Perth court finds Breast Check broke law by promoting its services as a radiation-free alternative to mammograms
In the federal court in Perth on Monday, Justice Michael Laurence Barker determined that Mosman Park-based Breast Check Pty Ltd and Dr Alexandra Boyd had breached the Trade Practices Act and Australian Consumer Law through representations made in pamphlets.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) instituted the proceedings in January 2012, accusing Breast Check of false and misleading conduct.
The company used a device known as a multi-frequency electrical impedance mammograph and a digital infrared thermographic camera to capture images of customers’ breasts.
Breast Check claimed its services were an effective substitute for mammograms.
It claimed its methods were effective for assessing whether a customer was at risk from breast cancer and the level of that risk and could be used to assure a customer that they did not have breast cancer.
But the consumer watchdog said the representations were false as there was inadequate scientific medical evidence to support such assertions.
The pamphlet entitled “Breast Imaging. Not a Mammogram” is headed with the phrase: “Vision. Reduce deaths from breast cancer in young women.”
In addition to finding that Breast Check had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, Justice Barker also determined that Boyd was knowingly involved in the contraventions and was liable as an accessory.
He has invited Breast Check and ACCC to make submissions ahead of handing down his final orders.