The FDA is cracking down against the makers of over-the-counter chelation products which are claimed to help remove toxic metals from the body. These are often sold over the net. Manufacturers say they are are valid treatment for conditions like autism, heart disease, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer's disease, by linking toxic metals to these conditions.
On Thursday, the FDA issued eight warning letters to companies marketing chelation products, saying that claims about using such products to treat medical conditions violate federal law. "What we're telling consumers is that any chelation therapy marketed over the counter is suspect," Michael Levy, director of the FDA's Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance, said during a briefing with reporters.
The FDA has approved some chelation products to be prescribed in cases of heavy metal poisoning, but - here is the key - none are approved for sale over the counter or on the Internet.
What you see most often is a chelation product marketed as a dietary supplement, with varying dosages and forms, including capsules, liquid drops, and sprays. If not used properly, or without proper warning, the products could cause dehydration, kidney failure, or death, according to the FDA. The agency says it issued the warnings in response to increased product promotion and availability to consumers. If the companies don't correct the violations detailed in the letters, their products could be seized.