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The site has since removed the swine flu claim but "other claims remain," Saben said.
The group behind the Web site, the Skilling Institute of Phoenix, "is not marketing, and will not market in the future, any product that is intended to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 flu virus," its director, Warren Starnes, wrote in an e-mail.
Some products the FDA warned about contain silver, such as "Swine Flu...Gone," made by Secrets of Eden.
"Spray 'Swine Flu...Gone' with ionic silver on your hands and on any surface where these germs may exist and kill the virus," its site had claimed.
Secrets of Eden sells supplements and oils with a biblical flair, said its general manager, Rick Strawcutter, a former pastor in Adrian, Mich. The staff "got a little carried away" on marketing for one product and "drew the ire of the FDA," he said.
"It was not worth contesting," so he ordered a stop to it, Strawcutter said.
The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says silver "may cause harmful health effects," depending on the amount and type of exposure.
Dr. Andrew Weil's site had this problem language, the FDA's warning letter said: "...during the flu season, I suggest taking a daily antioxidant, multivitamin-mineral supplement, as well as astragalus, a well-known immune-boosting herb that can help ward off colds and flu. You might also consider ... the Weil Immune Support Formula which contains both astragalus and immune-supportive polypore mushrooms."
Weil issued a statement saying the content "was primarily educational" about how to avoid the flu, and that he had directed his Web site team to remove and review it for compliance with federal rules.
Doctors, too, are being warned not to prescribe unproven remedies, such as drugs not shown to be safe and effective for swine flu. In this week's New England Journal of Medicine, three FDA doctors caution against use of ribavirin, a drug approved in the U.S. for treating hepatitis C and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a childhood illness.
There have been reports of doctors wanting to try it for seriously ill flu patients, but it can cause a dangerous type of anemia and cannot be used in pregnant women because of the risk of birth defects, said the FDA's Dr. Debra Birnkrant.
"It shouldn't be used lightly" and needs to be tested in a clinical trial for flu, she said.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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