NY's James Orders End to Bakker Show Coronavirus Treatment Marketing

New York State Attorney General Letitia James this week has ordered Dr. Sherrill Sellman to stop marketing colloidal silver products as a coronavirus cure, both on her Web site and on the Jim Bakker Show.

The state last week issued a cease and desist letter to televangelist Jim Bakker telling him not to suggest the Silver Solution was a cure for the virus.

At press time the Bakker Show web site was no longer displaying ads for the silver products.

The Federal Trade Commission has warned consumers to keep a weather eye out for health and other claims related to combating the virus.

It sent a warning letter to the Bakker Show last week advising it that it had reviewed its Facebook page media page and Web site and that it featured misbranded drugs (specifically Silver Sol Liquid) that made unsubstantiated coronavirus claims. It called on the show to immediately stop marketing the drugs for COVID-19-related use for which they have not gotten FDA approval.

It is unlawful under the FTC Act "to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless you possess competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they
are made," the FTC told the show. "To make or exaggerate such claims, whether directly or indirectly, through the use of a product name, website name, metatags, or other means, without rigorous scientific evidence sufficient to substantiate the claims, violates the FTC Act."

As the FTC pointed out, there are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or drugs that currently treat or cure the virus.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.