The War on Silver Dragees
Silver dragees are those little tiny silver balls about the size of a B-B or a baby pea, that are used to decorate cakes, cookies, doughnuts and other pastries.
Each dragee, or silver ball (sometimes called a “silver sprinkle”), is composed of sugar and starch that’s been coated with pure silver. So when you eat a silver dragee, you’re eating sugar and starch with a thin, pure silver coating.
Silver dragees have been around for over a hundred years, as any cake decorator would know. And quite literally tons of those little silver sprinkles have been safely ingested during that time, by children and adults alike.
But in spite of their popularity there’s been an ongoing federal regulatory war against the use of silver dragees in cake and pastry decoration. And by FDA regulation, they have to be labeled as “inedible decorations” and must be sold for “decorative purposes only.” They cannot be sold as edible goods.
But what’s the real story? Here’s the straight scoop you won’t find anywhere else…
Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge…
According to a recent article on Fox News, it was way back in 1906 that the FDA banned mineral substances — including mineral silver — from being used as food additives.
That means the little silver dragees used in the decoration of cakes and other pastries cannot be sold as an edible product, but instead, can be sold for decorative purposes only, and are to be removed from the pastry before eating it.
According to a similar article on the Huffington Post:
“You’ve probably heard the warning every year since you were a kid: Don’t eat those little silver balls on your Christmas cookies, because they’re ‘poisonous.’ You likely ate them anyway, but was that a mistake?
…We’re already exposed to very low levels of silver on a daily basis, as trace amounts of the mineral are found in food and drinking water, according to a 1990 statement from the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Most of the silver we eat passes through our bodies via the large intestine within a week, and we’re unaffected.
The most serious result of ingesting silver is a condition called argyria, the federal agency said. If you eat or breathe in silver compounds over a long period of time (several months to many years), your skin and other body tissues can turn gray or blue-gray. It’s permanent, but the agency said it’s strictly cosmetic and not harmful to your health.
Even though the 1990 statement says the worst-case scenario is that you’d potentially turn blue-gray after eating a truckload of silver balls, the FDA is taking the cautious route and deems silver inedible and “unsafe” to use as a color additive.
However, the FDA guidelines state: ‘When small silver balls known as ‘silver dragées’ are sold exclusively for decorating cakes and are used under conditions which preclude their consumption as confectionery, they are not considered to be in the category of a food or confectionery.’”
So the question is, are silver dragees really “poisonous”? Has anyone ever “turned gray” or “turned blue” from eating them? Or is it all much ado about nothing?
I Lived in Silver Dragee Heaven
When I was growing up as a kid, my mom supplemented our family income by working as a freelance cake decorator.
So silver dragees and other related cake decorating supplies were always a prominent fixture in the cabinet where mom kept her cake-decorating supplies.
That was probably 55 years ago, or so. And I and my four brothers and sisters ate those little silver dragees like they were going out of style back then. We never had a problem. Never experienced “silver toxicity” or any other negative effect, for that matter.
Indeed, in all of the decades that silver dragees have been in existence, there has never a case of “poisoning by dragee” or “heavy metal toxicity by dragee,” even though Americans have eaten literally tons of these silver-based sweets on baked goods and cakes.
Heck, when I was a kid sometimes I’d even swipe mom’s little plastic container full of silver dragees from the kitchen cupboard and eat the entire container full. And I was never harmed by it (except when mom would catch me, and give me a good swat on the rear for decimating her cake decorating supplies without asking her).
The Grinch Who Stole Silver Dragees
Unfortunately, some years back a money-grubbing lawyer started suing U.S. companies that manufacture the silver dragees for use in cake and pastry decoration.
This lawyer claimed that silver is “toxic” and could potentially harm children. As a result, the state of California actually banned the sale of silver dragees altogether. In fact, California is the one state in the union in which you won’t find silver dragees on store shelves anywhere. They’re quite literally illegal to sell there, for any purpose.
According to the news articles, the lawyer who’s been suing silver dragee manufacturers for selling a “toxic food product” openly admits he’s never been able to find anyone who’s been harmed by consuming the little silver dragees.
