Two Utah companies must stop selling silver products as a treatment for the coronavirus, according to a federal court order.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order against My Doctor Suggests LLC and GP Silver LLC to halt their sale and distribution of the products. The Justice Department, which brought the lawsuit, announced the restraining order on Wednesday.
My Doctor Suggests and GP Silver began touting the alleged coronavirus-fighting powers of silver products on YouTube and Facebook earlier this year, as public concern over the disease began to grow, the DOJ said in its complaint.
The court action comes as the DOJ, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Federal Trade Commission have ramped up enforcement efforts against coronavirus-related scams.
“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,” Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the DOJ’s Civil Division said in a statement.
“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,” Hunt said.
There is no recognized cure for Covid-19, and no drug has been proven safe and effective for the prevention, treatment, or cure of the disease, the DOJ said in the lawsuit.
Judge David Barlow also temporarily froze the companies’ assets in a separate order. A hearing on the government’s request for a preliminary injunction is set for May 12.
Silver in the Bloodstream
The companies and their owner, Gordon Pedersen, made a wide variety of false claims about silver, including that having silver in the bloodstream will “usher any coronavirus out of the body,” the DOJ alleged.
Pedersen also claimed “it has been proven that Alkaline Structured Silver will destroy all forms of viruses, it will protect people from the Coronavirus,” the agency alleged.
The companies’ products include “Silver Solution,” “Silver Gel,” and “Silver Soap,” as well as an ingestible form of silver, the “all Natural Silver Lozenge.”
Pedersen and his companies have been assuring consumers since 2014 that the products also treat arthritis, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, according to the lawsuit.
The defendants couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The case is United States v. My Doctor Suggests LLC, D. Utah, No. 2:20-cv-00279, temporary restraining order granted 4/28/20.