Colloidal silver has been peddled as a coronavirus cure, but there’s no evidence it works.
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Federal prosecutors have charged a Utah man who they say fraudulently peddled a silver-based supplement as a cure for the coronavirus.
Gordon H. Pedersen is accused of posing as a doctor to sell the fraudulent products.
The Justice Department has taken a harsh line on quack doctors trying to sell fake coronavirus cures.
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A Utah businessman has been charged with posing as a doctor after he sold fraudulent silver-based products as a COVID-19 cure even though there is no evidence the supplements have any effect on the disease.
Gordon H. Pedersen, who previously co-owned the company My Doctor Suggests LLC, claimed to be a physician and wore a stethoscope and white lab coat in videos and photos posted on the Internet to further push his scheme, according to the Department of Justice.
“The Department of Justice will take swift action to protect consumers from those who offer phony cure-alls for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Ethan Davis said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with our partners at the Food and Drug Administration to quickly shut down schemes to promote and sell unlawful products during this pandemic.”
Government agencies have consistently urged consumers to avoid scammers trying to sell unapproved or proven COVID-19 treatments, like Colloidal silver, online.
The FDA has previously warned that colloidal silver is not safe for treating any disease or condition. In April, it issued InfoWars founder Alex Jones a warning to stop making false coronavirus claims regarding a variety of products, like silver, on his store.
The state of Missouri has sued televangelist Jim Bakker over claims that colloidal silver could cure the coronavirus.
In addition to shutting down the schemes, the Justice Department is now making it clear that merchants can face criminal charges if they continue to peddle the modern-day snake-oil while pretending they have medical training.
According to the indictment returned by a federal grand jury, Pederson started defrauding customers in early 2020.
His company made false and misleading claims that its silver-based products could be ingested to protect against COVID-19, and the products lacked the required directions for use as a drug product, according to the DOJ.
My Doctor Suggests operated without properly registering with the Food and Drug Administration, and is expected to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor count of distributing misbranded drug products in interstate commerce in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, according to prosecutors.
“The FDA is actively monitoring the marketplace for fraudulent products represented as preventing, curing, or treating COVID-19,” Judy McMeekin, Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs at the FDA, said in a statement. “Americans expect and deserve treatments that are safe, effective and meet appropriate standards, and the agency will continue to bring to justice those who place profits above the public health during this pandemic.”
The government obtained an emergency order that, among other things, required that My Doctor Suggests provides full refunds to any customers who purchased the scammy silver. Customers can contact My Doctor Suggests LLC at (1-866- 660-9868) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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