Nevertheless, he’s actually won some stunning court victories by claiming that silver is a “toxic metal” and the companies selling the dragees are “acting irresponsibly” by selling them as a food item without proper warnings. His lawsuits have apparently prompted the FDA to begin re-emphasizing the fact that by law, silver dragees cannot be sold for use on edible pastries except as a decoration.
According to other news reports, this lawyer uses a “protect the children” approach when he goes to trial, which of course, gains him great sympathy from ignorant trial jury members who believe his claims of “toxic silver” even though tons upon tons of these little silver balls have been consumed by kids and adults alike for many decades here in the U.S. and there’s never been a single person harmed by eating them.
Now for the Other Side of the Story
On the other side of the pond, in Britain and the European Union, silver is allowed by law as a food ingredient in cakes, candies and other sweet goods. In fact, in the European Union, silver has its own “E-number,” meaning its own food additive approval number, which is E 174.
It’s approved in quantum satis, meaning in practically unlimited amounts, as long as it’s pure and is used as a food “colorant” in decorative cakes, candies or other sweets, such as the little silver dragees discussed above. It’s apparently even approved for use in edible, ultra-thin sheets such as those used on sweets in India.
Here’s what the EU document allowing the use of silver as a food additive states:
“E 174 (Silver) is used to decorate cakes, candies, and other sweets, and Annex IV of Directive 94/36 allows unlimited use (quantum satis) of this colourant in foods.
The standards for purity regarding E 174 (Silver) are reported in EC Directive 94/45 of the 26 July 1995 Commission, which deals with colourants that can be used in foods.
The Directive notes that silver presents as a powder composed of finely ground particles of the metal. The metal can also be transformed into ultra-thin sheets or films.”
According to Anders Sultan, Sweden’s largest manufacturer of colloidal silver:
“In Europe one of those tiny silver balls used in sweet foods like cakes and candies contains the equivalent of 30 ml [i.e., a little over one fluid ounce – ED] of 10 ppm colloidal silver.
That’s 300 micro grams per decoration ball. Two year old kids usually have ten or more of these on a piece of birthday cake.
That is the same as drinking 300 ml [i.e., a little over 10 ounces – ED] of a 10 ppm colloidal silver product.”
Finally, according to a study published in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants (2005 Dec; 22(12):1219-23), even the United Nations and the World Health Organization have approved of pure silver as a food additive.
Indeed, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO and the World Health Organization WHO, which evaluate the safety of food additives, has included silver in the list of approved food additives for use world-wide.
All I can say is this: It’s sad that the U.S. is so far behind the times. And I hope the damned lawyers in Europe don’t find out about this, or they’ll be suing the European Union, the United Nations and the World Health Organization for promoting “toxic heavy metal poisoning” of children.
The fact that this alleged “toxic heavy metal poisoning” has never been connected with silver dragees, and that Europeans have been eating silver-coated sweets for decades with zero problems, seems to be irrelevant when greedy lawyers get involved.
As I wrote in a previous article titled Is Silver a Toxic “Heavy Metal”?:
It might surprise you to learn that in many countries, silver is consumed orally, literally by the tons every single year.
For example, in India, several times a year during certain festivals, as well as at weddings and at the traditional outdoor food bazaars, the people eat traditional Indian sweets. And these sweets are wrapped in a pure silver foil called Varak (or Varakh) that’s been beaten thin so it can be used to wrap the food – this, apparently, to help stop food poisoning pathogens from growing on the sweets which are often sold in outdoor food bazaars.
These sweets are generally ingested silver foil and all by the Indian people. This has been going on for thousands of years in India. Just about everybody there does it. (See documentation here.)
And there’s apparently never been any cases whatsoever of “silver poisoning” or harm from “heavy metal toxicity” from this traditional cultural activity.
Indeed, the government of India has approved silver foil as a food-grade ingredient, as long as it’s 99.9% purity or better.
In other words, the Indian government doesn’t limit the use of edible silver, but they do regulate the purity of the silver that can be used in food applications and eaten, allowing their citizens to eat only the purest silver possible!
