and unlicensed stem cell interventions to the public. The paper provides a very preliminary and generalized overview of truthful advertising laws in several countries implicated in the marketing and provision of these interventions. The paper aims to identify main trends and to show that truthful advertising laws, compared to other forms of regulation, can provide strong national and extra-national regulation to counter the marketing and provision of unproven and unlicensed stem cell interventions. This is mainly because truthful advertising laws and enforcement systems impose legally enforceable obligations on clinics operating within national boundaries, and can also be effectively enforced against extra-territorial clinics and providers through existing bilateral, regional, and international consumer protection enforcement networks.

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