The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is warning consumers to avoid “miracle” treatments touted as cures for autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other conditions, and that ingesting the products is the same as drinking bleach.
The FDA issued a warning on Monday similar to one shared nearly a decade ago that told consumers to stay away from products sold online with names like Miracle or Master Mineral Solution (MMS), Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMC, Chlorine Dioxide (CD) Protocol, or Water Purification Solution (WPS).
“Miracle Mineral Solution and similar products are not FDA-approved, and ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach. Consumers should not use these products, and parents should not give these products to their children for any reason,” FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D., said in a statement.
The products are offered as liquids made of 28 percent sodium chlorite in distilled water, and are meant to be mixed with citric acid, like lemon or lime juice, before drinking. Some are sold with a citric acid “activator.”
According to the FDA, though, that mix develops into a “dangerous” bleach that, when consumed, leads to symptoms like vomiting, severe diarrhea, and life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration and acute liver failure.
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“Our top priority is to protect the public from products that place their health at risk, and we will send a strong and clear message that these products have the potential to cause serious harm,” Sharpless said.
He added in his statement that the FDA would continue to track those selling the products and would take “appropriate enforcement actions” against any sellers trying to evade regulations and keep the unapproved products on the market.
The same products were named and the same warnings issued by the FDA in 2010, though, according to an NBC News report published in June, the products have seen renewed interest thanks to social media pushing them as health remedies.
The FDA has received reports of at least 20 people affected by exposure to MMS over the last decade, according to the New York Times.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers, meanwhile, dealt with 16,521 chlorine dioxide cases over the last five years, including eight that were fatal, according to NBC News.
The products were first introduced 20 years ago by a former Scientologist who claimed they could remedy every ailment, the outlet reports.