022 3070

Analysis of Consent
Order to Aid Public Comment

In the Matter of Kris A. Pletschke, individually and d/b/a Raw Health
File No. 022 3070


The Federal Trade Commission has accepted an agreement to a consent order from Kris A Pletschke, d/b/a/ Raw Health (" respondent"), and has issued a Complaint and the Decision and Order ("Order") contained in the Consent Agreement. Respondent marketed "Colloidal Silver," a dietary supplement allegedly containing submicroscopic particles of silver that was intended to be taken orally and in other manners for the cure and treatment of more than 650 diseases.

The Commission's complaint charges that respondent made false claims that his Colloidal Silver product (1) is effective in treating or curing 650 diseases; (2) eliminates all pathogens in the human body in six minutes or less; and (3) has been medically proven to kill every destructive bacterial, viral and fungal organism in the body, including anthrax, Ebola, Hunta, and "flesh-eating bacteria." The Commission's complaint also charges that respondent failed to have a reasonable basis for claims he made that his Colloidal Silver product (1) is effective in treating 650 diseases and health-related conditions, including AIDS, allergies, anthrax, arthritis, blood poisoning, boils, wounds of the cornea, chronic fatigue, cerebral spinal meningitis, candida, cholera, colitis, cystitis, dental plaque, diabetes, diphtheria, dysentery, enlarged prostate, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis, infantile diseases, lesions, leukemia, lupus, Lyme disease, parasites, rheumatism, ringworm shingles, skin cancer, staph and strep infections, stomach flu, thyroid conditions, tonsillitis, toxemia, stomach ulcers and whooping cough; (2) kills the HIV virus and can be used as an antibiotic for all acquired diseases of active AIDS; (3) is superior to antibiotics in killing disease-causing organisms and the treatment of burns; (4) protects and strengthens the immune system; (5) can safely be used on open wounds, sprayed into the eye, injected, used orally, vaginally, anally, atomized or inhaled into the nose or lungs and dropped into the eyes; (6) has no side effects, even at double or triple the normal dose of 260 ppm, and is safe for children and pregnant and nursing women; and (7) aids the growth and health of the developing fetus and eases delivery and recovery.

Part I of the consent order prohibits respondent from misrepresenting any claims that Colloidal Silver or any food, dietary supplement, drug, device, or health-related service or program has been medically proven to kill disease-causing organisms or any number of infections in the body. Part II of the order requires competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate representations that Colloidal Silver or any covered product (1) is effective in treating 650 diseases and health-related conditions, including AIDS, allergies, anthrax, arthritis, blood poisoning, boils, wounds of the cornea, chronic fatigue, cerebral spinal meningitis, candida, cholera, colitis, cystitis, dental plaque, diabetes, diphtheria, dysentery, enlarged prostate, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis, infantile diseases, lesions, leukemia, lupus, Lyme disease, parasites, rheumatism, ringworm shingles, skin cancer, staph and strep infections, stomach flu, thyroid conditions, tonsillitis, toxemia, stomach ulcers and whooping cough; (2) kills the HIV virus and can be used as an antibiotic for all acquired diseases of active AIDS; (3) is superior to antibiotics in killing disease-causing organisms and the treatment of burns; (4) protects and strengthens the immune system; (5) can safely be used on open wounds, sprayed into the eye, injected, used orally, vaginally, anally, atomized or inhaled into the nose or lungs and dropped into the eyes; (6) has no side effects, even at double or triple the normal dose of 260 ppm, and is safe for children and pregnant and nursing women; (7) aids the growth or health of the developing fetus or eases delivery or recovery; (8) is effective in the mitigation, treatment, prevention, or cure of any disease, illness or health conditions; or (9) has any health, performance, safety, or efficacy benefits.

Part III of the order prohibits respondent from misrepresenting, including by means of metatags, the existence, contents or interpretation of any test, study, or research. Part IV of the order permits respondent to make certain claims for drugs or dietary supplements, respectively, that are permitted in labeling under laws and/or regulations administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Parts V and VI of the order require respondent to offer refunds to all of his past consumers and wholesale purchasers of Colloidal Silver. Part VII requires respondent to file a sworn affidavit with the Commission concerning his compliance with the refund provisions.

The remainder of the order contains standard requirements that respondent maintain advertising and any materials relied upon as substantiation for any representation covered by substantiation requirements under the order; distribute copies of the order to certain company officials and employees; notify the Commission of any change in the business entity that may affect compliance obligations under the order; and file one or more reports detailing his compliance with the order. Part XV of the order is a provision whereby the order, absent certain circumstances, terminates twenty years from the date of issuance.

This order will resolve the claims alleged in the complaint against the named respondent. It is not the Commission's intent that acceptance of this consent agreement and issuance of a decision and order will release any claims against any unnamed persons or entities associated with the conduct described in the complaint.

Effective Date of Order and Opportunity for Public Comment

The Commission issued the Complaint and the Decision and Order, and served them upon the Respondent, at the same time it accepted the Consent Agreement for public comment. As a result of this action, the Order has already become effective. In August 1999, the Commission adopted procedures to allow for immediate effectiveness of an Order prior to a public comment period. The Commission announced that it "contemplates doing so only in exceptional cases where, for example, it believes that the allegedly unlawful conduct to be prohibited threatens substantial and imminent public harm." 64 Fed. Reg. 46267 (1999).

This case is an appropriate one in which to issue a final order before receiving public comment because the complaint alleges that the respondent made false and unsubstantiated health and safety claims of a serious nature, and the respondent continued to make the challenged claims after signing the consent agreement. Accordingly, the Commission believes it is important to prohibit the respondent from making these claims as quickly as possible.

The Order has also been placed on the public record for 30 days for receipt of comments by interested persons, and comments received during this period will become part of the public record. Thereafter, the Commission will review the Order, and may determine, on the basis of the comments or otherwise, that the Order should be modified.(1)

The Commission anticipates that the Order, as issued, will satisfactorily address the deceptive practices alleged in the Complaint. The purpose of this analysis is to invite public comment on the Order to aid the Commission in determining whether to modify the Order in any respect, and is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and order, or to modify in any way their terms.

1. If the Respondent does not agree to such modifications, the Commission may (1) initiate a proceeding to reopen and modify the Order in accordance with Rule 3.72(b), 16 CFR 3.72(b), or (2) commence a new administrative proceeding by issuing an administrative complaint in accordance with Rule 3.11, 16 CFR 3.11. See 16 CFR 2.34(e)(2).