A deadly “miracle cure” is resurfacing with potentially fatal consequences.
At least six British police forces have questioned families over allegations children as young as two were forced to drink bleach to "cure" autism, reports the Mirror.
It’s a product sold online called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), which has developed a cult-like following of anti-vaxxers for nearly a decade. They claim it can cure diseases like AIDS, cancer, malaria, and autism.
When combined with citric acid as instructed, MMS (28 percent sodium chlorite) creates chlorine dioxide (industrial bleach). The solution is administered orally or via enema.
It’s traced back to an American organization. Genesis II Church, referred to as the “Church of Bleach,” describes itself as a “non-religious church of health and healing,” and has been described as a cult.
MMS is sold online for under $100. It is not licensed and has no proven medical benefits.
Chlorine dioxide is a severe respiratory and eye irritant that can cause nausea, diarrhea, and dehydration. Supporters say the diarrhea and nausea associated with bleach poisoning mean MMS is properly working – it’s just the bacterial or viral infections leaving the body.
Some studies suggest a link between viral infections in pregnant mothers and their children having autism. However, there is no evidence to support autism, which is a developmental disability, is caused by a virus or bacterial infection present in the child.
The MMS website says church founder Jim Humble discovered the solution after treating a member of his prospecting team in South America who fell ill with “one of the MOST deadly forms of malaria.” Since then, Humble has allegedly treated over 2,000 people and trained another 75,000 as missionaries.
He also claims to have come to earth from another galaxy.
After being confronted by ABC news in 2016, Humble – who now lives in Mexico – “took back” the claim that MMS cured all.
Nonetheless, believers persist.
The secret Facebook group “MMS & CDS by Jim Humble & Andreas Kalcker” has more than 7,000 members. Its page description claims chlorine dioxide "does not affect the friendly bacteria in the body nor any of the healthy cells."
Forums dedicated to MMS treatments allow users to share their “purging” experiences curing everything from toothaches to Lyme disease, including one father who treated his “non-verbal and fairly low-functioning” autistic 14-year-old son.
Therein lies another issue. Autism spectrum disorder affects about 1 in 68 children, and it’s estimated as many as 25 percent are non-verbal and unable to seek help for the abuse.
Police forces in the US have also taken action against distributors of MMS. In 2015, a federal jury convicted a 45-year-old man of smuggling and selling MMS.
The US Food and Drug Administration and the Food Standards Authority have both warned against the dangers of MMS, telling consumers to throw it away and notify local law enforcement of distributors.