US biotech company OvImmune has been sent a warning letter by the Food and Drug Administration for marketing eggs that supposedly boost the human immune system.
Allegedly marketed as a "magic bullet" that could stave off cancer or boost the immunity of AIDS patients, the eggs contain antibodies gathered from vaccinated hens linked to an unapproved drug.
A federal grand jury has been investigating the claims of OvImmune, a firm headquartered in Richwood, about 35 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio, which sold its products across the US over the Internet.
The FDA accused the company of selling the eggs as unlicensed drugs and vaccines to combat diseases including AIDS, pneumonia and yeast infections.
The FDA said the company described the eggs as "magic bullets that can be attached to a lethal agent to target and destroy unwanted biologic entities such as cancer." The OvImmune website is no longer operating.
Company president Marilyn Coleman, an assistant professor at Ohio State University from 1976 to 1980, said OvImmune's products should be considered dietary supplements that help support the immune system.
"The eggs are not drugs; they are dietary supplements," said Coleman. "The chickens are vaccinated like all chickens. All you do is dry the eggs and sell the powder. There's nothing added to the eggs."