Finbar Magee, a general practitioner, came to prominence in an RTÉ Prime Time investigation earlier this year in which he defended prescribing ‘Miracle Mineral Supplement’ for children with autism.
The Irish Examiner however, had first revealed concerns surrounding the supplement in 2014. The product, which is a bleach, is promoted by a group called the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing as a cure for autism, cancer, HIV and other conditions.
The General Medical Council has confirmed Dr Magee has been handed an interim suspension following a hearing of the council’s Interim Orders Panel.
“This means that he is under investigation and his practice is currently suspended,” a spokesperson said. The council said that it could not reveal the allegations that led to Dr Magee’s suspension.
Autistic Rights Together, an activist group which had complained about Dr Magee over a year ago, welcomed the suspension.
“We at Autistic Rights Together are very pleased to hear that Dr Finbar Magee who prescribed the toxic bleach solution ‘Miracle Mineral Supplement’ to autistic children has been suspended by the General Medical Council,” said Fiona O’Leary.
“It is high time the authorities take serious actions against all who promote, use and sell dangerous and unregulated products as ‘treatments’ for autism.
“We need legislation because right now there are many individuals, companies and organisations all over the world including the UK and Ireland openly promoting and selling these dangerous products as ‘cures’ and ‘treatments’ for autism,” Ms O’Leary said.
She said the group is calling on governments to urgently address the issue.
“The autistic community are being experimented on and abused with these awful products. We are being targeted by an unscrupulous biomedical industry who are violating the rights of autistic children and adults and profiting from them in the process,” Ms O’Leary said.
She said she did not believe warning the public of the dangers of treatments such as ‘Miracle Mineral Supplement’ was enough.
“The biomedical industry has a strong foothold in the autism field, they are adept at blinding people with pseudoscience, quackery and unsubstantiated research,” she said.
The HPRA — formerly the Irish Medicine Board — along with the Food Safety Authority and the National Poisons Information Centre had all issued warnings on the supplement.
“In the undiluted form, ‘Miracle Mineral Supplement’ is corrosive and toxic. The diluted product, if swallowed, is likely to produce effects similar to household bleach,” the latter warned.
Meanwhile,the Genesis II church, headed by Jim Humble, is planning to hold a seminar in Co Kildare next month.