Miracle Mineral Supplement
Miracle Mineral Supplement, often referred to as Miracle Mineral Solution, Master Mineral Solution, MMS or the CD protocol, is chlorine dioxide, an industrial bleach. It is made by mixing 28 percent sodium chlorite solution with an acid such as citrus juice. This mixture produces chlorine dioxide, a potent industrial bleach and industrial water cleaner. High oral doses of this bleach, such as those recommended in the labeling, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, symptoms of severe dehydration and other life threatening conditions. The name was coined by former Scientologist Jim Humble in his 2006 self-published book, The Miracle Mineral Solution of the 21st Century. A more dilute version is marketed as Chlorine Dioxide Solution (CDS).
MMS is falsely promoted as a cure for HIV, malaria, hepatitis viruses, the H1N1 flu virus, common colds, autism, acne, cancer, and much more. There have been no clinical trials to test these claims, which come only from anecdotal reports and Humble's book. In January 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that one vendor admitted that they do not repeat any of Humble's claims in writing to circumvent regulations against using it as a medicine. Sellers sometimes describe MMS as a water purifier so as to circumvent medical regulations. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies rejected "in the strongest terms" reports by promoters of MMS that they had used the product to fight malaria.
Sodium chlorite, the main constituent of MMS, is a toxic chemical that can cause acute renal failure if ingested. Small amounts of about 1 gram can be expected to cause nausea, vomiting, shedding of internal mucous membranes such as those of the small and large intestine and even life-threatening hemolysis in persons who are deficient in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. When citric acid or other food acid is used to "activate" MMS as described in its instructions, the mixture produces an aqueous solution containing chlorine dioxide, a toxin and a potent oxidizing agent used in the treatment of water and in bleaching. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has set a maximum level of 0.8 mg/L for chlorine dioxide in drinking water. Naren Gunja, director of the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre, has stated that using the product is "a bit like drinking concentrated bleach" and that users have displayed symptoms consistent with corrosive injuries, such as vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea.
Safety and legal issues
The Guardian has described MMS as "extremely nasty stuff, and the medical advice given is that anyone who has this product should stop using it immediately and throw it away. In Canada it was banned after causing a life-threatening reaction." In August 2009, a Mexican woman travelling with her American husband on their yacht in Vanuatu took MMS as a preventative for malaria. Within 15 minutes she was ill, and within twelve hours she was dead. The island nation's public prosecutor, Kayleen Tavoa, did not press any charges as there were no specific laws banning the importation of MMS, but advised, "While every case is assessed on its own merits, I advise that any person who misuses MMS in Vanuatu in the future would be likely to face prosecution for potentially serious criminal offences. No person should ever give MMS to another person to drink without advising them of what it is they are drinking and of the serious risks to health that may arise if they decide to drink the mixture."
In 2008, a 60-year-old Canadian man was hospitalized after a life-threatening response to MMS. Following a May 2010 advisory which indicated that MMS exceeds tolerable levels of sodium chlorite by a factor of 200, a Calgary-based supplier briefly stopped distribution. A February 2012 warning, which resulted in one website shutting down, advised: "There are no therapeutic products containing sodium chlorite authorized for oral consumption by humans in Canada." In the UK, the Food Standards Agency has also released a warning, following the initial warning from Health Canada and a similar warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in which they stated that "MMS is a 28% sodium chlorite solution which is equivalent to industrial-strength bleach. When taken as directed it could cause severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, potentially leading to dehydration and reduced blood pressure. If the solution is diluted less than instructed, it could cause damage to the gut and red blood cells, potentially resulting in respiratory failure." More dilute versions have potential to do harm, although it is less likely. The Food Standards Agency has since reiterated their warning on MMS and extended it to include CDS.
Sellers attribute the vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea to the product working, but it is simply the product's toxicity.
In December 2009, an alert was issued by the Belgian Poison Control Centre to the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists. In response, an evaluation was performed by the French "Comité de coordination de toxicovigilance" in March 2010, warning about a dose dependent irritation and possible toxic effects. They also warned that patients affected by serious diseases could be tempted to stop their treatments in favour of this alternative treatment. A similar notice was released in July 2010 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning that the instructions for preparing the solution by mixing it with an acidic solution, or even orange juice, would produce chlorine dioxide, "a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment." Because of reports including nausea, vomiting, and dangerously low blood pressure as a result of dehydration following instructed use, the FDA has advised consumers to dispose of the product immediately.
