Gregory James Caton
|Born||April 6, 1956|
|Other names||James Carr|
|Education||AA (1975), Los Angeles Valley College|
|Alma mater||Los Angeles Valley College|
|Known for||Herbalist, alternative medicine promoter|
|Home town||Glendale, California|
Gregory James Caton (born April 6, 1956) is an American businessman, inventor, manufacturer and promoter of various herbal products, the main one being Cansema, which Caton claims cures skin cancer, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned it in 2003 as worthless. Caton is the founder of Alpha Omega Labs, a manufacturer of natural health care products, that currently distributes internationally from Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Early life and education
Caton attended Los Angeles Valley College, a community college in the San Fernando Valley, and then served in the US Navy as a cryptologist from 1975 through 1978.. He has been an avid amateur and short wave radio operator.
Nutrition for Life entered into a business agreement with Kevin Trudeau. After the change of ownership of Consumer Express, Caton wrote a book (which was since withdrawn) on his version of the alleged fraud surrounding this transaction. Down-Line News reviewed this work in February 1993 on their website. Caton filed a suit against Kevin Trudeau in the US Fifth District Court of Appeals, in response to a libel suit by Trudeau in 1996 over Caton's aforementioned book.
In January 1996, Kevin Trudeau filed a libel suit against Caton in Illinois state court based on statements Caton made in a book and on an Internet website. Caton removed the action to federal court, but on Trudeau's motion, the action was remanded. Thereafter, Caton failed to respond to Trudeau's claims and the court entered a default and noticed an evidential hearing. On June 5, 1996, after a hearing, the court rendered a default judgment against Caton, awarding Trudeau $5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
In November 1996, Caton filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in response to the judgment. Shortly afterward, the company was subject to a class action lawsuit filed in Harris County, Texas. Nutrition for Life filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 8, 2003.
Caton then took up a project to detail the issues associated with multi-level marketing on a site entitled MLM Credit Bureau. He was featured in an online article by Ami Mills on the Metroactive website in 1996 regarding his work.
Lumen Foods, Alpha Omega Labs and Herbologics
Caton started Alpha Omega Labs in 1995 using the pseudonym "James Carr". Alpha Omega Labs became a provider of over 300 alternative health products with 14 distributors around the world, before its closure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003. Caton pleaded guilty to charges that he defrauded consumers.
In early 2000, Lumen Foods reportedly "broke ranks" with the health food industry when it was reported that it would actively include Genetically modified organism (GMO) products in its offerings.
"They have it all wrong", said Lumen Foods' President, Greg Caton. "FDA, USDA, and EPA have all done exhaustive research into their safety and have found nothing that remotely suggests that either the consumer or the environment are at risk from GM seed", he said.
This earned significant attention from non-GMO advocates. Caton spoke at Cornell University's sponsored symposium, Informing the Dialogue about Agricultural Biotechnology, in November 1999. His topic was GMO Controversy & the Whole Foods Industry: Why Wholesale Condemnation of Agricultural Biotechnology Hurts our Most Ingredient-Sensitive Markets Lumen Foods reversed their position later in the year, supposedly from pressure by their customers.
Alpha Omega was the topic of an exposé by Business Week in their review of the book Natural Causes. The review in Business Week references the case of Sue Gilliatt, a nurse from Indianapolis who claimed she used Cansema, as well as a product named "H3O" (also sold by Caton) for skin cancer on her nose and that they burned off her nose (in the lawsuit, H3O was primarily blamed). Caton contested Gilliatt's assertions, claiming that because of the individual's use of additional alternative medicine, exclusive attribution of damages from H3O could not be determined. Furthermore, according to Caton, Gilliatt contradicted herself several times in her various court testimonies. Caton even claims that Gilliatt's nose appears to have been surgically removed, citing photographs. The use of escharotics (caustic pastes) such as Cansema to treat skin cancer is "unproven" and can have "serious consequences", according to dermatologists.
In 2003, United States Federal agents from the joint task force (including U.S. FDA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and local law enforcement) raided Caton's offices, factory and home. As a result of the raid, Caton pleaded guilty in 2004 and was sentenced to 33 months in prison for weapons possession by a felon, and for defrauding customers and violating FDA regulations. Caton had received a previous felony conviction for counterfeiting in 1990.
Probation violation and extradition from Ecuador
On 5 June 2006, after serving his sentence, Greg Caton was released on three years probation with specific restrictions against possession of firearms or manufacture of non-FDA approved materials. He and his family relocated to Ecuador in the summer of 2007. Alpha Omega Labs were reopened in June 2008.
On 27 October 2007, Caton was found in violation of the terms of his probation. In September 2008, a filing was made with the U.S. patent office in which he expressed a fear of arrest for violation of his probation, if he returned to the US.
Caton's probation violation was reported to Interpol, and was placed in their database; it was reported on Interpol website on 30 September 2008. In February 2009, he was featured in Parade Magazine's "On the Run In America" as an Interpol international fugitive.
On 3 December 2009, Caton was arrested at a checkpoint in Ecuador and held in prison. What followed was a complex set of legal manoeuvres involving multiple parties. According to vague reports by Cathryn Caton, his wife, these maneuvers included various members of the Ecuadorian judiciary and police officials. A judicial hearing on the case was scheduled in Guayaquil, Ecuador on 14 December 2009.
