Just days after the New York Attorney General’s office sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Blue Eye, MO based Jim Bakker Show, the Food & Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission has also sent a warning letter to Bakker.
The letter, from the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), states that the FDA reviewed the Jim Bakker Show website and social media pages regarding the product that a guest on the televised program claimed could kill a coronavirus.
The FDA states that products on the website that contain silver, including “Silver Sol Liquid”, and are posted in a way to “mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people” are unapproved new drugs sold in violation of federal law.
“FDA is taking urgent measures to protect consumers from certain products that, without approval or authorization by FDA, claim to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID 19 in people,” the letter to Bakker reads. “We request that you take prompt action to cease the sale of such unapproved and unauthorized products for mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19.”
The letter also states that several claims on the Jim Bakker Show website “misleadingly represent them as safe and/or effective in the treatment of prevention of COVID-19.”
“There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the letter continues. “Thus, the claims cited above are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. You must immediately cease making all such claims. In addition, you are advised to review all claims for your products and immediately cease making claims that are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Violations of the FTC Act may result in legal action seeking a Federal District Court injunction and an order may require that you pay back money to consumers.”
The letter gives Bakker 48 hours to “correct” the cited violations.
A separate press release from the two federal agencies says they have sent similar letters to seven different organizations including the Jim Bakker Show. The other organizations are: Vital Silver, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., Xephyr, LLC doing business as N-Ergetics, GuruNanda, LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy LLC.
“The FDA considers the sale and promotion of fraudulent COVID-19 products to be a threat to the public health. We have an aggressive surveillance program that routinely monitors online sources for health fraud products, especially during a significant public health issue such as this one,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D says in the press release. “We understand consumers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and urge them to talk to their health care providers, as well as follow advice from other federal agencies about how to prevent the spread of this illness. We will continue to aggressively pursue those that place the public health at risk and hold bad actors accountable.”
“There already is a high level of anxiety over the potential spread of coronavirus,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons stated in the press release. “What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. These warning letters are just the first step. We’re prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.”
OI reached out via email to Executive VP of Broadcasting for the Jim Bakker Show, Andrew Lietzen, but we have not received a response as of press time. We will update this story, or will post a follow up story, should we receive a response from The Jim Bakker Show.
The Jim Bakker Show did update their website to include the disclaimer that was demanded of them by the New York Attorney General’s Office, and updated their website with a page containing “Nano-Silver Solution Resources and Studies.”