A 15-year-old Welsh schoolboy with Crohn’s disease has taken on the peddler of a supposed “alternative remedy” which is, in fact, a dangerous industrial bleach. Despite initial criticism from others with Crohn’s, he is making considerable headway
When 15-year-old Rhys Morgan
was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, he logged onto a support forum
in search of advice and, well, support. Fishing around the site, he stumbled upon discussion of an alternative remedy called Miracle Mineral Solution
, or MMS. It is promoted by one Jim Humble
as a panacea, capable of curing not only Crohn’s, but HIV, cancer, and a whole host of other diseases. Understandably sceptical, Rhys Googled MMS and discovered the FDA advice
on it. When used as directed, MMS is in fact chlorine dioxide, a powerful industrial bleach capable of causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and severe dehydration.
Alarmed, he alerted forum users to its dangers, and was rewarded
with an onslaught of criticism and a 10 day site ban.
He raised the matter with the Medical Health Regulatory Agency, Welsh Health Minister Edwina Hart and the Advertising Standards Agency, and Cardiff City Council's trading standards department. As a result, the UK’s Food Standards Agency issued its own warning
, urging people to report anyone they discovered selling MMS. A Guardian article
on his campaign was picked up by the press
in Kenya, where Humble claims to have treated 1,000 people suffering from malaria. As a result, the Kenyan Government also issued warnings about the use of MMS as a remedy for malaria.
The only downside is that as Rhys’s crusade against teh crazy continues, he keeps finding his school physics and chemistry lessons interrupted by demands to deal with the press
. Despite the furore, the About
page on his blog still simply says, with great modesty - "Hello everyone. My name is Rhys Morgan. I’m 15 years old and I have Crohn’s disease. I’m rather new to the skeptic community."