In this Sept. 5, 2018 file photo, Alex Jones speaks to reporters in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis … [+]
Topline: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has sent an official warning letter to Alex Jones and his website InfoWars on Thursday for advertising unproven cures for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
- The warning letter comes three weeks after New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered Jones to stop marketing his products, which include “SuperSilver Whitening Toothpaste” and “SuperSilver Wound Dressing Gel” as cures for coronavirus.
- Many of Jones’ products include mention of colloidal silver, which is small particles of silver in a liquid solution. The FDA has previously said there is no scientific evidence to show colloidal silver helps with any health issues.
- The FDA warning letter orders Jones to correct his misbranding immediately, and contact the FDA within 48 hours to describe the steps he will take to rebrand these products.
- Failure to correct these violations, the letter says, “may result in legal action including, without limitation, seizure and injunction.”
- As of 8:00 pm ET, the products mentioned in the warning letter were no longer visible on the InfoWars shop website.
- Jonathan W. Emord, an attorney for InfoWars, said last week that the products were never intended “to be used in the treatment of any disease, including the novel coronavirus,” reported the New York Times.
News Peg: In addition to Jones, the FDA sent warning letters this week to seven other companies that have falsely claimed to sell products that can treat or cure COVID-19. The companies include Idaho company Herbal Amy and televangelist program The Jim Bakker Show. The products cited included teas, essential oils (including CBD oil), tinctures and colloidal silver products. According to the FDA website, “currently there are no FDA-approved drugs specifically for the treatment of COVID-19,” though several medications are in clinical trials.
Key Background: A 2018 profile of Jones in the German magazine Der Spiegel reports that two-thirds of Jones’ funding comes from selling his products. Though Jones has promoted conspiracy theories such as the false claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, he gained legitimacy through his relationship with President Donald Trump, who has retweeted InfoWars tweets and appeared on Jones’ online show in 2015. Apple banned the InfoWars app from its store in 2018, and last month Google Play followed suit. Facebook and Twitter have also banned Jones from their platforms.