The FDA Could Soon Ban This Popular, Controversial Remedy Supporters Say Saves Lives

Photo via Ollyy - Shutterstock.com.

 
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by April M. Short

on February 19, 2015

The FDA is on the path to ban MMS, a popular alternative treatment it likens to industrial bleach. Supporters say the treatment is saving thousands of lives.

Daniel Smith of Spokane, Washington is currently facing 37 years in prison for selling a product that he says has helped to heal tens of thousands of people. That product is a mineral solution called MMS, (Miracle Mineral Solution or Master Mineral Solution), made of sodium chlorite in distilled water. Smith has been ensconced in a legal battle with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the last five years over the solution.

Photo: Daniel Smith with his wife and daughter. Via GoFundMe.

Photo: Daniel Smith with his wife and daughter. Via GoFundMe.

According to the MMS website, the solution boosts the immune system and treats a variety of ailments ranging between  infections, viruses, dental problems, diabetes, malaria, kidney failure, hepatitis, HIV, cancer and even illness in pets. Many users report that they’ve turned to MMS as a last resort after they’ve exhausted all other options including prescription medications to cure their illness.

The name MMS was originated by a man named Jim Humble, who claims to have used it to successfully treat 100,000 victims of malaria in Africa, and thousands more around the globe. Humble founded a non-religious church, the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, in an effort to raise awareness about MMS. He also self-published a book on MMS in 2006 titled The Miracle Mineral Solution of the 21st Century.

Many of Humble’s claims about the solution are backed up by individual reports listed as testimonials on his MMS website, and several forums across the Internet.

In one testimonial, a post by “Donna Collins-Yamini” of the U.S. explains how MMS cured a severe ear infection. Another by “Les Barley” describes how MMS cured a skin infection:

“MMS is amazing for skin infections, which I have often been prone to. I woke up two years ago with a tiny red granuloma (benign) on my mouth. If I pricked it with a needle, it would gush and gush blood, as if a major artery had terminated on my face. Could not get rid of it. One day I nuked the thing with a couple drops of MMS in a tiny bit of water (I may have even done full strength). It instantly cauterized it. A couple days later, just to be thorough, I peeled off the tiny fleck of scab/skin and reapplied the MMS. It had not come back.”

The directions for use for MMS say to mix a few drops of the solution with a mild acid — like lemon juice, lime juice or citric acid — to create chlorine dioxide. There are dozens “protocols” listed for taking MMS to treat various illnesses from the flu to viruses to malaria that can be found on the MMS Wiki page which was set up by Humble’s church. The Wiki claims, “more than 20,000,000 have used MMS and hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved.”

More than 30 more testimonials are listed on Humble’s website, covering various infections. There are also online forums in which users connect MMS use with healing from cancer, HIV and other ailments.

According to the natural medicine community website Sacred Valley Tribe, ingesting the chlorine dioxide kills “virtually every known pathogen, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, molds, and yeasts,” and “produces a major boost to the immune system.”

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Photo: MMS.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come out with a warning against the use of MMS, stating that the solution is actually a potent industrial bleach:

“The product, when used as directed, produces an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health. 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.”

The FDA has come out with much more serious warnings against several of its approved antibiotics. (MMS is often used as an alternative to approved antibiotics).

A 2010 warning regarding the antibiotic Tygacil alerts doctors to  an increased risk of death:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reminding healthcare professionals of an increased mortality risk associated with the use of the intravenous antibacterial Tygacil (tigecycline) compared to that of other drugs used to treat a variety of serious infections. The increased risk was determined using a pooled analysis of clinical trials. The cause of the excess death in these trials is often uncertain, but it is likely that most deaths in patients with these severe infections were related to progression of the infection.”

In 2013 the FDA put out a warning of nerve damage for a series of antibiotics that more than 23 million patients received under prescription in 2011 alone. These include the medications Cipro, Factive, Levaquin, Avelox, Noroxin, and Floxin.

