The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people against buying or using “Miracle Mineral Solution” — a product being sold online as a remedy for cancer, autism, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other conditions — calling it a “dangerous” bleach which can have life-threatening effects.
In a press release on Monday, the FDA asked consumers to stop using the solution. The product contains 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water, which is meant to be combined with an acidic “activator” to create chlorine dioxide, which is a “powerful” bleaching agent.
“Miracle Mineral Solution and similar products are not FDA-approved, and ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach,” FDA acting commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D., said in a statement. “Consumers should not use these products, and parents should not give these products to their children for any reason.”
While the release says that the FDA has been aware of the product and has been warning consumers since 2010 not to use it, it recently received new reports “of people experiencing severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration and acute liver failure after drinking these products.
“The FDA is not aware of any scientific evidence supporting the safety or effectiveness of MMS products, despite claims that the solution is an antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial.”
However, despite the FDA’s warnings that there isn’t any evidence supporting the product, some organizations continue to push back.
The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing in Leavenworth, Wash. has continued selling the solution as “sacramental cleansing water.” In April, the non-religious church held a meeting to teach people how the bleach “could save your life, or the life of a loved one sent home to die,” The Guardian reported. The church asked for “donations” of $450 for an individual, or $800 for a couple in exchange for membership to their organization, and packages of the bleach.
Bishop Mark Grenon, a co-founder of the The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the group doesn’t trust the FDA to determine what is appropriate for people to consume.
“We look at the FDA as a pay to play approving board for companies and not as an agency looking out for the health of people,” Grenon says.
He also says that the FDA has previously approved the use of chlorine dioxide in other products, and the chemical has widespread use in other day-to-day situations.
“Meats are sprayed with it before packaging. Cans are cleanse with it before food is put in,” the bishop says. “Hospitals and gyms use it to kill MRSA and other bacteri, fungi and viruses.”
Now, the FDA is also taking measures to regulate the distribution of this harmful solution and protect unsuspecting consumers from potentially life-threatening side effects.
“The FDA will continue to track those selling this dangerous product and take appropriate enforcement actions against those who attempt to evade FDA regulations and market unapproved and potentially dangerous products to the American public,” Sharpless said in his statement. “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.”
An FDA spokesman tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the agency does not discuss potential or ongoing investigations or enforcement actions, but says action has been taken against the product in the past.
“However, in 2015, the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations investigated a Spokane, Washington man for selling industrial bleach as a miracle cure for numerous diseases and illnesses,” the spokesman says. “A federal jury found Louis Daniel Smith guilty on three counts of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead, among other charges.”
The “Miracle Mineral Solution” myth has existed for quite some time in the much-debated “treatment” of autism, which doctors have negated.
Dr. David G. Amaral, a distinguished professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, Davis, previously told Yahoo Lifestyle that the information that is being spread about the product is dangerous and instances of parents giving the mixture to their children are concerning.
“These stories are indeed horrific. They stem, in part, from the desperation that some parents feel to find a viable treatment for their children,” Amaral said. “There is no basis in fact that this ‘treatment’ has any beneficial effect on children with autism.”
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