Thursday, 23 October 2014

Health Canada cracks down on 'Bleach Cure' for Autism

Portion of image from OxyChem's Sodium Chlorite Handbook (p.6) technical information guide for the compound.
One of the most horrendous and despicable things I've covered is Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), which is a completely unproven and harmful quack therapy used to treat children with autism. It involves giving 28% sodium chlorite -- not technically bleach but a bleaching chemical -- in distilled water to your kid to drink for weeks, months, years.

And at 28%(!), giving this to your kid is child abuse, full stop.
When citric acid or other food acid is used to "activate" MMS as described in its instructions, the mixture produces an aqueous solution containing chlorine dioxide, a toxin and a potent oxidizing agent used in the treatment of water and in bleaching. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has set a maximum level of 0.8 mg/L for chlorine dioxide in drinking water. Naren Gunja, director of the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre, has stated that using the product is "a bit like drinking concentrated bleach" and that users have displayed symptoms consistent with corrosive injuries, such as vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea.
Canada has finally issued a warning about MMS and has begun seizing the product. About freaking time.
Health Canada says anyone who bought a product called Miracle Mineral Solution should stop using it immediately.

The agency says the unauthorized product, sold over the Internet as a treatment for serious diseases such as cancer, poses serious health risks if ingested.
Here's the official release on the agency's webpage.
Health Canada is warning Canadians of the serious risks to health associated with use of the unauthorized drug product Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), which was sold as a treatment for serious diseases such as cancer through the website www.buymms.biz. MMS contains sodium chlorite, which is a chemical used mainly as a textile bleaching agent and disinfectant and may pose serious risks to health if ingested. An alternate format of MMS, labelled as CDS, is also available for sale on the website and would pose a similar risk.
They specify two products: MMS (28% sodium chlorite and 50% citric acid) and CDS (chlorine dioxide 8000 ppm). The release goes on to specify that Health Canada has never approved the seller, www.buymms.biz, to sell this stuff.
No drug products containing sodium chlorite have been approved by Health Canada for consumption by humans. Sodium chlorite is authorized in Canada for use as a germicide by veterinarians and as a hard surface disinfectant. Sodium chlorite is commonly used for bleaching textiles, pulp and paper, as well as in the generation of disinfectant for water treatment.
Never buy medicine from a .BIZ domain for you kids!

So now people who insist on feeding this poison to their kids need to be charged with abuse.

Health Canada also advised anyone who did drink this stuff to see a doctor, because it's POISON. They also more or less shut the business down by seizing their stock and production equipment.
Following an inspection of the business premises, Health Canada seized bottles of MMS, packaging, labelling and raw materials used to produce MMS. Health Canada will continue to monitor this company.
I'm sure conspiracy theorists and anti-big-pharma will have a field day with this one. Let them have their fun -- at least this crap is off the market.

(Parts of this post have been expanded since original posting.)

Creationist School Board Trustee Candidate Loses Election

Candace Maxymowich and Sarah Palin (source)
Just a followup to my story awhile back about Winnipeg School Board Trustee candidate Candace Maxymowich, who believed abstinence only sex education and creationism in science classes.

She lost pretty solidly. As in, last place.

I never wished her any ill will (other than not winning). She is highly motivated and involved in the political process and that's great. She had courage to run a completely transparent and unapologetic campaign.

There were some fairly critical -- yet true -- tweets in response. Here's my favourite.

Raif Badawi to Receive 'One Humanity Award' & How You Can Help

Jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.
International association of writers, PEN International, was founded in 1921 in London and has over 100 branches across the world.  Its members include notable authors like Margaret Atwood and H.G. Wells was even president of the organization for a time.

Yesterday, PEN Canada announced that blogger Raif Badawi will receive their $5000 2014 One Humanity Award tomorrow night at the opening of the 35th International Festival of Authors in Toronto.
The award will be presented in absentia since Mr. Badawi is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for charges brought under Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Cybercrime Law, including “liberal thought,” and “insulting Islam.” In addition to his prison term, Mr. Badawi was fined almost $300,000 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes. Badawi, who suffers from diabetes, is reported to be in poor health.

“Raif Badawi has been imprisoned solely for the peaceful expression of his opinions,” said PEN Canada’s Writers in Prison Committee Chair Jim Creskey. “PEN Canada calls for his immediate and unconditional release. Mr. Badawi’s treatment seriously undermines the international community’s view of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to religious dialogue and reform.”
Although it's wonderful to hear he's getting this award and boost in media attention, I do not recall reading about Raif's diabetes before. Unless he's getting proper treatment to manage this, open wounds due to weekly lashes could lead to potentially fatal infection. This is even more concerning and increases the urgency of this matter even more!

Also yesterday, PEN International released an appeal to action telling people what they can do to help Raif! Go check that page out and get your letter writing on.

Would you rather give someone a call for immediate payback?

A couple of days ago, I reached out to Mireille Elchacar, from Amnistie Internationale Canada Francophone. She gave me two great options. This first one involves telephoning the Saudi Ambassador to Canada's office!
Bonjour Sean, merci pour votre message (et votre français est très bon)! Je ne suis pas au courant pour une manifestation. Il y a par contre d'autres types d'actions organisées. Par exemple, la population est invitée à appeler à l'ambassade saoudienne à Ottawa pour demander la libération de Raif, Et c'est une action en anglais!
Hello Sean. Thank you for your message (and your French is very good)! I am not aware of any protest. However, there are other organised actions. For example, people are invited to call the Saudi Ambassador in Ottawa to demand Raif's release -- and this action is in English!
She means that there is an English message to be read out to the Embassy receptionist or the Ambassador himself. Here's an English version of the above linked to French instructions:

The embassy is open weekdays from 9am to 4pm. There are four lines:

613-237-4100
613-237-4101
613-237-4102
613-237-4103

Keep calling these until you get through!

Then dial '8' for English.
Then dial '0' for the receptionist.

Here is the script for your call:
  • A person answers. Be polite and respectful.
  • Announce that you would like to speak with Mr. Naif Bandir A. ALSUDAIRY:

    Can I speak with Mr. Naif Bandir A. ALSUDAIRY, please?
    (There is a good chance they will not let you speak to him, and will request you leave a message.)

    I am calling to talk about Raif Badawi. He is serving a ten year prison sentence for his blogging activities in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore he is sentenced to 1000 lashes, 50 lashes for 20 weeks, which he will receive soon.

    Raif Badawi is a prisoner of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

    I urge the Saudi King to:

    - Release Raif Badawi immediately and unconditionally.

    - Ensure that his conviction and sentence are cancelled.

    - Not carry out any punishment of flogging, as this would violate the prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under international law.

    Thank you for listening. Will you give this message to the King?
Amnesty International would like your to share your call experience on their Facebook page. I'm pretty certain nobody would be bothered if you post your experience in English on this page! The point is to show people are doing this.

Apparently, the receptionist is also likely to request a fax and an email of your statement in lieu of a message. Insist on leaving the message as spoken words cannot be ignored as easily as emails and faxes. Then send a paper copy of your message to their fax number AND email the thing to caemb@mofa.gov.sa.

The second option from Mireille is a letter writing campaign (French) to your Canadian MP. The sample letter there is in French but I think you could elaborate on the above sample message or write an original letter based on the background information provided in the PEN International page.

PEN is doing their part. There are ways for you to help too!