Despite the FDA’s stance on sodium chlorite, it is sold in stores and online, and is legal to buy, sell, import, export, and possess in the U.S. While sale of the solution is not prohibited, the FDA shut down Smith’s business in 2011, alleging that he’d violated federal laws and engaged in smuggling in regards to MMS. As explained in a 2012 article in Spokane’s weekly paper the Inlander, he’d been importing sodium chlorite from Canada and then shipping it along with citric acid. The FDA alleges that action was in violation of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Screenshot of Jim Humble.

Screenshot of Jim Humble via “Jim Humble Responds to FDA Campaign Against MMS” on YouTube.

Depending on who you ask, MMS is either a profound, breakthrough natural medicine or a dangerous, faulty snake-oil scheme.

Articles in the Guardian and elsewhere call MMS dangerous and accuse Humble of fraud. MMS has been banned in Canada after reportedly causing a life-threatening reaction, and last year Health Canada issued a warning urging anyone who bought the product to stop use immediately. MMS was also linked in 2009 to the death of a Mexican woman traveling in Vanautu, who took MMS as a preventative for malaria and died hours later according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2010 titled “Deadly Chemical Being Sold As Miracle Cure.”

In the same article, the director of the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre, Naren Gunj,  called MMS “a bit like drinking concentrated bleach,” and said that it causes vomiting, diarrhea and other negative symptoms.

FDA And Questionable Motives

As the blog  Health Impact News points out, FDA-approved medicines are responsible for far more deaths than MMS has been associated with.

“According to statistics published by medical authorities themselves, FDA prescription drugs are one of the top causes of death in the United States, and probably the number one cause of death among Americans today. The CDC has previously stated that overdoses of FDA-approved prescription opioid pain relievers now exceed deaths involving heroin and cocaine combined.”

In 1998 the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study concluding that more than 2 million Americans became seriously ill each year due to toxic reactions to correctly prescribed medicines taken properly — and each year 106,000 people died from those reactions.

Since then, prescription drug use has only increased. An article in the LA Times in 2012 described how prescription drugs “kill more people than heroin and cocaine.”

Humble, Smith and others have implied that the FDA’s motives for cracking down on MMS have little to do with actual public safety concerns. They say the fact that MMS is very cheap to purchase (a few dollars per bottle) makes it a potential threat to the profitable pharmaceutical companies, which heavily fund the FDA. (The Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 1992 allows the FDA to collect fees from pharmaceutical companies filing new drug applications. As explained in this PLOS blog article, those fees amount to a large portion of the FDA’s funds as it costs hundreds of millions to get a drug approved by the FDA.)

The FDA only approves “drugs,” and can’t monetize natural remedies. As the Health Impact News piece notes, “the FDA routinely attacks anybody making health claims that competes with any of these companies with products they have not approved, and they only approve products from this small select group of pharmaceutical giants. In recent years, the FDA has issued warning letters and threatened companies selling such natural products as coconut oil, walnuts, cranberries, elderberries, and essential oils, to name a few.”

Existing scientific research regarding chlorine dioxide is limited, but what exists doesn’t paint too threatening a picture of the solution.

clinical evaluation of chlorine dioxide ingestion was published in 1982 by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC. It concluded that the solution causes no significant health impacts:

“The careful clinical evaluation of every subject in Phases I, II and III failed to reveal any clinically important impact upon the medical well-being of any subject as a result of disinfectant ingestion.”

Additionally, a 1999 article by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains that chlorine dioxide has been known as a powerful disinfectant in water since “it was first used at a spa in Ostend, Belgium,” and “approximately 700 to 900 public water systems use chlorine dioxide to treat potable water (Hoehn, 1992).”

The EPA article states the following (emphasis added):

“Chlorine dioxide functions as a highly selective oxidant due to its unique, one-electron transfer mechanism where it is reduced to chlorite… Chlorine dioxide is a strong oxidant and disinfectant. Its disinfecting mechanisms are not well understood, but appear to vary by the type of microorganism. In the first disinfection mechanism, chlorine dioxide reacts readily with amino acids cysteine, tryptophan, and tyrosine, but not with viral ribonucleic acid (RNA)… It was concluded that chlorine dioxide inactivated viruses by altering the viral capsid proteins.”

