ForMor International Agrees to Stop Dubious Claims


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
June 17, 2001

ForMor, Inc., based in Conway, Arkansas, and its president, Stan Gross, have signed a consent agreement to stop making unsubstantiated claims for the products containing colloidal silver, shark cartilage, and St. John’s wort. According to documents released by the FTC, the company had made false or unsubstantiated claims that:

  • Ingestion of colloidal silver is proven effective in treating over 650 infectious diseases, and that medical tests prove that ingestion of colloidal silver is safe and has no adverse side effects.
  • Ingestion of colloidal silver is effective in the treatment of arthritis, blood poisoning, cancer, cholera, diphtheria, diabetes, dysentery, gonorrheal herpes, influenza, leprosy, lupus, malaria, meningitis, rheumatism, shingles, staph infections, strep infections, syphilis, tuberculosis, whooping cough, and yeast infections.
  • Shark cartilage pills are effective in the treatment of arthritis and other degenerative and inflammatory conditions; scientific research establishes that ingestion of shark cartilage is effective in the treatment of arthritis and other degenerative and inflammatory conditions; and ingestion of shark cartilage is effective in the treatment of brain cancer. The complaint alleges that these claims are false or unsubstantiated.
  • Ingestion of St. John’s Kava Kava, a product containing St. John’s Wort and other herbs, is effective in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, colds, syphilis, tuberculosis, dysentery, whooping cough, mania, hypochondria, fatigue and hysteria.
  • Ingestion of St. John’s Kava Kava has no serious drug interactions.

ForMor also failed to disclose that ingestion of St. John’s Kava Kava is not compatible with use of protease inhibitors used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

The proposed settlement would resolve the charges by prohibiting Gross and his company from making the specific health claims for its colloidal silver, shark cartilage and St. John’s wort products, unless they have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims, and from misrepresenting the results of any tests, study or research. The settlement would require the respondents, in connection with any claim about the performance, benefits, safety, or efficacy of any product containing St. John’s Wort, to place an appropriate warning in any advertisement, promotional material or product label.

In addition, the settlement would require ForMor to send a notice to all purchasers of St. John’s Kava Kava, colloidal silver, and Ultimate II Shark Cartilage Concentrate informing them of the Commission’s settlement and would require them to give refunds upon request to people who purchased colloidal silver and Ultimate II Shark Cartilage Concentrate during the relevant time period.

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This article was posted on June 17, 2001.