(See “Justifying the Need to Prescribe Limits for Toxic Metal Contaminants in Food-Grade Silver Foils, journal of Food Additives and Contaminants, 2005 Dec;22(12):1219-23.)
As stated in the journal Materials Research Innovations, Vol. 11, No. 1, (2007) pages 3-18:
“A recent paper by Das et al. provides the remarkable datum that some 275,000 kg [i.e., 605,000 pounds — ED] of edible metallic silver foil are consumed every year (in food) in India.
No known adverse health effects have ever been recorded. This epidemiological evidence that silver as a metal is not toxic in any way needs no further comment.
Further support for the obvious safety of consuming metallic silver (Ag0) is in the worldwide consumption of (so called) silver colloids, often made at home in primitive electrochemical cells by probably some millions of citizens, again with no ill effects.”
— Das, M. Dixit, S. Khanna, S. K., Food Additives and Contaminants
Again, that’s an astonishing 605,000 pounds – or 302.5 tons – of silver are ingested every single year in food, in India. You’d think the entire population of India would be in the hospital suffering from “heavy metal poisoning” by now, or would have turned blue, but obviously they’re not.
As Keith Moeller of American Biotech Labs has pointed out in his very interesting White Paper titled “The Safety of Using Silver Solutions and the Risk of Argyria”:
“It is estimated that the Indian tradition of eating candy and cakes wrapped in metallic silver foil (eaten foil and all) came from their historically gained knowledge that in their warm, moist climate with little refrigeration of foods, eating the silver-covered candy and cakes after meals would kill the bacteria consumed with the food, before it had a chance to do damage to their body systems.
In other words, the people of India have proven over the last thousand years that eating or consuming small amounts of metallic silver in traditional Indian foods has no negative effect on the body or body systems.”
— Keith Moeller, The Safety of Using Silver Solutions and the Risk of Argyria, American Biotech Labs, January 15th, 2008
New Clinical Safety Study
Interestingly, researchers at the University of Utah recently released the first-ever double-blind, placebo-controlled human ingestion safety study of colloidal silver – a liquid mineral supplement consisting of submicroscopic particles of silver suspended in water — and found zero signs of “toxicity” or other detrimental effects on the human body from the daily ingestion of small amounts of colloidal silver.
What was most fascinating to me was that as a preliminary to the study, the researchers conducted MRI scans and blood work on one individual who had been using small daily amounts of colloidal silver for 15 years, and could find no evidence whatsoever of silver deposition in the tissues or organs, and no signs of toxicity either.
You can read my article on this recent study at this link.
So I think that carries along pretty well with the notion that the vast majority of ingested silver is indeed effectively eliminated from the body, and causes no “toxicity” at all as long as excessive/abusive amounts are not taken that could overwhelm the body’s built-in mechanisms for eliminating silver.
For example, when the Dartmouth University researchers studied silver in order to determine whether or not it was safe or toxic in humans, this is what they concluded:
“Trace amounts of silver are in the bodies of all humans and animals. We normally take in between 70 and 88 micrograms of silver a day, half of that amount from our diet.
Humans have evolved with efficient methods of dealing with that intake, however. Over 99 percent is readily excreted from the body.
Is silver harmful to humans? Unlike other metals such as lead and mercury, silver is not toxic to humans and is not known to cause cancer, reproductive or neurological damage, or other chronic adverse effects.”
— Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program
Abusive Use v/s Responsible Use
Of course, no substance on the face of the earth is completely safe if used abusively. Even common nutritional supplements can be harmful when used outside of the bounds of common sense. For example:
- Abusive use of iron supplements can, over long periods of time, result in cirrhosis of the liver and heart failure.
- Abusive use of calcium over long periods of time can result in kidney malfunction, calcification of soft tissue within the body, cellular toxicity and impaired immune function.
- Abusive use of vitamin A over long periods of time can result in muscle pain, fatigue, irritability, depression, schizophrenia, fever, liver damage and anemia.
