To the Editor.
—Silver compounds have been used as medicinals for centuries.1 In the 19th century, colloidal silver proteins (CSPs) were promoted as cure-alls to prevent and treat diseases such as tetanus and rheumatism. In this century up until World War II, CSPs were widely used to treat colds and gonorrhea. However, in recent decades, the medicinal use of silver has been largely replaced by safer and more effective therapies.Since 1990, interest has resurged in promoting CSP products as "essential" mineral supplements with multiple health claims (Roma Egli, FDA Nontraditional Drug Compliance Branch, written communication, February 1995). For example, advertising materials in health food stores promote CSP use in more than 650 different diseases. Colloidal silver proteins are being touted as powerful antimicrobials against viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes, Candida, and tuberculosis. The CSPs also have been advertised as "an immune system