New Zealand and Australian health professionals and authorities are concerned, not unreasonably, that Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) is being promoted by non-religious “Genesis II church of health an healing” in seminars in both countries during November. Star speaker at these seminars is self styled Archbishop of the Dominican Republic based “church”, Jim Humble. Ex-gold miner from deepest-Africa and “inventor” of MMS, Humble and his followers claim MMS cures, among other things, cancer, malaria, HIV/AIDS, asthma, even now suggesting that it is a “promising treatment” for Ebola.
MMS is comprised of a 23% solution of sodium chlorite in water that when mixed with citric acid turns into chlorine dioxide - industrial bleach used in the manufacture of paper and textiles and in extremely minute quantities to purify water.
Those attending the Genesis II seminars will learn:
* How to make up powdered sodium chlorite into liquid 22.4% and 100% citric acid into 50%
* The use of natural acids, activation of sodium chlorite releasing chlorine dioxide gas, gassing of chlorine dioxide into water overnight method for CDS [another name for MMS]
* Preparing capsules
* The use of DMSO [Dimethyl sulfoxide, an industrial solvent by-product of making paper that has been promoted as an alternative cancer treatment] and
* The “protocols” for using MMS to treat various diseases.
The cost to attend what sound more like high school chemical classes than health seminars is a “donation” of US$500.
MedSafe NZ and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) are both warning people that MMS is unproven as a safe and effective medicine and is actually concentrated bleach, which should not be consumed. “If you’ve got some, throw it away” says the head of MedSafe NZ while explaining that those behind the website through which MMS is sold in NZ were spoken to in 2010 for making claims they could not back up under the Medicines Act and are now being investigated again.
In Victoria, where the second seminar will be held mid month, the AMA is calling for what they term “the controversial healing cult Genesis II” to be banned entirely. President Dr Tony Bartone slammed the promoters of MMS as “snake oil salesmen” preying upon vulnerable sick people with “magic potions”.
“At least ten Victorians have been poisoned by MMS in the past five years with four needing to be hospitalized. It is not listed on the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s register, cannot be legally sold as a health product and has no place in our society,” Bartone says.
Victorian Poisons Information Centre specialist Dr Dawson MacLeod says people have reported vomiting and diarrhea after using MMS. “Our calls seem to stem from people not diluting it ... People make it very strong because they think it might be more effective,” Dr MacLeod said.
Naturally, the promoters of MMS claim it is harmless, unless, of course, one overdoses. A spiel they used five years ago while trying to explain to an online world a death in which MMS was implicated.
In Port Vila in 2009 MMS was being promoted and sold by resident yachts-people as not only a cure for malaria but also as a prophylactic (preventive) regime against the disease.
Which is why Sylvia Fink, en-route with her husband aboard their cruising boat to malaria plagued Solomon Islands, bought a “kit” and at Lamen Bay, Epi Island on the morning of August 8, 2009 mixed, according to the protocol the suppliers provided, a “starting dose” of one drop MMS, lime juice and water and drank it.
After suffering increasingly severe vomiting and diarrhea throughout the day she died at approximately 9 pm that night.
So began a year-long learning curve from hell for her husband Doug Nash as he fought an ultimately unsuccessful battle to have Sylvia’s death properly investigated by the authorities in Vanuatu and Australia and someone, somewhere held accountable for marketing and selling the substance he claimed was responsible.
Much of Nash’s time was also spent fending off vicious online attacks from Humble’s minions – including assertions that Sylvia had overdosed.
Immediately Nash returned to Vila on his yacht the day after Sylvia died he handed the MMS kit - two bottles and a packet of citric acid powder- to Vanuatu police. He is adamant both bottles were full.
None of several people (including the persons from whom Sylvia obtained the MMS) on board the yacht where the bottles, among other medications, had been in clear view on the saloon table, during the hours immediately prior and after Sylvia’s death claimed otherwise. Due to their involvement, they would certainly have been looking.
But by August 22 when the autopsy was conducted, 38 ml (one third) of the contents of one of the bottles was missing.
The list of samples taken by the pathologist that day shows “Exhibit 1, a dark blue bottle labeled 120 ml citric acid 10% solution containing approximately 120 ml of unknown liquid” and “Exhibit 2, a dark green bottle, labeled 118 ml MMS Professional Grade Water Purification Drops containing approximately 80 ml of unknown liquid.”
In keeping with an apparent reluctance to proceed the investigation into Sylvia’s death in a timely manner: the autopsy report took months longer than necessary to complete; no witnesses were contacted or statements obtained by seemingly reluctant police until almost a year after the event, no one questioned how 38 ml, supposedly of MMS, just disappeared.
Or did it?
In the toxicology analysis that is part of the autopsy report the exhibit numbers are reversed. Solution 1 [120 ml] becomes “a concentrated solution of sodium chlorite 23% and sodium chloride 15% while Solution 2 [80 ml] becomes water.
Certainly Sylvia certainly didn’t drink 38 ml of MMS. Anyone who consumes that amount of sodium chlorite will suffer acid burns to the mouth and pharynx. The autopsy found these parts of Sylvia’s body “unremarkable with no lesions [and] in particular, no deep or superficial tongue injury.” Did she use water out of the other bottle to dilute the MMS-citric acid mix?
The Australian pathologist in charge of the autopsy ignored multiple attempts by this writer in 2010 to obtain clarification of this apparent aberration. An Australian Federal policeman based in Port Vila and familiar with the case told me at the same time “it doesn’t matter”.
I have privately always felt differently. Why would 38 ml be missing from either bottle? And, given the connotations, which was really missing – MMS or water? With the MMS carnival so close to home, it’s time to differ publicly.
It does matter.
It matters that Sylvia Fink died after she took what she said was a minute amount of MMS and that nothing else found at autopsy caused, or could have caused, her death.
It matters that the instructions for taking MMS say that vomiting and diarrhea are to be expected and are necessary to rid the body of pathogens but don’t say these can be so severe they can lead to all sorts of clinical problems – including possible death.
It matters that when adherents of MMS were touting it as a cure for gullible Gulf Oil Spill victims those who exposed the farce were threatened with death if they continued to do so.
It matters that Genesis II “church” continues to claim Red Cross trials have proved the efficacy of MMS when that organization publicly says it has nothing to do the substance.
It matters that despite all the concern of health professionals and all the warnings, with evidence to back them, that the governments of the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Denmark, NZ, Australia and others have issued about the health risks associated with MMS, promotion of this dangerous bleach as an unproven cure all can continue unabated.
And it matters that 38 ml, of something, just disappeared and no one investigating the case took any notice.
The Sylvia Fink case came to a close in Vanuatu in November 2010 with Public Prosecutor Kayleen Tavoa concluding that, due to an absence of legislation banning the import of MMS to Vanuatu, there were no reasonable prospects of securing a conviction against any person in relation to Sylvia’s death or in the supply of MMS to her.
She advised, however, that “while every case is assessed on its merits, 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 healFth that may arise if they decide to drink the mixture.”
In September 2013 Vanuatu’s Law Commission recommended changes to the country’s Dangerous Drugs Act which will, when adopted, require that the manufacturer, importer or promoter of any new drug or substance bear all costs of establishing that it is harmless rather than the current need for authorities to prove that it is harmful.