Blogger faces legal action over false cancer cure claims

A wellness blogger who faked a terminal cancer faces legal action following consumer watchdog investigation.

Belle Gibson from Melbourne Australia launched The Whole Pantry, a recipe and lifestyle app on the claims she was able to cure her terminal cancer through diet and lifestyle changes. She also released recipe books by Penguin publishing.

In March 2015 there were doubts cast on her claims of being diagnosed at the age of twenty with cancer in 1999 after it was discovered she was born in 1991.

Gibson’s career unravelled quickly following a spokesperson for Penguin admitted they failed to fact-check her claims, and published the book out of “good faith.”

Questions were also raised after Gibson’s failed to keep promises to donate thousands to charities from the funds from the app and book, in March she admitted the company had cashflow problems.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has confirmed they would commence legal action against Inkerman Road Nominees Pty Ltd (formerly Belle Gibson Pty Ltd) for “misleading and deceptive conduct.”

As her company is currently facing liquidation, owing $140,000, including an $83,500 tax bill, Simon Cohen, Consumer Affairs Victoria director, has applied for federal court for leave to commence proceeding.

If the leave is accepted Gibson and her company with both face legal proceeding. In another case Penguin publishing will also have to pay the consumer law fund $30,000 for failing to fact-check her claims.

Mr Cohen said: “This is an important step in ensuring that consumers receive only verified information and are not deceived, particularly where serious matters of health and medical treatment are concerned.”

Miss Gibson claimed: “None of it’s true. I don’t want forgiveness. I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘OK, she’s human.'”

She added that she was: “passionate about avoiding gluten, dairy and coffee, but [didn’t] really understand how cancer works.”

Posted on May 5th, 2016 in News

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