MMS is not approved for the treatment of any disease and according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, chronic exposure to small doses of chlorine dioxide could cause reproductive and neurodevelopmental damage. While studies of chlorine dioxide effects in humans are rare, studies on animal subjects are more common; chlorine dioxide has been shown to impair thyroid function and reduce CD4+ helper T cell count in grivet monkeys after 6 months. Another study in rats resulted in reduced red blood cells count when exposed to 100 mg/L of chlorine dioxide concentration in their drinking water, after 3 months. The United States Department of Labor restricts occupational exposure through inhalation of chlorine dioxide to 0.1 ppm since concentrations at 10 ppm resulted in deaths in rats, after 10 days while a case where a worker was accidentally exposed to 19 ppm resulted in death. According to the same organisation, "chlorine dioxide is a severe respiratory and eye irritant in humans".
In 2015, BBC London conducted an undercover investigation into MMS, with a reporter posing as a family member of a person with autism. The BBC reporter was sold two bottles containing sodium chlorite and hydrochloric acid by a self-styled "reverend" named Leon Edwards linked to the Genesis II Church in the United States. Edwards told the reporter that the solutions would cure nearly all illnesses and conditions, including cancer, HIV, malaria, autism and Alzheimer's. He recommended 27 drops per day for a baby. Laboratory analysis later showed that the concentration of both bottled solutions was stronger than advertised. Edwards told the reporter:
- "I put it in my eyes, my nose, my ears, bathe in it, drunk it, breathed it in my lungs. I got injected in my butt with it."
Eyewitness News and ABC News investigated the MMS phenomenon in 2016, and uncovered an "underground network" centred around southern California which was promoting the substance as a cure for conditions including cancer, Parkinson's and childhood autism.
It was reported in January 2018 that at least six police forces have investigated the use of MMS in the UK, where it continues to be available. Spokespersons for the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Food Standards Agency have repeatedly warned of the dangers of using such a product.
Former Chicagoan Kerri Rivera, who now resides in Mexico, was required by the Illinois Attorney General to sign a document stating that she would no longer promote the use of toxic chlorine dioxide, or "CD," in the state of Illinois. The agreement, which Rivera signed, says, "Respondent [Rivera] makes unsubstantiated health and medical claims regarding the use of chlorine dioxide in the treatment of autism. In truth and fact, Respondent lacks competent and reliable scientific evidence to support her claims that chlorine dioxide can treat autism. Respondent's act of promoting unsubstantiated health and medical claims regarding the use of chlorine dioxide in the treatment of autism constitutes a violation of Section 2 of the Consumer Fraud Act." The agreement continued to bar Rivera from speaking at seminars and selling chlorine dioxide or similar substances for the treatment of autism. However, Rivera operates a Facebook page and website that promote injecting autistic children with a toxic chlorine dioxide formula via enema, and claims that the intestinal lining and membranes children expel as a result are parasites, which is patently false. Then-Attorney General Lisa Madigan described the case by saying, "You have a situation where there are people, complete quacks, that are out there promoting a very dangerous chemical being given to young children... Ingesting what amounts to a toxic chemical - bleach - is not going to cure your child." Rivera advocates treating infants and toddlers, as well as older children, with chlorine dioxide enemas, requiring that children also drink the solution and bathe in it.
MMS was a cure touted by an Australian couple targeting the Seattle area. They ran websites using fake testimonials, photographs, and Seattle addresses, to promote downloadable books touted as containing secret cures as well as selling bottles labeled "water purification drops" with a brand name of "MMS Professional". The Washington State Attorney General's Office filed suit, and in conjunction with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), secured a settlement of more than US$40,000, roughly $25,000 for state legal fees and $14,000 to be divided among 200 consumers. In the ACCC legal action, the presiding judge described the cures as quack medicine and found the claims on the websites "false, misleading or deceptive".
A woman from the city of Mackay in Australia, without qualifications to practice, charged up to A$2,000 to inject patients with MMS in her garage which lacked proper facilities for sterilization, and went as far as advising a person to avoid chemotherapy while "dishonestly promoting its benefits with no scientific basis for her claims". The Queensland Office of Fair Trading handed down a court order prohibiting her from "making any claims she is able to treat, cure, or benefit any person suffering from cancer" and she was charged court costs of A$12,000.
On May 28, 2015, a US federal jury found Louis Daniel Smith guilty for selling Miracle Mineral Supplement as a cure for various diseases. He was convicted of conspiracy, smuggling, selling misbranded drugs and defrauding the United States. According to the evidence presented at trial, Smith created phony “water purification” and “wastewater treatment” businesses in order to obtain sodium chlorite and ship Miracle Mineral Supplement without being detected by the government.
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