DOJ, FDA crack down on quack doctor, fake virus cure in Utah

The DOJ and FDA seek to enjoin quack doctor Gordon Pedersen and his companies from fake selling COVID-19 cures.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A federal court in Utah entered an injunction Wednesday halting the sale of a fraudulent coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

In response to a civil complaint and accompanying court papers filed April 27 in Salt Lake City, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah issued a temporary restraining order against defendants Gordon Pedersen of Cedar Hills, Utah, and his companies, My Doctor Suggests LLC and GP Silver LLC.

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.

A separate court order temporarily freezes the defendants’ assets in order to preserve the court’s ability to grant effective final relief and to maintain the status quo. A hearing on the government’s request for a preliminary injunction is set for May 12.

“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 U.S. 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.”

The complaint alleges that, beginning in early 2020, Pedersen and his companies conducted a scheme to defraud consumers throughout the U.S. by promoting and selling silver products based on fraudulent claims of protection against, and treatment for, COVID-19.

According to the complaint, 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.”

Additionally, the defendants assert that once in the bloodstream, silver nanoparticles can block the virus from attaching to their cells, and thus “prevent [] the disease totally and completely.” All the claims are deemed false and fraudulent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“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 for the District of Utah. “COVID-19 is a dangerous disease, and American consumers must have accurate and reliable information as they make important health decisions.”

The websites for Pedersen’s companies appear to be down, but his silver-based cure-alls appear to be still available for purchase on Amazon stores.


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