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Hamburg court dismisses proceedings against Dr Rath

On Monday, 9 October 2006 , the Hamburg Amtsgericht [District Court] dismissed proceedings in which Dr. Rath had been accused of allegedly infringing the Heilmittelwerbegesetz [German law on the advertising of therapeutics] and the Arzneimittelgesetz [German law on medicinal products]. The heart of the case concerned representations on the Internet about the results of Dr. Rath's scientific research and of the micronutrient products marketed by Dr. Rath Health Program B.V.

Following two days of hearings the Hamburg court dismissed the charges against Dr. Rath with the consent of the public prosecutor and of Dr. Rath in accordance with § 153a StPO [ Strafprozeßordnung, code of criminal procedure]. The dismissal of the proceedings means that there was no verdict against Dr. Rath nor was there any punishment imposed. This was falsely reported in some media.

By dismissing the case the court took account of the fact that Dr. Rath had made a clear distinction between the presentation of his research results on the one hand and the presentation of the micronutrient products on the other hand. Dr Rath furthermore agreed to pay a sum amounting to €33,000.00 to the Stiftung "Das behinderte Kind" [foundation for handicapped children]. This payment is neither a penalty nor a fine but merely part of a consensual agreement between the public prosecutor, Dr. Rath and the court.

One of the expert witnesses testifying during this hearing was Professor Mayr of the Hamburg University Clinic who has been conducting research into the tumour-inhibiting effect of natural substances such as polyphenols. The testimony of Professor Mayr confirmed the validity of the scientific work of Dr. Rath's Research Institute. Moreover, Prof. Mayr confirmed that the pharmaceuticals industry has no interest in supporting research with natural substances because they can not be patented.

In his reasoning for the dismissal of this case the judge emphasized that the court had found that the research of Dr. Rath was not charlatanism. To the contrary, Dr. Rath "probably played a pioneering role" in exploring alternative ways of combating cancer. In this context, the judge explicitly described the actions of Dr Rath as "honorable".

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