FDA in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a warning letter to Georgia company Peterson Research Laboratories over colloidal siver products for sale on its website. Accoring to FDA the company was making the following claim:
“Simple Silver (Colloidal Silver) with ionic solubility technology is a dietary supplement that has ionic solubility that may supports the Immune system ability to fight off and kill nasty pathogens that can cause illnesses inside and outside the body such as: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).”
The warning letter notes that there are no currently approved treatements for COVID-19. It also notes that FTC requires competent and reliable scientific evidence to back any health claim, which does not exist for colloidal silver products.
Profiting from the pandemic
Colloidal silver products being hawked as COVID-19 treatments was the subject of a concerted FDA/FTC enforcement action earlier this year. Seven companies and/or individuals were sent warning letters in March, including controversial televangeist Jim Bakker.
After the collapse of his televagelism empire in North Carolina and a stint in prison serving time for a fraud conviction, Bakker started a new church and TV show in Missouri. In the March enforcement action Bakker was accused of selling a colloidal silver product on his website as a coronavirus cure.
Bakker is now under investigation by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over the sale of silver products in that state. In August a judge ruled against Bakker’s motion to block the investigation. According to Rutledge’s lawsuit, at least 385 people in Arkansas spent more than $60,000 buying silver solution products from Bakker for an average outlay of about $1,500.
Colloidal silver products have been on the market for years with a variety of antimicrobial and antiviral claims. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says silver particles have some potential uses in topical prepartions and in wound dressings. But NCCIH goes on to say: “Silver has no known function or benefits in the body when taken by mouth” and “Silver is not a nutritionally essential mineral or a useful dietary supplement.”