In 2010 I posted the following.

I recently learned that Vermont licenses naturopaths, NDs, as physicians and that they have a state sanctioned formulary, a list of drugs they can prescribe and administer to patients. To my horror, the 2009 formulary includes "colloidal silver preparations" to treat eye infections and "silver" which they can administer intravenously. ( Physician Formulary 20091211.pdf [pdf download] The link is no longer active. Therefore, formulary has been included below.)

I was horrified because of the danger this poses to patients, the incredible ignorance it shows on the part of naturopaths, and because NDs had, without my knowledge, been licensed in Vermont to administer prescription drugs and other strange substances like silver and tin, do physical exams and order the same diagnostic tests that MDs order. How had this happened without my knowledge? I have been following alternative medicine for 15 years and warning people about the danger of ingesting silver, an alternative "remedy", because I don't want anyone else disfigured by it like I was over 50 years ago.

Silver drugs were used by medical doctors before the advent of antibiotics. Although they didn't work, they permanently turned many people blue and gray. The condition is called argyria. It was formerly common, and is well documented and understood by scientists.

If NDs had known as much about medicine as I, an educated consumer, do, they would have searched the medical literature before including anything in their formulary. If they had done that, they would have seen that: there are no studies showing that ingesting silver in any form or amount offers benefits; colloidal silver does not treat eye infections; taking silver internally or putting it in your eye can result in permanent discoloration.

If NDs had checked common toxicology reference books, they would have seen that silver causes argyria. If they had looked at old pharmacology books, they would have found warnings about the uselessness and danger of taking it internally. If they had checked current ones, they would have discovered that those practicing scientific medicine discarded silver long ago.

If NDs followed notices published by NCCAM, the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, or the FDA, they would have seen consumer warnings as well as the FDA rule in the Federal Register stating that silver cannot be used as a drug because ingesting it offers no benefits and is dangerous. If NDs had googled "silver" or "colloidal silver", they would have learned all of the above. If they followed the mainstream media, they would have seen Paul Karason or me. The local, national and international media has covered our stories extensively. Paul was on Oprah. Consumers Reports listed "colloidal silver" among its latest list of "dirty dozen" supplements to be avoided. The Wall Street Journal said, "federal regulators say it a total scam".

Not only did Vermont NDs miss all this, when I alerted them, they ignored me.

In October Senator Bernie Sanders, a promoter of alternative (unscientific) medicine who takes credit for helping NDs and other alts become players in the mainstream medical marketplace, sponsored a conference that I went to along with my friend Arline who got argyria from a silver supplement. We spoke with a lovely young ND manning the naturopaths' information desk who promised that she would try to have silver removed from their formulary but warned of the red tape involved.

I believe that NDs should not be licensed as physicians but if they are, they should first have to pass exams prepared by pharmacologists, toxicologists and clinicians to make sure that they know which drugs to use and how to use them and that they are capable of recognizing serious diseases that should be referred to MDs.

I think it should be illegal for NDs to profit from the sale of "dietary supplements" to patients they treat and believe that in the interest of public safety NCCAM should set up a board of scientists to review state formularies used by alternative medicine practitioners since NCCAM seems to have far more funding available to it presently than the states do.

Links: (Search NCCAM using the term "silver".) [pdf download] [ Link Archive ] (One of the major US promoters of "dietary supplements" and "natural remedies".)

Using the search term "argyria", you will find cases here:

This is the site of a lawyer who is getting out-of-court settlements on behalf of people who have gotten argyria from silver supplements:

The following is one of many of the videos you'll find on the Internet of Paul Karason, the most publicized argyria case caused recently by a silver supplement. His was homemade.

Silver is sold as a "dietary supplement". This is a great article on "dietary supplements".

My friend Arline. Her discoloration is typical of generalized argyria.

2013 Update

I last saw the Naturopathic Formulary posted on the State of Vermont website at this URL: on October 29, 2012. When I looked for it on January 22, 2013 it was no longer there. Prior to its removal a memorandum,
[pdf download], had been added to the state site dated May 30, 2012.

The memorandum removed colloidal silver, cobalt, nickel, silver and tin from the formulary. I believe this is a result of my lobbying efforts the details of which you will find on my blog.

Unfortunately for Vermonters, in the 2012 legislative session a bill was passed that will soon give naturopaths, NDs, the privilege of prescribing all the same drugs that MDs are presently permitted to prescribe, a privilege naturopaths don't deserve. As they've demonstrated with the inclusion of silver and other noxious substances in their formulary and with the way they ignored me when I pointed out the danger and uselessness of taking silver internally or putting it in the eyes, contrary to their belief, they totally lack the education and knowledge to safely and effectively use, administer and prescribe drugs.

For reference purposes I am posting the Vermont sanctioned 2009 Naturopathic Formulary here as well as the 2012 memorandum excluding silver from it. Colloidal silver is listed under "antibacterial agents" on p. 1 of the formulary. Silver is on p. 5 under "minerals, their derivatives and compounds" which "May be administered IV".

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