April 2, 2014

"Whole Foods Market will continue to carry colloidal silver due to responsibility for misuse."

So reads the "warning" sign that caught my attention the other day:



Click to read the fine print which says that there's "insufficient data to confirm the effectiveness" of this product but that it "can cause severe adverse consequences, including argyria." Argyria is your skin turning blue!

Here's a woman who took silver long ago — dosed by a doctor:



She speaks of strangers on the street shunning her and of losing employment opportunity, but I don't understand why she doesn't wear foundation. The gray face — and its awful expression of sadness — repels people, but she has chosen not to conceal what she could easily conceal and not to smile. Take some responsibility for that. But she's participating in a TV show here, and she's dramatizing her predicament and warning.

And here's a man who's accepting having turned blue and continuing to take silver and to recommend it:



Why is Whole Foods selling this? The phrase "due to responsibility for misuse" is a bit weird, but clearly it means due to responsibility for misuse belonging to you the customer, because we've issued this warning. It's your damned fault if you consume this stuff, get no benefit, but turn blue.

Meanwhile, check out the price tag. 4 ounces of what is only 10 parts per million cost over $25.00. There's not much silver. Maybe I'm getting more silver eating with silver forks and spoons. So what's the problem? It's your $25.

51 comments:

Sorun said...

For Papa Smurf, the blue skin looks better with his red/gray hair than a red face would.

Also, anyone with a grandpa knows what a bunch of quacks they are when it comes to health advice. My own gramps promised me that shampooing everyday causes male-pattern baldness.

Meade said...

Blue Like Me

J Lee said...

Now that tattoos are pretty much routine and boring (in terms of making a statement and/or annoying your parents) this could be the next big trend.

Sorun said...

Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience.

LordSomber said...

Blue skin can also occur genetically.

Look up the "Blue Fugates of Kentucky."

Curious George said...

Blue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL8WuOqgDtQ&t=1m4s

FleetUSA said...

Sounds like "Dr. Jim's" Elixir which was sold off stagecoach wagons in the 19th century, i.e. booze for Baptists.

chickenlittle said...

Hold Your Head Up if you've got the blues...

madAsHell said...

I've got the blues.
Now, if I could just learn to play this guitar.

St. George said...

Professor—

Thank you for standing up for freedom in this country.

Sincerely,
A Grateful Nation

Fritz said...

Smurf!

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Just for giggles ... 10 ppm is 1/1000th of a percent. There are 118 grams of total product, so the silver content at the current $20 per ounce price is approximately 1/12th of a cent.

That's a great scam if you can pull it off.

tmitsss said...

If you want to read about colored men I suggest The Orange Man and Other Narratives of Medical Detection by Berton Roueche

Laslo Spatula said...

Does this also explain 'blue balls'?

Joe said...

I had a work colleague who preached the benefits of silver. The claims he repeated were beyond the absurd. The irony being that he didn't actually practice what he so fervently preached in regards to silver, but did take some useless herbal supplements.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm a huge fan of Whole Foods. I just love their stores and all their organic, fair trade, sustainably sourced bullshit. I love watching the dumbass wannabe hippies and hipsters wasting all their money. I say go for it Whole Foods and seperate these suckers from their money. Teach them a lesson in predatory capitalism!

Joe said...

Sorun, I read that article. It was good. Then I read the comments. I can only conclude that far too many readers of the Daily Beast are dumb as shit.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that colloidal silver is touted as an alternative to prescription antibiotics. According to SteadyHealth.com, it is also purported to help treat AIDS, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, flu, herpes, pneumonia, prostatitis, the common cold, scarlet fever, shingles, syphilis and tuberculosis. There is, however, no verifiable scientific research to suggest it is effective for treating any type of medical condition."

When the claim is that something heals just about everything, chances are pretty high that the claim is BS.

Danno said...

I have always known that Whole Foods got their Whole Paycheck reputation deservedly so I shop there as little as possible. However, I do like their deli options, store-made salsa and healthy chips and other party foods. Their Three Beans dark roast coffee is my favorite for my morning coffee where I both grind and then put them into the coffee press, and is a very good value. I stay out of the natural remedies aisle.

Titus said...

I have had blue balls.

Even a small town in Vermont on the Canadian border with a population of 4,500 is fab looking. Look at the hamlet...so fucking cute. A town like that in Wisconsin would have bordered up businesses, a bar and a bowling alley.

My new fave Vermont town is Montpelier.

I used to love Brattleboro most, than Burlington, next Woodstock, Stowe (natch), Bennington and Rutland. But now I am all Montpelier.

Titus said...

fyi Cambridge Mass has the largest number of Whole Foods in the Nation per population.

Three Whole Foods for a population of 100k, that SWELLS to 500k during the school year, plus one in Somerville on the border of Cambridge.
tits.

tastid212 said...

does anybody remember the "blue guy" who ran around the central park reservoir? his skin was abnormally grayish blue. i thought he had a blood circulation problem. haven't seen him in a couple years.

