Missouri’s attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit against an area TV evangelist, just a few days after the federal government ordered him to stop claiming a product sold by his show is a possible cure for COVID-19, the diseased caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus.
A warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission on March 6 notified The Jim Bakker Show that the product, Silver Sol Liquid, is being sold in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, that the product is misbranded, and that introduction of the product into interstate commerce is prohibited
On March 10, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that he has filed a lawsuit against Bakker and Morningside Church Productions “for misrepresentations about the effectiveness of “Silver Solution” as a treatment for 2019 novel coronavirus.”
The lawsuit says that in a Feb. 12 show, “Bakker and guest Sherill Sellman, a ‘naturopathic doctor,’ claimed that “Silver Solution” can cure coronavirus.”
The letter from the FDA and FTC cites a clip from video titled “A Close Look At What’s Not Being Said About the Coronavirus (Day 1)” in which Bakker asks his guest about the effectiveness of Silver Sol Liquid.
“Well let’s say it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it’s been tested on other strains of the coronavirus, and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours, totally eliminate it, kills it, deactivates it.”
The letter also states that The Jim Bakker Show “should take immediate action to correct the violations cited in this letter.”
The letter points out that there is no cure for 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 state lawsuit is requesting “a restraining order and permanent injunction ordering Bakker to stop selling Silver Solution as a treatment for coronavirus.”
The FDA letter gave The Jim Bakker Show 48 hours to “describing the specific steps you have taken to correct these violations”
On Tuesday morning, The Jim Bakker Show’s online store was still selling a case of 16 ounce bottles of Silver Sol for $300, although the store site did not appear to make any specific claims regarding coronavirus or COVID-19.
The Jim Bakker Show is filmed at the Morningside Church campus near Blue Eye.
A request for a statement from the show or Morningside was not returned by press time.
For the full letter from the FDA and FTC, visit https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/warning-letters/jim-bakker-show-604820-03062020
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office on Monday issued a consumer alert, warning Missourians of potential price gouging and phishing scams related to COVID-19. The office is asking the public to report any and all instances of price gouging or other COVID-19 scams to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or online at https://ago.mo.gov/app/consumercomplaint.