A guilty verdict has returned against a Washington man for selling industrial bleach as a fake cure for a variety of illnesses.
Louis Daniel Smith faces a statutory maximum of 34 years for one count of conspiracy to commit multiple crimes, one count of fraudulently smuggling merchandise into the United States, and three counts of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead.
The ‘Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS) ‘inventor’ is credited to be Jim Humble, who first began distributing the mixture of sodium chlorite and water as a cure. The story goes that in the depths of the South American jungle, his colleague fell sick with malaria, so in desperation he administered some of the solution that he used to purify water. The man miraculously got better. And there you have it – the birth of one of the biggest alternative fads. It has since been used in enemas to ‘treat’ autistic children and people with parasites, and orally for people with cancer, AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, lyme disease and asthma.
Smith sold MMS online under the company ‘Project GreenLife’ which ran from 2007 to 2011, claiming these fake therapeutic benefits. Consumers who bought MMS from PGL were advised to combine the MMS with citric acid to ‘activate’ the ‘cure’ by creating chlorine dioxide, which should then be drank.
This solution is known to be dangerous. Chlorine dioxide is known to be a serious respiratory irritant, and causes nausea, diarrhea and dehydration – a fatal combination. Sickeningly, Smith claimed that signs of vomitting and diarrhea was assurance the ‘miracle cure’ was working and he assured pregnant women and seriously sick infants could take the liquid. Despite this, he was not not charged with reckless endangerment or any other crime against the person.
The case was investigate by the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Christopher E. Parisi and Timothy T. Finley of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch in Washington, DC.
Image Credit: Gunnar Grimnes
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