Iowa Attorney General Sues
"See Clearly" Marketers for Fraud

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

The See Clearly Method is claimed to enable people to see more clearly; eliminate or reduce nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, poor vision due to aging and eyestrain; strengthen the eye muscles; eliminate or reduce the need for glasses and contacts; and prevent further deterioration of vision. There is no logical reason to believe that any of these claims is true [1]. Moreover, the Vision Improvement Technologies, Inc. (VIT), which markets the product, has an unsatisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau due to "a pattern of complaints" and "failing to correct the underlying reason for the complaints."[2]

The program, which costs about $300, includes manuals, charts, and tapes or CDs that demonstrate eye exercises and other techniques. The exercises and "techniques" included focusing eyes using special charts or props, facing a bright light with eyes closed at a distance of a few inches, covering eyes with hands for sustained periods, and applying hot and cold wash cloths over closed eyes. The method is based in part on the work of William H. Bates, M.D., whose ideas have been dismissed by mainstream eye-care professionals for decades [1].


 

Attorney General Sues

In August 2005, the Iowa Attorney General filed a lawsuit accusing VIT and four of its officers of fraud [3]. According to the suit:

Temporary Injunction Issued

In February 2006, VIT agreed to a stipulated temporary injunction that will be in force while the fraud lawsuit proceeds. The injunction requires VIT to:

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has said:

This injunction doesn't resolve the most fundamental problems we alleged, including whether the See Clearly Method really works as claimed, and whether VIT can demonstrate a reasonable basis for its claims, as it is required to do. Those basic issues will be resolved at trial. Meanwhile, however, this injunction reins-in some of the specific consumer abuses we alleged in the suit - and it should make it much easier for people to obtain refunds under the company's 30-day refund policy if they are not satisfied with the program [5].

The trial related to claims for the product is scheduled in September.

References

This article was posted on April 3, 2006.

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