I haven’t heard much about Rhys Morgan in the US (if you follow Ben Goldacre, though, you know all about him), but he won an award at TAM London for his skeptical work, so I thought I should do my part to spread the news. Simply put, he was participating in a forum on Crohn’s Disease and boldly took on peddlers of evil woo: they were selling some crap called Miracle Mineral Solution, which is nothing but bleach.
Amazing, isn’t it? It takes some gall for a quack to prescribe a treatment for a chronic intestinal disorder that involves glugging down a corrosive poison, and then when the poor patient suffers with a painfully sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea, to claim that they should drink more, that’s a sign that it is working…but that’s what they were doing.
Morgan took the step of being aware of what constitutes an unlikely medical claim and looking it up.
First off, I found an FDA safety bulletin posted on 30th July 2010. From the FDA page which can be found here, I learned that MMS was an industrial bleach, when made up as according to the instructions. It produces chlorine dioxide, which is used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment. I’ll come back to the FDA warning in a minute. After learning what it actually is, I went to the official MMS website. It is utterly disgusting. It claims that MMS is a cure for AIDS, cancers, hepatitis A, B and C, malaria, herpes and tuberculosis. This started my alarm bells ringing. The website screams DANGEROUS WOO to me.
Then he went further and alerted people about the dangers. And for that he was harrassed and threatened with expulsion from the discussion.
You should read his blog. Realize too that he’s only 15 years old, so we can look forward to another hundred years or so of Mr Morgan shredding the quacks. I almost feel sorry for the poor lying frauds.