Federal health officials are cracking down on a controversial therapy that has been promoted as an alternative for a variety of conditions, including autism, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The Food and Drug Administration warned eight companies Thursday that their over-the-counter products used for a procedure known as "chelation" are "unapproved drugs and devices" and so are in "violation of federal law.""The companies that received the warning letters claim that their products treat a range of diseases by removing toxic metals from the body. Some also claim to treat autism spectrum disorder, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and other serious conditions," the agency said. "Some companies that received the warning letters also claim their products will detect the presence of heavy metals to justify the need for chelation therapy."The drugs involved have not been evaluated by the FDA for treatment of these diseases, and therefore violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA said.
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