UPDATE: See list at end of post for accumulating links.
This is the case of industrial bleach promoted as a cure for all diseases. (I kid you not.) For those of you using the product and coming to this post via search terms, stop using MMS and consult a health care professional – in the United States, consumers and health care professionals should report adverse events to the FDA’s MedWatch program at 800-FDA-1088 or online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm
Quick story: A 15-year-old British Crohn’s disease patient, Rhys Morgan, calls out the fallacy on a patient support forum last month and is banned, then files a video blog about the incident. The story is elegantly and forcefully picked up by Martin Robbins at The Guardian. Jo Brodie points us this morning to coverage at the Online Journalism Blog and we are encouraged to raise awareness about the subject.
Why? This product is still on the market and still being promoted by users and sellers.
In late July, I posted on the US Food and Drug Administration releasing a consumer warning about a product called Miracle Mineral Solution (or Miracle Mineral Supplement) – known as MMS either way. (The irony is not lost on me that the acronym is the same as for the experimental mutagen, methyl methanesulfonate, used widely by geneticists in the laboratory.)
The key paragraph from the FDA warning:
The product instructs consumers to mix the 28 percent sodium chlorite solution with an acid such as citrus juice. This mixture produces chlorine dioxide, a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment. High oral doses of this bleach, such as those recommended in the labeling, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.
Yes. Industrial bleach.
Remarkably, the website is still live – probably because it does not directly sell the product – with claims of the product as a panacea: “The answer to AIDS, hepatitis A,B and C, malaria, herpes, TB, most cancer and many more of mankind’s worse diseases.” As I posted earlier, the product website contains the most egregious and disturbing claims I’ve seen in fifteen or so years of following supplements:
This Breakthrough can save your life, or the life of a loved one.
The answer to AIDS, hepatitis A,B and C, malaria, herpes, TB, most cancer and many more of mankind’s worse diseases has been found. Many diseases are now easily controlled. More that 75,000 disease victims have been included in the field tests in Africa. Scientific clinical trials have been conducted in a prison in the country of Malawi, East Africa.
Separate tests conducted by the Malawi government produced identical 99% cure results. Over 60% of the AIDS victims that were treated in Uganda were well in 3 days, with 98% well within one month. More than 90% of the malaria victims were well in 4 to 8 hours. Dozens of other diseases were successfully treated and can be controlled with this new mineral supplement. It also works with colds, flu, pneumonia, sore throats, warts, mouth sores, and even abscessed teeth (it’s the only thing that controls and cures abscessed teeth).
The inventor believes that this information is too important to the world that any one person or any group should have control. The free e-book download on this site gives complete details of this discovery. Please help make sure that it gets to the world free. There are many medical facts that have been suppressed and this invention must not be added to that list. The name of the e-book is The Miracle Mineral Supplement of the 21st Century. This book tells the story of the discovery, and how to make and use it. This book can save your life. Give it a try.
I don’t know where to begin. This madness has to stop.
Why is this product still being sold worldwide?
Why are consumers so protective and defensive about their “right” to use this product?
The best advice for those of us in the blogosphere is to link to The Guardian story with the term Miracle Mineral Solution or Solutions. From a journalism standpoint, I also like Paul Bradshaw’s addendum at the bottom of his post at Online Journalism Blog:
What deserves particular attention is how the Guardian reporter Martin Robbins is responding to critical comments – providing further details of how the forum dealt with his approaches, and addressing conspiracy theorists. This is journalism that gets out there and engages with the issue rather than simply broadcasting. Wonderful.
Here’s more information from various sites.
- Bleachgate, “Miracle Mineral Supplement,” and Quack Marketing – Liz Ditz (I Speak of Dreams)
- The man who encourages the sick and dying to drink industrial bleach – Martin Robbins – The Guardian
- Martin’s follow-up post at his Guardian blog, The Lay Scientist
- Rhys Morgan’s video and text adaption of his experience at CrohnsForum.com last month.
- Related post on current (“Was July just a good month for stupid poisoning attempts?”) and historical bleach poisoning cases by fellow PLoS blogger and author Deborah Blum whose most recent book, The Poisoner’s Handbook, is required reading for anyone interested in chemistry, forensic science, mystery, or just plain world-class writing.
- The Kenyan newspaper, The Nation, featured an article by Gatonye Gathura and a follow-up Sunday editorial as MMS promoter, Jim Humble, claims to have treated as many as 100,000 African patients for malaria, up to 75,000 in Kenya and Uganda alone. Both pieces note that Humble did not register the product with the government and introduced it under the guise of an international Christian group.
- Alice Bell takes a very insightful look at the case of Rhys Morgan in the broader scope of UK efforts to educate young people on how to evaluate claims to scientific authority
That’s why, for me the tale of Rhys Morgan and Miracle Mineral Solutions isn’t just a story for or about skeptics. It’s a genuinely interesting, concerning and illuminating story of inter-generational health communication in a digital age, and one I’d have love to see talked about more.