Bolivian senate approves toxic bleach as COVID-19 treatment - Business Insider

Bolivia's senate approved 'miracle mineral solution' — a toxic bleach with no medical use — as a treatment for COVID-19

7/16/2020 5:45:00 PM

Bolivia's senate approved 'miracle mineral solution' — a toxic bleach with no medical use — as a treatment for COVID-19

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Javier Mamani/Getty ImagesThe Bolivian senate has approved the use of chlorine dioxide, a toxic bleach, as a treatment for COVID-19, according toan official statement Tuesday.The motion needs to be approved by Bolivia's lower house and its president before it can be used legally.

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The substance, known as "miracle mineral solution," is advocated as a cure for a vast array of illnesses by a sprawling movement of online advocates — four of whom are being prosecuted in Florida.Senators approved the substance despite medical warnings including from the FDA and Bolivia's own health ministry.

An expert told Business Insider that fake cures are surging in popularity in Bolivia, which is struggling to cope with its COVID-19 outbreak.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.The Bolivian senate has approved the use of chlorine dioxide, a toxic bleach falsely promoted as a miracle cure,  as a treatment for COVID-19. 

According to a statement posted Tuesdayon the website of the Bolivian senate, lawmakers approved a bill that "authorizes the preparation, marketing, supply and use of the chlorine dioxide solution for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus."

Chlorine dioxide is known by its advocates as "miracle mineral solution" or MMS. It has for years been promoted on the fringes of the internet as a cure for conditions as wide-ranging as cancer, autism, and, more recently, COVID-19.Its use is becoming more popular in South American countries, such as Bolivia, where medical authorities are struggling to cope with the pandemic, experts say. 

—Senado de Bolivia (@SenadoBolivia)July 15, 2020The motion still requires approval from Bolivia's lower chamber and its president before it can become law.Nonetheless, the adoption of the widely discredited substance by a national legislature is a striking development in the spread of medical disinformation around the coronavirus.

Organizations including the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as similar bodies in Ireland and Canada have issued warnings against, which has been linked to side effects up to and including death.identified two deaths in the US linked to consuming MMS. 

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Bolivia's own health ministry is among the bodies to warn against it.Nonetheless, under the proposed law public or private laboratories would be allowed to produce the substance, says the statement. It says the production process "must comply with quality standards." 

Under the bill, the substance would be available in pharmacies without prescription and made available through the state health system. In a statement to Business Insider, the Bolivian embassy in London confirmed that the legislation had been approved by the senate, which is controlled by the left-wing Moviemento al Socialismo (MAS) party. The party also controls the lower house, but not the presidency.

The embassy also referenced a June warning from the country'sministry of healththat the substance is ineffective and dangerous. "Despite official recommendations provided by the Ministry of Health of Bolivia against the use of chlorine dioxide solution to treat COVID-19, the Legislative Branch (Senate), the majority (2/3) of which is of the MAS political party, passed the law you refer to, which approves the use of said substance to treat COVID-19 patients," said an embassy official. 

The legislation due to be sent to the lower legislative house, which is also controlled by MAS. If approved, it would then require the signature of the country's right-wing president, Jeanine Añez, to become law.The president can approve or send the legislation back for further deliberation. However, under the

she cannot veto it entirely like a US president.How MMS advocates set their sights on Latin America Chlorine dioxide is a type of industrial bleach, which in recent years has been hailed as a miracle cure by a sprawling network of advocates and conspiracy theorists.

They claim, on the basis of anecdotal evidence and without scientific backing, that it can cure diseases including cancer and malaria, and conditions such as autism. As the coronavirus pandemic spread, advocates began to claim it could also treat COVID-19, as both prevention and cure.

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The Food and Drug Administration in the US has issued several warnings against consuming the substance, saying that there is no evidence it has medical benefits.In an advisory lastyear said it received reports of "severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration and acute liver failure after drinking these products."

Health workers wearing biosecurity suits walk in El Tejar neighborhood during the screening for people with COVID-19 symptoms on July 5, 2020 in La Paz, Bolivia.Gaston Brito/Getty ImagesA US-based group calling itself the Genesis II church has promoted and sold the substance globally, including in Latin America.

and three of his sons were charged with federal crimes over the production and sale of MMS. Read more: Business Insider »

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fakeaccountfak3 It is not a 'toxic bleach!' it is a 'water purifier' I and my friends use all the time. It only attacks the 'Pathogens' and doesn't hurt any organs! ~ 'It works!!' Bolivians love thinking out of the box. Wait.... what!! 😩 Darwinism

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