Health Minister Simon Harris is facing calls to criminalise the use of bleach as a controversial “cure” for autism under child abuse laws,.
While the Health Products Regulatory Authority has warned that any manufacture, supply, or sale of the “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS) for the purposes of treating a medical condition is illegal, campaigners want Mr Harris to introduce further deterrents by way of legislation.
Autistic Rights Together has called on the Government to make the administering of MMS — also known as CD Protocol — to children illegal under child abuse laws, but said Mr Harris has declined its approaches to discuss the issue.
The organisation claims that South African authorities are to strengthen their legislation following reports that children with autism there were fed the product.
MMS is a mixture of water and sodium chlorite — a chemical that cannot be sold for human consumption and is used in waste-water treatment and textile bleaching.
“Autistic Rights Together and many other advocates have been campaigning worldwide for over two years now, trying to put an end to this abuse of autistic children,” the group said in a statement.
“We welcome this very important development in South Africa but we are very disappointed by the lack of action taken by the authorities in Ireland, UK, and other countries.
“There is no grey area around this issue. MMS/CD Protocol is child abuse.
“However, our Government is not viewing this barbaric practice as child abuse.”
The promotion of MMS as a cure for autism was first reported in the Irish Examiner in July 2014, and the product was subsequently the subject of a Prime Time investigation in April 2015.
Websites selling the product claim it can cure ailments such as arthritis, cancer, kidney disease, and liver disease.
Last year, the Irish Examiner revealed how a group held a meeting at which it demonstrated how to administer MMS.
The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing held a weekend seminar in Moone, Co Kildare, last December, at which attendees were charged a “donation” of €350.
The Church is headed by self-appointed archbishop Jim Humble, a former Scientologist who claims to have discovered MMS as a cure for malaria in 1996.
Despite the regulatory authority’s warnings, local self-proclaimed bishop Joseph Grenon said the HPRA holds no authority over the Genesis II Church.
“Religious freedom gives us the right to believe, and use, what we deem necessary for our health,” he told this newspaper last year.
Kerri Rivera, a prominent US proponent of MMS, has dismissed criticisms of the product and claims on her website that “the mainstream news media has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the medical establishment which repeatedly says there is no cure or treatment for autism”.
“It should also be noted that just because the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], NIH [National Institutes of Health], or even a highly respected medical journal says something is (or is not) safe and effective, doesn’t make it so,” her website states.
Mr Harris’ office had not responded to the Irish Examiner at the time of going to press last night.