YoungHegelian said...

I guess colloidal silver is not to be confused with this stuff --- edible gold leaf. It's called "vark" in Indian cuisine, and is used especially in desserts to jazz up eye appeal.

It always reminded me of that line from Monty Python's Life of Brian where when Brian's mum is telling Brian how the Roman soldier Naughtius Maximus seduced her many years ago, he, among other things, promised her "all the gold she could eat".

Titus said...

We are very rich commies in Cambridge:

Cambridge enjoys the highest possible bond credit rating, AAA, with all three Wall Street rating agencies.

David said...

Moderation is definitely off at Whole Foods.

David said...

Nice to see Titus weighing in on this one.

Titus' favorite live stage extravaganza?

Blue Man Grope.

Come back to cheese land for a while, Titus. You are getting too cool for school.

Foose said...

Wilkie Collins introduced a victim of argyria in his novel "Poor Miss Finch" - Oscar's ladylove is supposed to be unaware of his affliction, as she has been blind since infancy, but unfortunately she cherishes an irrational (and embarrassing to the 21st-century reader) prejudice against people of "dark complexions" and "dark people." He lives in fear that someone will betray his "frightful colour" to her.

glenn said...

Give it to the Boomers. They'll drink anything.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

The problem is the assumption, made by those in power positions, that there is one problem.

This bullshit allows those in power to accuse others without power of bigotry thereby justifying those without power raping the law and taking what they see fit.

It makes little sense, as humans do.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

The problem is the assumption, made by those in power positions, that there is one problem.

This bullshit allows those in power to accuse others without power of bigotry thereby justifying those without power raping the law and taking what they see fit.

It makes little sense, as humans do.

fizzymagic said...

Wait... I thought it was only right-wingers who were anti-science.

I'm so confused.

Smilin' Jack said...

Click to read the fine print which says that there's "insufficient data to confirm the effectiveness" of this product...

Maybe there's insufficient data so far, but I'd bet that if used in sufficient quantities by enough people this product will be found to be quite effective at improving the gene pool.

Carnifex said...

See...my wife was much smarter than this. She bought the machine that makes the stuff, and did her own homemade "mash", so to speak. Thank God that went the way of her "Lets corner the eight track market! Everyone still has them!" and her "I like my Betamax"---(true ideas she had)

**No offense to our own Betamax3000.

Ps. Don't get me started on her cellphone.

jacksonjay said...

When the professor wondered about her not wearing foundation, I expected the woman to be without what my wife calls an "undergarment"! Ha! My wife is kinda prudish.

Does the prof really wonder why she doesn't "conceal what she could easily conceal"?

Alan said...

All these blue people and not one mention of the Cheddar Queen of Fond Du Lac.

jr565 said...

Supposedly, colloidal silver is good for some stuff. Antiviral or antibacterial or some such stuff. I've tried it before and noticed no change. By the same token I didn't turn blue or gray. You'd have to drink an awful lot of it in one go to turn blue.
How many people turn blue versus not turn blue.

jr565 said...

Colloidal Silver Blues - by Blue Berry Jefferson.

jr565 said...

Althouse says she's ok with legalizing pot. A guy just ate some pot brownies and jumped off the balcony.
Has anyone who drank colloidal silver ever jumped off a balcony?

"Why is Whole Foods selling this? The phrase "due to responsiblity for misuse" is a bit weird, but clearly it means due to responsiblity for misuse belonging to you the customer, because we've issued this warning. It's your damned fault if you consume this stuff, get no benefit, but turn blue."

Why are pot dispensaries selling THAT? Why are "doctors" prescribing pot for medical conditions? Isn't that kind of like prescribing colloidal silver for medical conditions?

EDH said...

"I think I see Blue, he looks glorious."

Peter said...

Why pick on colloidal silver when the entire "supplements" industry is a medicine show of "not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease" products that (above the tiny disclaimer) claim to cure everything from diabetes to cancer?

Most of them are at least harmless, but surely this colloidal silver is also pretty harmless at this low concentration?

Why should an honest vendor who chooses to sell these products not just admit it with universal disclaimer placards: "None of this stuff should be used to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease and, some of it may be harmful. Nonetheless, we've chosen to sell it anyway. So, buyer beware!"

Peter said...

Titus said, "My new fave Vermont town is Montpelier".

Nothing at all to do with Whole Foods or colloidal silver, but,

If you're ever in Barre-Montpelier, VT, you really should check out some of the cemeteries. This is where generations of gravestone-carvers worked for Rock of Ages company. They sometimes got creative when carving their own gravestones.

BTW, I once had the driver of a semi-truck stop and ask me (a pedestrian in Burlington) how to get to "Mont-pel-i-ay." Since almost all French place names get very thoroughly Anglicized in the USA, it did take me a minute to realize he was referring to the capital city of Vermont.

leslyn said...

