FDA issues warning to church selling ‘powerful bleaching agent’ as a remedy for coronavirus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning for a church selling chlorine dioxide products known as “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS) claiming to be used as treatment for COVID-19. 

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The FDA alleged that the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing has previously been warned for selling the products, which the agency says are a powerful bleaching agent and have been known to cause serious life-threatening adverse effects to those who drink it, including: 

  • Respiratory failure caused by a serious condition where the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced (methemoglobinemia)
  • Changes in the electrical activity of the heart (QT prolongation), which may lead to potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms
  • Life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration
  • Acute liver failure
  • Low blood cell counts, due to the destruction of red blood cells faster than the body can make it (hemolytic anemia), which required a blood transfusion
  • Severe vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea

“Chlorine dioxide products have not been shown to be safe and effective for any use, including COVID-19, but these products continue to be sold as a remedy for treating autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and flu, among other conditions, despite their harmful effects,” the FDA said in a news release.

In a blog post titled “A Word on Coronavirus,” by Jim Humble, the founder of Genesis II Church, Humble writes “Again, I have reason to believe, MMS (chlorine dioxide), can be very effective in both preventing and eradicating the coronavirus.”

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The website goes on to cite various examples of children and adults it claims have recovered from the virus after taking MMS.

However, the FDA says MMS is an unapproved drug sold in violation of section 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the agency is requesting immediate action be taken to remove the the claims the church is making on the chlorine dioxide products as a remedy for the novel coroanvirus. 

The FDA has been warning consumers of the product as far back as 2010, when MMS was being sold as a remedy for autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, flu and other conditions.

An illustration of “Miracle” or “Master” Mineral Solution which the FDA says is being sold as a remedy for COVID-19. (FDA)

“Despite previous warnings, the FDA is concerned that we are still seeing chlorine dioxide products being sold with misleading claims that they are safe and effective for the treatment of diseases, now including COVID-19. The sale of these products can jeopardize a person’s health and delay proper medical treatment,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.

The news follows a series of crackdowns on various coronavirus scams, including a warning by the FDA earlier last month to seven companies which were selling fraudulent products claiming to be COVID-19 remedies.

The FDA and FTC jointly issued warning letters to Vital Silver, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., Xephyr, LLC doing business as N-Ergetics, GuruNanda, LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy LLC and The Jim Bakker Show.

The products sold by the companies include teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver.

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“There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19. Although there are investigational COVID-19 vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development and have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness,” the FDA said.