Toxic pseudo-medicine revelations lead to police investigation, job loss

Sodium chlorite crystals purified by fractional crystallization from bleach (Chemicalinterest/Wikimedia Commons)
9/23/2015 3:30 PM
Category: Society

It has emerged that followers of the controversial MMS and DMSO group in Facebook also used the toxic product on babies, effectively turning their children into guinnea pigs.

Daily Eesti Päevaleht recently published an article about a Facebook group that actively encouraged people to use MMS, the "Miracle Mineral Solution" said to cure anything from a common cold to autism and HIV. The product, however, is a toxic solution of chlorine dioxide, essentially the same ingredient used in industrial-strength bleach and other disinfectants. Sodium chlorite (NaClO2; not the same as sodium chloride (NaCl) or table salt), the main constituent of MMS, is a toxic chemical that can cause acute renal failure if ingested. 

The revelation that group members were giving the solution to children and babies, a few of whom showed severe signs of poisoning as a result, caused a media frenzy in Estonia.

Police immediately launched an investigation into the matter and has now searched the properties of three group leaders. Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) announced on Tuesday that it terminated its contract by mutual agreement with Merili Kukuškin, one of the main advocates of the solution, who worked as a research assistant in its Department of Machinery.

"Promoting the use of toxic chlorine dioxide as medication does not adhere to TUT's principles," the university said in a press statement. "TUT as a research institution cannot approve its employee dabbling in pseudoscience and giving medical advice without relevant qualifications, even if it has nothing to do with her work in TUT."

Although several people who took MMS experienced vomiting and other signs of poisoning, those were dismissed in group discussions as a sign of toxins leaving the body. Members, no matter how severe the signs, were never advised to seek medical help.

The Facebook group had over 3,200 followers at the time of the revelations. Although private from the beginning, it has now gone off radar.

Promoters of MMS claim that it cures almost every disease imaginable. However, there are no clinical trials to back up these claims. They also argue that MMS only targets sick cells, leaving the healthy ones alone - a claim which, according to scientists, goes against the laws of nature.

The MMS cult began to spread from the US about a decade ago and, according to Eesti Päevaleht, reached Estonia around 2010.

MMS has been banned in several countries all over the world after people have had life-threatening responses to the allegedly therapeutic product. Jim Humble, the man who first began to promote the product and has allegedly accumulated great wealth from its sale, has several arrest warrants out on him in different countries due to people dying after taking the "cure".

M. Oll

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