- Abusive use of selenium over long periods of time can result in nervous system damage.
None of those side effects justify being afraid to use the substances mentioned. Why? Because the key phrase involved in each one is “abusive use.”
When used responsibly, in moderation, these substances are not only benign, but extremely beneficial to one’s health and well-being. But when used to dramatic excess, they can cause potentially serious health consequences if the abusive use continues over long periods of time.
It’s exactly the same with colloidal silver, or other forms of silver that millions of people worldwide use for infection-fighting purposes.
If you use colloidal silver in moderation and with common sense, it’s generally considered to be completely harmless. Thousands of experiential accounts (and tens of millions of bottles of colloidal silver sold annually, worldwide) suggest you can use it safely on a regular daily basis in small amounts. Or you can use it from time-to-time on a strictly “as needed” basis in somewhat larger amounts. (Learn more here.)
But what you cannot do is use it abusively, every single day, for months and years on end, because like any other substance, such abusive use can result in problems rather than benefits.
To learn more about colloidal silver safety, along with answers to some of the false charges leveled against colloidal silver from time-to-time, see the following articles:
- How Much Colloidal Silver Can You Take Safely Each Day?
- First Ever Colloidal Silver Human Ingestion Safety Study
- Is Silver a Toxic “Heavy Metal”?
Colloidal Silver Nanoparticles Non-Toxic to Animals Even at 5,000 PPM!
- Once Again ZERO Deaths from Colloidal Silver and Other Supplements
- Colloidal Silver versus Mayo Clinic, WebMD and Other Naysayers
Where to Obtain Colloidal Silver
Silver has been known for over 100 years to have some profound infection-fighting benefits. Indeed, based on experiential accounts it’s clear that colloidal silver works wonders for many types of infections. It’s not just for colds and flu. Its broad-spectrum infection-fighting qualities make it the #1 all-natural “go to” natural remedy for just about any kind of infection.
Indeed, the antimicrobial benefits of colloidal silver for sinus infections can be astonishing (see here). Likewise, colloidal silver’s ability to wipe out eye infections is applauded worldwide (see here). And its ability to clear up ear infections, often in a single day, is now well-known to tens of thousands of people worldwide (see here and here).
Colloidal silver’s anti-viral benefits are practically legendary (see here). It’s anti-fungal benefits have astonished medical researchers for years (see here and here) It’s profound anti-bacterial benefits, even against stubborn drug-resistant pathogens, are gaining the attention of clinical researchers worldwide (see here and here).
What’s more, its ability to help resolve tooth and gum infections has benefited tens of thousands of people (see here). Its dramatic skin-healing benefits are acknowledged by both medical science as well as thousands of people around the globe (see here).
Its ability to wipe out pet infections is acknowledged by savvy pet owners across the globe (see here). And its astonishing anti-cancer benefits are finally being acknowledged by medical science, as well (see here).
And there’s much, much more (see here).
So if you’re brand new to colloidal silver usage and are wondering where to buy it, it’s important to know that you can find it in just about any well-stocked health food store in America. It’s also available on Amazon and numerous other websites.
But it can be extremely expensive. In fact, because it works so well against numerous forms of infection and disease, colloidal silver has the highest price mark-up of any nutritional supplement in existence.
The amount of actual silver in a four-ounce bottle of colloidal silver is about five to 12 cents worth. (Yes, I said five to twelve cents.) Yet because that small amount of silver is all it takes to decimate so many different kinds of infections, the manufacturers mark it up about 16,000%, charging a whopping $20 or $30 per bottle.
And people are more than willing to pay through the nose for colloidal silver at health food stores because it heals infections and prevents the spread of germs and disease faster and better than anything else on the planet, and because it’s safe and completely natural, to boot!
So, commercially speaking, the retail price of colloidal silver at health food stores reflects its value to the consumer far more so than its true cost to produce. But here’s the good news:
Make Your Own High-Quality
Colloidal Silver for Pennies!
As I mentioned, typical health food store prices for colloidal silver can range from $20 to $30 for a tiny, four-ounce bottle.
