A federal court in Utah has order a halt to the sale of a product called “Alkaline Structured Silver,” charging it was fraudulently touted as a treatment for the coronavirus.
Its promoters claim the product will “usher” the coronavirus out of the body and protect from infections.
The temporary restraining order Tuesday came in response to a civil complaint in Salt Lake City against defendants Gordon Pedersen of Cedar Hills and his companies, My Doctor Suggests LLC and GP Silver LLC.
“Even in a time of great uncertainty, there are at least two unchanging realities. There are those who would unlawfully exploit our vulnerabilities, and there are those who will hold such parties accountable,” said U.S. Attorney John W. Huber of Utah.
“COVID-19 is a dangerous disease, and American consumers must have accurate and reliable information as they make important health decisions,” he said.
The company claimed that once silver nanoparticles are in the bloodstream they can block the virus from attaching to cells.
The DOJ said the civil complaint “alleges that the defendants are fraudulently promoting and selling various silver products for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.”
“The court’s order temporarily enjoins the defendants from continuing to sell or distribute their silver products for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease, including COVID-19,” the DOJ said.
The defendants’ assets also were frozen to preserve the court’s ability to grant effective final relief, the DOJ said.
“The Department of Justice will take swift action to protect consumers from those who would recklessly exploit this public health crisis by offering phony cure-alls for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We work closely with our partners at the Food and Drug Administration and will move quickly to shut down schemes that promote and sell unlawful products during this pandemic.”
Authorities explained they suspected a scheme to defraud consumers by selling silver products based on “fraudulent claims of protection against, and treatment for, COVID-19.”
Prosecutors allege the defendants “have made a wide variety of false and misleading claims touting silver products as a preventative for COVID-19, including that having silver in the bloodstream will ‘usher’ any coronavirus out of the body and that ‘it has been proven that Alkaline Structured Silver will destroy all forms of viruses, it will protect people from the coronavirus.'”
“The FDA will continue to help ensure those who place profits above the public health during the COVID-19 pandemic are stopped,” said Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D., associate commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “We are fully committed to working with the Department of Justice to take appropriate action against those jeopardizing the health of Americans by offering and distributing products with unproven claims to prevent or treat COVID-19.”