Chiropractor Hance Limboro has been fined for false or misleading advertising, which claimed chiropractic treatment could cure cancer. Photo: Facebook The offender said it was ”a biological imperative for the male species to be attracted to a younger, younger mate”.
The online advertisement proclaimed: “By having a regular visit to a chiropractor, people can rest assured that they are prevented from having cancer.”
Sydney chiropractor Hance Limboro is the first person in the country to be prosecuted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for misleading advertising, relating to a series of ads on a website called Cancer Cure Sydney.
Included in the lengthy advertisements – which linked to the website for his CBD clinic – were claims that spinal adjustments could cure cancer because posture issues are “believed to be the root problem of all diseases and disorders, including cancer”.
One article also said chiropractic treatment was “worth a try” to treat brain tumours.
In Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday, magistrate Alison Viney convicted Limboro of 11 counts of advertising a health service in a false or misleading way and fined him $27,500.
Ms Viney said while most healthy people would quickly disregard the claims on the website, cancer sufferers might not.
“Unfortunately the target of these sites are people who have chronic or devastating diseases, which make them so vulnerable … in regards to a cure or a fix,” Ms Viney said.
“Random people, healthy people don’t access sites for cancer cures.”
According to documents before the court, one of the articles posted in 2015 said: “If you are afraid to have the side effects of radiation therapy, one cure you can try is chiropractic treatment.”
Another ad said: “A natural cancer cure that most people choose nowadays is chiropractic treatment as it has no significant side effects and guarantees long-term relief.”
A statement of facts said the assertions were false.
“There’s no scientific evidence that chiropractic adjustment aids in the treatment of cancer.”
The barrister acting for the regulatory body, Duncan Berents, said the use of misleading advertisements was serious.
“The articles themselves are promoting something that is safe and risk-free and something that’s a cure for cancer. This is potentially tragic,” Mr Berents said.
But Limboro argued he had hired a search engine optimisation company to increase traffic to the website for his clinic, Action Health Centre, and was unaware of the content of the ads on the Cancer Cure Sydney site.
He said he was “ashamed and embarrassed”.
Magistrate Viney rejected the suggestion that Limboro was not personally responsible, noting the website was registered under his wife’s name.
Limboro, 45, was also fined $2000 for using testimonials – which are banned in health advertising – on the website for his clinic.
One of the testimonials said: “Would have been in a wheelchair.”
Another testimonial said: “Since receiving chiropractic care, I’ve had no asthma, no hay fever, and no back pain.”
The court heard Limboro is likely to face professional disciplinary action.