Colloidal silver is necessary for certain medical conditions. You could have looked that up. So, therefore, it's not stupid.

Ann Althouse said...

"Colloidal silver is necessary for certain medical conditions."

I relied on the statement about what the FDA said: no recognized benefits.

So, why don't you just say what this medical condition is that it's "necessary" for?

Skookum John said...

BTW, I once had the driver of a semi-truck stop and ask me (a pedestrian in Burlington) how to get to "Mont-pel-i-ay." Since almost all French place names get very thoroughly Anglicized in the USA, it did take me a minute to realize he was referring to the capital city of Vermont.

-----

Half the truck drivers in Northern New England are French Canadian. Some of them don't speak enough English to ask you the question he did. You'll often see road signs in French, especially at places like steep hills and blind curves that truck drivers should take note of.

Junebug said...

The colloidal silver available now does not cause this. Also, if you are worried about turning blue or grey do not take it for years (but again the colloidal silver available now does not cause this).

It has incredible health benefits. And will not harm you. Just like medical technology improves, so does stuff like this.

Rosemary Jacobs said...

You don’t understand why I don’t use foundation? If you had asked, I would have told you.

I have been made-up by professionals who sell the makeup used to cover birthmarks. It only makes me go from one unnatural color to another. But without makeup, people only assume that I have a physical health problem. With makeup they assume that the problem is also mental because they think only a crazy person would deliberately use makeup to look weird.

Do you know how long it takes to put coverup makeup on your face, neck, and ears? Do you know it gets all over your clothes and comes off on your hands if you touch it? Do you know how long it takes to remove the makeup and put it back on so that you can wash your face, something you have to do frequently if you sweat or your face gets oily, as mine did when I was young?

Do you realize that silver usually doesn’t only discolor the face? How do you think it would feel to go around wearing body makeup?

Do you understand that a white person can’t pass for a black person by using foundation or how a black person can’t pass for white by using it?

Even if makeup made argyric people look “normal”, I would never want to have to live my life wondering how people who didn’t know that my skin was discolored would react if they caught me without makeup on.

There are now many recent cases of argyria caused by silver supplements. The products today are as useless and bad as the old ones. Scroll to the bottom here to see a recent case. http://rosemaryjacobs.com/naturopaths.html Look at her hand. If she made-up just her face and not her hands, how do you think that would look? If she put makeup on her hands, it would come off on everything she touched.

Take some responsibility yourself. Have the courtesy to try to interview people before writing about them.

Rosemary Jacobs

Ann Althouse said...

"Take some responsibility yourself. Have the courtesy to try to interview people before writing about them."

No, I don't do interviews. I am careful to write only what I know and not to make assumptions. Thus, here, I merely stated that I didn't understand why this woman doesn't wear foundation. That isn't making any assertion about her, only about me.

If the reason is that no normal foundation would improve the look, that's interesting to know. If it is in fact true that birthmark-coverage-level foundation is a horrible, unworkable product, that too is interesting.

I still think smiling helps!

Rosemary Jacobs said...

Regarding the first part of your first statement, you are playing word games.

Regarding the part about smiling, do you tell people in wheelchairs to smile too? I had a friend who was severely crippled by polio who walked with braces and two canes. She was a delightful, funny person, but she did complain about people who wanted her to be a “nice crippled”, one who smiled and put them at ease.

I don’t have to walk down the street with a grin on my face so that people will react favorably to me. If they don’t like the way I look, they can look away. And do you really think that a smile would convince a business person that having customers see me wouldn’t be a liability? Do you think he’d choose a facially disfigured person if there were others just as qualified applying for the same job?

However, something you don’t seem to have thought of is that the video you posted was done by a TV program. It was edited. The producers chose what to show. I had nothing at all to say about the matter.

I have done a great deal of interviews in an effort to alert the public to the silver fraud and the danger of ingesting the stuff so that what happened to me won’t happen to them. That means accepting the fact that I have no say whatsoever over the way that I will be portrayed or even what part of what I say will be included. I am more than willing to accept the risk of being portrayed as an irresponsible fool, but others are not. It is because of insensitive statements like yours that most argyric people refuse to speak out against those who have scammed them. Most won’t even speak with an attorney to see if they can sue the party responsible. Now that is a tragedy.

Ann Althouse said...

I think my statements are all accurate and I'm not ashamed of the level of empathy I'm displaying here. If you read everything I've written carefully and objectively, you might see that. I'm trying to warn people too.

I don't remember reading whether or not you were suing.

I'm a law professor, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I don't ever want to claim that CS cures AIDS but anytime I get sick with the flu it helps me get better in 2 days at the most. I don't take 500ppm (8ppm is totally sufficient) to get some benefits and I only take en I am sick. I don't trust the FDA either....so I don't care if they want to push big pharma...

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