Caton was sentenced in a Louisiana court in May 2010 to serve the remainder of his probation (24 months) in prison. He filed a motion of appeal on June 23, 2011, under the provision that the court failed to consider sentencing guidelines. This appeal was denied.
Caton has returned to Ecuador and is selling his products online. An interview in November 2016 on the One Radio Network podcast details his view of medical practice and the purported benefits from black salve. The well known television physician Dr. Mehmet Oz conducted an investigation into black salve, culminating in an interview with Caton.
- Caton, G.J.; Lumen: Food For A New Age, Calcasieu Graphics & Pressworks, 1986. ISBN 0-939955-00-8
- Caton, Greg; MLM Fraud: A Practical Handbook for the Network Marketing Professional, (self-published), 1990. ISBN 0-939955-03-2
- Hurley, Dan, Natural Causes: Death, Lies, and Politics in America's Vitamin and Herbal Supplement Industry. Broadway Publishers (2007) ISBN 0-7679-2042-2
- Greg Caton CV
- Shapiro, Rose, How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All, quoted at The Sunday Times Online, February 23, 2008
- Website:Greg Caton
- List of Lake Charles Amateur Radio Licences
- Website:PRNewswire Feb 25, 1987[dead link]
- Website PRNewswire Jan 11, 1989[dead link]
- Website:PR Newswire Nov 7, 1995[dead link]
- Dixon, Anna. Doctoral Dissertaion University of Hawaii Health and wealth: Dietary supplements, network marketing and the commodification of health
- Website:Skeptic Dictionary - Kevin Trudeau accessed 19 DEC 09
- Website:Down line News Archive JAN/FEB 1993, Accessed 21 December 09
- "United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 157 F.3d 1026".
- "Website:Stanford University College of Law, Securities Accessed 18 DEC 09". Archived from the original on 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- "Website MLM Watch Archive 2003 Access 18 DEC 09".
- Website: Mills, Ami Chen, Metroactive Accessed 20DEC09
- Caton, Greg, Meditopia, online book, 2004 and subsequent, ongoing project
- Drug Week, June 18, 2004, cited at HighBeam
- "Letter from Professor C.S. Prakash, Director of the Center for Plant Biotechnology Research at Tuskegee University and a member of the newly formed USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology. Published in AgNet 06 FEB 2000". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Food and Drink Weekly, Health foods manufacturer takes pro-GMO stance, 28 FEB 2000
- Cornell University - Informing the Dialogue about Agricultural Biotechnology Symposium, November 1999
- CropChoice "Lumen's Customers Come First" 16 August 2000
- Magazine: BusinessWeek January 8, 2007, webversion http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_02/b4016109.htm
- Natural Causes Book
- Website: Meditopia pdf Archive:WISH TV Channel 8 News Story accessed 19 DEC 09
- Website WISH TV 8, Indianapolis, IN
- BusinessWeek, Jan. 8, 2007.
- Affidavit by Gilliatt
- Meditopia, Ch. 3 Greg Caton's website
- McDaniel S and Goldman GD, Consequences of Using Escharotic Agents as Primary Treatment for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer, Archives of Dermatology 2002;138:1593-1596
- EDDI, Inc. Security Specialists "On September 17, 2003, a federal search warrant was executed at CATON's residence, Lumen Food Corporation, and an industrial site owned by CATON. All of these locations were in Lake Charles, Louisiana."
- Health and Medicine Week, September 13, 2004, cited at Highbeam
- Official Transcript of Pleas Hearing, Docket 04-20075 26 May 2004
- CBS-11 News, June 30, 2004
- Web Accessed pdf - Case 2:04-cr-20075-TLM-CMH Document 49 Filed 11/23/2005
- US Patent Office document dated 19 Sept 2008 - PDF File "... on 5 June 2006 Caton began serving a 3 three year period of supervised release ..."
- Court document dated August 24, 2004 (PDF file) Probation terms
- Meditopia, Ch. 3 "our family permanently moved to Ecuador in the summer of 2007"
- "Greg Caton CV".
- US Patent Office document dated 19 Sept 2008 (PDF File) "Caton further tells us that because he could not fly to the United States he could not attend 27 October 2007 hearing in the Western District of Louisiana. As a result, Caton was in violation of the conditions of his release."
- Website: Patent Interference 105,617 McK INTELLECTUAL CONCEPTS, LLC, (Inventor: Gregory James Caton) v.ZANNIER, INC.,(Inventor: Paul D. Manos) Patent 7,264,847 (This filing was made because Caton was a junior party to a lawsuit regarding his patent with Paul Manos.)
- "On the Run In America". Parade. February 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-21.
- Familia Caton denuncia secuestro (Spanish) 2010-01-27
- UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,v.GREGORY JAMES CATON, Defendant-Appellant. No. 10-30459, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit June 23, 2011
- IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT No. 10-30459 23 JUN 2011
- Interview One Radio Network, November 1, 2016
- Interview, Dr. Oz Show, May 10, 2017