An article on the website RealRawFood.com argues that the above EPA description is evidence that chlorine dioxide can be relatively selective about what it attacks in the body. It states:

“When properly used at low levels of concentration it can select pathogens and not affect body parts.”

Red Cross Cover-Up?

Humble and others who support MMS claim that the Red Cross is covering up evidence from a field study performed using sodium chlorite in Uganda to treat malaria patients. Klaas Proesmans, CEO and founder of the Water Reference Center, which is affiliated with the International Association of Red Crosses and Red Crescents, narrates a controversial 2012 video, which appears to show the field study in action. The video’s introduction includes an audio speech by Humble about MMS. You an watch the video below:

Proesmans is shown explaining in the video that he traveled with the Uganda Red Cross to the village of Iganga for the field study to look at “the side effects that a certain way of purifying water has on the blood of certain patients.” He says in the video that the first recorded use of sodium chlorite is in Ostend, a Belgian town about 50 kilometers from his home town, and that before the first World War, a spa in the town used sodium chlorite to treat skin diseases and infections.

“It has been said and written that the use of sodium chlorite cleans the body within one hour to four hours of the malaria parasite,” Proesmans says in the video, adding that he came to Uganda to do a field study to determine whether it was worth doing a pilot study.

According to Proesmans’ narration, the 5-day field study assessed a total of 154 malaria-positive patients, together with the local health authorities and doctors. All of them were given a glass of the sodium chlorite and water solution, and within 48 hours, all of them were malaria-free “without any side-effects,” Proesmans says.

Klaus Proesmans has since said that the video was inaccurate, and the International Federation of Red Cross has distanced itself from the field study, releasing the following statement:

“The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) dissociates itself in the strongest terms from the content of the recent Master Mineral Solution newsletter (May 2013) entitled “Malaria finally defeated” and supporting YouTube video. IFRC does not support or endorse in any manner the claims made in relation to this project, and has at no time been involved in ‘clinical trials’ related to malaria treatment. 

Malaria affects 219 million people every year, killing a child somewhere in the world every minute. As a matter of policy, IFRC adheres to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines which state the only way to combat malaria is to scale up prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The IFRC expresses its support to the Uganda Red Cross Society and recognizes that it has been spearheading prevention programmes across the country over the last decade, as auxiliary to their public authorities and in line with WHO guidelines.”

In an audio segment attached to the end of the video Leo Koehof — identified as the videographer and MMS trainer for the Red Cross staff in Uganda — says he was surprised by reactions to the video when he posted it in 2013.

“The doubters suggested the video was fake and wanted more detailed information,” he says in the audio recording. “This misinformation was put out by Klaus Proesmans himself.”

Koehof says that “to date the Red Cross has done nothing with the results, except of course to hide the truth and tell lies. This is equivalent to genocide… It is one thing to have fear of losing one’s job. But when we contrast that to the millions of lives lost each year to malaria, it is time they stop being cowardly and step into the light of truth.”

Daniel Smiths Fight Could Determine Legality of MMS

Daniel Smith’s five year fight with the FDA and Department of Justice will culminate in a court date set for March 3, 2015. The outcome of the case will likely determine the future legality of MMS in the U.S.

Smith is arguing that the FDA and DOJ participated in selective targeting, prosecutorial abuse, and judicial misconduct against him. While he has not yet been convicted, his coin collection and the contents of his bank accounts were seized by the FDA. His case is an onerous example of asset forfeiture, a practice which U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has recently cracked down upon with the announcement of a new policy. Unfortunately for Smith it’s too late. A Change.org petition in support of Smith has collected more than 3,100 signatures. And, thanks in part to a supportive video “Stand By Daniel” with a voiceover by Jim Humble, a GoFundMe.com fundraising effort has raised more than $96,600 to help Smith with legal fees.