But with a brand new Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge, you can make your own safe, pure, high-quality micro-particle colloidal silver for about 36 cents a quart! In other words, you can make it at actual cost, just like the big colloidal silver bottlers do.
Compared to typical health food store prices, your first two one-quart batches literally pay for the entire cost of your new generator! Do you know of any other health product that literally pays for itself the very first few times you use it? The savings are absolutely astonishing!
In fact, by making your own high-quality colloidal silver with a brand new Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge, you’ll be as close to having FREE colloidal silver as you can get, and for the rest of your life!
You’ll never have to pay those exorbitant health food store prices again!
The new Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator is now the world’s #1 best-selling colloidal silver generator. Here are just a few reasons why you should own one…
- It pays for itself after your very first batch or two — your total cost to make your first one-quart batch is about 36 cents, compared to the $240 you’d pay at a health food store if you bought an equivalent amount (i.e., eight of those little 4-ounce bottles they normally sell for $30 apiece)!
- Safe, simple to operate…No special skills needed…You just set the handy timer, plug it in, walk away, and three hours later you have a perfect batch of therapeutic quality micro-particle colloidal silver…every time! Here’s a short pictorial demonstrating how astonishingly easy it is to use a new Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge:
- Produces uncommonly small silver micro-particles as low as .8 nm. That’s a fraction of a single nanometer. Compare that to health food store colloidal silver which can contain silver particles as large as 200 nm to 1,000 nm (or even larger), and you’ll see why micro-particle colloidal silver is the very best there is! Smaller particles mean your body can absorb and utilize up to 99% of the colloidal silver you take, compared to maybe 30% or 40% with many health food store brands!
- Runs on standard household electricity, but uses less power than a tiny Christmas tree bulb – you won’t even see a blip on your electric bill!
- Produces uniform, crystal clear batches every single time that store for months, or even years, without losing potency!
- Cannot produce silver chloride or unsafe substances – you get pure, therapeutic-quality micro-particle colloidal silver every time!
Just read through some of the testimonials below to see for yourself how you’ll save literally thousands of dollars per year by making your own colloidal silver with your brand new Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge!
Here’s what one customer recently wrote to tell us:
“Owning a Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge has given us the luxury of being able to use high-quality colloidal silver any time we need it. And we never have to worry about the costs because it only costs a few pennies per quart to make! It is without a doubt the single-best money-saving appliance in my entire house!
Best of all, the machine is very easy to use, and easy to store. I was concerned about ease-of-use, but my fears were unfounded. After I got mine and used it, I immediately bought one and sent it to my 83 year old mom, and she uses it regularly as well.
Now that I have a Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator, I can use colloidal silver for everything — disinfecting the kitchen sinks, countertops, and the cutting board… spraying the toilet bowls, and the bathroom countertops and sinks… spraying it on my toothbrush to prevent bacterial growth…rinsing my mouth with it to prevent cavities and gum disease…you name it.
I even put it in the laundry rinse cycle when I do my linens, towels and kitchen rags, so I don’t have to wash them as frequently. It really keeps them fresh, and there’s never any mold or mildew anywhere in our house.
I also put some in the cat’s water bowl each day, and the dog’s too. We use it in the bathtub for skin problems. And of course we drink it when our tummies are queasy, or when we feel a cold or flu coming on. We also gargle with it in order to get rid of sore throats, and sniff it up our noses to get rid of sinus problems.
My husband even sprays it on his hair in the mornings, and has completely eliminated his lifelong dandruff problem. And he sprays a little bit in his eyes from time to time, and now has no more recurrent problems with sties.”
— K. Sullivan, NM
And here’s what another happy customer wrote to say about the tremendous savings she’s achieved by no longer having to purchase her colloidal silver through health food stores:
“We make a quart of colloidal silver at least once a week with the Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from the Silver Edge. I finally sat down and figured out how much this machine has been saving us. By making our own colloidal silver we’ve saved $11,503.20 this year alone, compared to the cost of colloidal silver at our local health food store.
