HoneyColony, an online magazine and store headed by a conspiracy theorist, has been trying to sell pricey colloidal silver products by falsely claiming that they can prevent the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.”
HoneyColony is a California-based company which describes itself as “an online magazine and eccommerce site that empowers you to be your own best health advocate.” Its Facebook page has over 100,000 followers, while its Instagram page has over 11,000 followers.
The site is led by writer and conspiracy theorist Maryam Henein. She’s a fan of Alex Jones and his Infowars network and has tweeted: “I was recently told that being associated with infowars doesn't bode well on me or @vanishingbees. I disagree. I stand for #FreedomOfSpeech, #medicalfreedom & Truth.” She has pushed a variety of coronavirus conspiracy theories, including ones that falsely claim hospitals are actually empty and that 5G networks have a role in spreading the virus.
HoneyColony has frequently pushed dangerous anti-vaccination propaganda, including falsely linking vaccines to autism. (For more information about the safety of vaccines, visit the CDC’s website.) HoneyColony’s website features such headlines as “The 5 Most Harmful Ingredients in Vaccines”; “Influenza Season: 4 Reasons To Say ‘Screw You Flu Shots’”; and “How Vaccine Policy & Law Threatens Parental Rights In America.”
Now, the company is promoting colloidal silver products as a supposed way to “prevent” the coronavirus.
The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health explains that “colloidal silver consists of tiny silver particles in a liquid that is sometimes promoted on the Internet as a dietary supplement. However, evidence supporting health-related claims is lacking. In fact, colloidal silver can be dangerous to your health.” The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have sent warning letters to companies which have advertised colloidal silver “as able to treat or prevent coronavirus.” Government officials have also scrutinized right-wing media hosts Jim Bakker, Alex Jones, Wayne Allyn Root for pushing colloidal silver to their followers.
HoneyColony wrote on Facebook on February 6: “This flu season is still going strong. And with the frenzy surrounding the #coronavirus, are you protecting yourself properly? Tengku M. loves our chelated silver to protect from flus and all types of infections!”
HoneyColony posted a March 13 article which claimed: “There are several natural ways to take control and prevent viral infections from taking hold, coronavirus included. If you want a direct antiviral effect, both chelated silver and colloidal silver can target a wide range of viruses through several mechanisms. It is best to combine this with immune-boosting foods or supplements.” The site linked to its “Silver Excelsior Serum” (currently $81.99 – $235.99) and “Colloidal Silver Healer” (currently $275).
The site’s Facebook page promoted that article the following day with similar language, writing:
The simplest way to prevent infections is hygiene, particularly handwashing, before eating or touching your face. Additionally, if you want a direct antiviral effect, both chelated silver and colloidal silver can target a wide range of viruses through several mechanisms. It is best to combine this with immune-boosting foods or supplements. The aim of these supplements is to boost the immune system and provide some direct antiviral support. Click to read our ultimate list of supplements to fight against this current pandemic.
Facebook has told BuzzFeed's Jane Lytvynenko that it removes "misinformation about COVID-19 that makes false claims about cures, treatments, the availability of essential services or the location and severity of the outbreak — this includes ads.”
HoneyColony advertises its colloidal silver on Facebook. Those ads don’t appear to mention the coronavirus but started within the last month (the company has spent less than $100 so far on the ads).