Judge closes case of colloidal silver marketer that made COVID-19 claims

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - serggn
©Getty Images - serggn

Related tags coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 claims colloidal silver Virus

An Oklahoma federal judge has granted a permanent restraining order against a company that had been warned about selling colloidal silver supplements to treat COVID-19 but continued to do so anyway, FDA said yesterday in press release.

The final ruling was entered in Eastern District of Oklahoma Federal Court.  The defendants were listed as Xephyr LLC dba N-Ergetics and the company’s owners, Brad Brand, Derill J. Fussell and Linda Fussell. The trio was judged to have been selling colloidal silver products as a cure for COVID-19 infections.

First warning went out in March

FDA sent a warning letter to the company in March.  In that letter FDA said the company was making claims on its products that included the following:

“Coronavirus 2019-NCoVat, Treatment Has A Home Remedy. This Chinese Wuhan Flu Pneumonia has a non-traditional remedy that has successfully killed coronaviruses from the flu virus to pandemic diseases, in vitro, for over 100 years. . . . If colloidal silver has killed coronavirus strains in past laboratory test, then the current coronaviruses should also be killed. Protect your immune system try Colloidal Silver 1100 PPM Immune Support.”

After the company failed to respond to the warning letter FDA filed a civil suit.  In May the Oklahoma court granted a temporary injunction.  At the time of that injunction Stacy Amin, Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services and Chief Counsel of FDA, had this to say:

“Xephyr’s claims that their unapproved colloidal silver products can cure, mitigate, prevent or treat COVID-19, or other diseases like cholera, diabetes, cancer and AIDS, will not be tolerated. Americans expect and deserve medical treatments that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective, especially during this ongoing pandemic. The FDA will continue our efforts to make sure that this and other like-minded sellers comply with the law.”

Company shuts down website

After the issuance of the temporary injunction, Xephyr reportedly was offering refunds to consumers on its website.  The company’s website has since been removed.

Xephyr was one of seven companies that received warning letters in March in a concerted FDA/FTC enforcement action against colloidal silver products that were making COVID-19 treatment claims.  Another prominent recipient of a warning letter was controversial televangelist Jim Bakker.

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 preparations 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.”

Derill Fussell said the episode left him with a bitter view toward FDA.

“I was in business for 23 years selling an atomic mineral with water and the government called it an unnamed drug. It’s a proven laboratory fact that the only thing that will kill a virus known to man in the petri dish is colloidal silver.  Because I said that they said that I claimed that it cured COVID-19,” ​Fussell told NutraIngredients-USA.

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