The cost for colloidal silver at our local health food store is $30 for a tiny four-ounce bottle. But with my Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator, I can make eight times that amount (i.e., a full quart) for about 35 cents total cost.
If I were to purchase a quart of colloidal silver at the health food store, which would be eight of those tiny, four-ounce bottles, the cost would be a whopping $240 (i.e., 8 x $30 = $240) compared to the 35 cents I now spend to make a full quart!
Here’s the breakdown of our costs to make a full quart of colloidal silver with our Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator: It costs us about a dollar for a gallon of steam-distilled water at Walmart. So a quart of the steam-distilled water costs about 25 cents. And I estimate we use maybe a nickel’s worth of electricity and maybe another nickel’s worth of silver from the silver rods for every one-quart batch of colloidal silver we make. So that’s 35 cents a quart, all told, for each quart of micro-particle colloidal silver we make!
And frankly, considering how long the .999 fine silver rods have lasted (over a year and a half, so far, for the most recent set), I think it’s probably even cheaper than that. But it’s the lifetime savings we’ve experienced that’s just mind-boggling to me.
For example, we’ve had our Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver unit for nearly five years now. And as I mentioned we make one quart per week, and we spend about 35 cents a week on making colloidal silver.
This means we save about $239.65 a week by not having to purchase a quart’s worth of colloidal silver at our local health food store. So do the math: In just one month, the savings is $958.60…in one year, the savings is $11,503.20…and in five years we’ve saved approximately $57,516.00!
When you put pencil to paper and figure it out, it definitely takes you by surprise. You just think ‘No way. I must have multiplied that wrong.’
But it’s true. The savings is legitimately well over $11,000 a year over health food store prices for colloidal silver, if you make and use a quart of colloidal silver a week like we do! And we reap that incredible savings from the very reasonable $250 investment we made in purchasing our Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator.
In their advertising literature, The Silver Edge says the unit completely pays for itself after your first couple of one-quart batches. But really, that’s quite an understatement when you realize the true extent of your savings!
Of course, once you start making your own colloidal silver with a Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge, you don’t really think about how much you’re saving compared to health food store prices, because it just becomes a normal part of your everyday life. But the savings is nevertheless astonishing when you reflect on it.
What’s especially nice is being able to produce a significantly higher-quality colloidal silver than what’s generally available to the public through health food stores, especially at such a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost.”
— Marie Wilkey, SC
The Bottom Line…
With a high-quality Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge, you’ll never again have to pay exorbitant health food store or internet vendor prices for high-quality colloidal silver!
Indeed, your first batch or two will indeed completely pay for the entire cost of your generator, compared to health food store prices!
What’s more, you’ll be able to give colloidal silver away FREE to family members, friends and neighbors, because you’ll be making it — literally — for only a few pennies per batch!
Simply click on this link to learn more about this phenomenal new breakthrough in colloidal silver-making technology, including our current, time-limited, money-saving offers that can save you up to $100 if you act quickly and decisively!
Meanwhile, I’ll be back next week with another insightful article on colloidal silver….
Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick, author
Important Note and Disclaimer: The contents of this Ezine have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information conveyed herein is from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee can be made in regards to the accuracy and reliability thereof. The author, Steve Barwick, is a natural health journalist with over 30 years of experience writing professionally about natural health topics. He is not a doctor. Therefore, nothing stated in this Ezine should be construed as prescriptive in nature, nor is any part of this Ezine meant to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Nothing reported herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author is simply reporting in journalistic fashion what he has learned during the past 17 years of journalistic research into colloidal silver and its usage. Therefore, the information and data presented should be considered for informational purposes only, and approached with caution. Readers should verify for themselves, and to their own satisfaction, from other knowledgeable sources such as their doctor, the accuracy and reliability of all reports, ideas, conclusions, comments and opinions stated herein. All important health care decisions should be made under the guidance and direction of a legitimate, knowledgeable and experienced health care professional. Readers are solely responsible for their choices. The author and publisher disclaim responsibility and/or liability for any loss or hardship that may be incurred as a result of the use or application of any information included in this Ezine.
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