Quackery definition: Bad medical treatment from doctors who are not very good at their job, or from people who cheat other people by pretending to be doctors (from MacMillan Dictionary online)
It galls me that this story involves a physician…professional pride, you know. Rima Laibow, a psychiatrist by training, has an MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and she is licensed (but not registered to practice) in the state of New York. Check it out:
She is making headlines, because her company, Natural Solutions Foundation, has recently been issued a warning letter from the FDA about claims that their product, Nano Silver, can cure Ebola. According to the University of Michigan Risk Science Center, here are some of statements the company has made about the product:
“As of now it is said that there is no treatment against Ebola, and that is not true. In fact there is a well-known, well characterized nutrient. That is Nano Silver….[I]t does kill every pathogen against which it has been tested, worldwide, without exception. There is no other effective solution…Nano Silver…is unlimited in its effectiveness…[and is a] safe, non-toxic…and available solution against Ebola and every other communicable disease…”
“ Nano Silver inhibits every disease organism it has ever been tested against, without exception.”
“Nano Silver is the world’s only hope against Ebola and the other antibiotics/anti viral resistant pathogens.”
“[W]ith regard to Nano Silver[‘s impact against the Ebola virus] there is both clinical experience and research, namely the DTRA-funded study… That report suggests, in vitro, a significant inhibition of viral action with Nano Silver 10 PPM.”
The FDA rightfully responded that “therapeutic claims on your websites establish that the products are drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.” And that is against the law.
This type of deliberate quackery is cynical beyond belief…the company is preying on the fear of the deadly disease that to date has no known cure. Even ZMapp, the experimental drug that was used in several high profile cases, has not been proven – by medical standards – to be a cure.
Selling the Nano Silver story in West Africa
As though marketing her product to folks in the US, almost all of whom are unlikely to ever contract the disease, is not enough, Dr. Rima also sent a letter to Alpha Kanu, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information in which she claimed that “…although it is vigorously denied, the Ebola virus is an airborne infectious agent.” What did she recommend? Why Nano Silver, of course – not just to treat infected patients, but also to prevent infection in health workers. What a marketeer!
Here is from her open letter to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan:
“There is, in fact, a well-established, non-toxic anti-microbial, without any known side effects, available at remarkably low cost which – • Requires no refrigeration • Is self-sterilizing. • Is readily available • Has a very long shelf life • Is not subject to degradation under temperature and humidity extremes. That nutrient substance is Nano Silver.”
In one of a series of comments on an online Liberian newspaper, The New Dawn, Dr. Rima says,
All the while, the truth is Dr. Rima rails against Big Pharma, Big Government, and any other organization that gets between her and her story that she has the cure for Ebola (and HIV, and well, whatever infectious disease is scaring us to death at the time).
What is so scary about this story is how many people have bought into this baloney, particularly on social media. Check out a few of these tweets accessed on Twitter today:
Although the FDA is all over this (now), this is probably not the end of the story. Stay tuned—when there is money to be made, fraudsters almost always come out in droves.
For your viewing pleasure (or not), here is Rima Laibow in a video she says was made “specifically for the Heads of State of those countries where a genetically modified (weaponized?) Ebola virus is killing people.” [OMG!]
Editors note: (8/5/15) – Sorry, evidently the video has been removed…hmmmm…I wonder why? If you really want to see her, just go to YouTube and view one of her many videos.