Legislation, where things stand.
Summary: As of November 2009, colloidal silver is no longer classed as a food supplement by the EU. So, Manufacturers of colloidal silver have registered their product as a cosmetic to continue selling it. As a cosmetic, it is natural that it can no longer be consumed as a drink, even though the formulation is exactly the same.
As of 30th November 2009 in Europe, the mineral silver is no longer on the list of approved food supplements that may be sold (see rule CE 1170/2009)*(2). In fact, since this date, it has no longer been possible to sell any product as a food supplement that is not mentioned on this list, and you guessed it, colloidal silver - like hundreds of other products was not one of those that were lucky enough to be listed.
Before this date, Colloidal silver was classed as a food supplement while awaiting tests to be undertaken on the potential harmfulness of the product by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). The EFSA eventually decided not to recognise colloidal silver as a food supplement because they felt that the petitioner had not supplied sufficient information with regards to the harmlessness of colloidal silver*(3).
Although there have been several hundred studies carried out during this century and no side effects had been reported from using colloidal silver to the FDA until at least 1999, many health organisations created to protect consumers have ruled that the product is both ineffective and potentially dangerous.
To this day, the sale of colloidal silver is permitted in France as long as it is not promoted as a food supplement or medicine, causing many manufacturers to sell the product as a cosmetic*(4), which explains why it is forbidden to ingest it: you don’t drink cosmetics!
The legislation varies and has different restrictions in different countries and eras. This means that colloidal silver’s potential to be developed as a medicine or food supplement has been hampered. This is particularly true in developed countries like the USA, Canada, Australia or member states of the European Union.
In the United States, the sale of colloidal silver was authorised as a medicine, in 1991 the FDA declared:
“Colloidal silver has been considered as medicine since before 1938. These products can continue to be sold as medicines without needing to prove their effectiveness or safety – this is the same for all medicines created before 1938, provided that they are sold for the same use as they had in 1938 and they are produced in the same manner“.*(1)
Then several years later, the act of 17th August 1999, stated that colloidal silver could no longer
be promoted as a food supplement.