With the resigned air of a weary Miss Hoover instructing Ralph Wiggum again not to eat paste, the U.S. Food And Drug Administration has issued a warning reminding Americans to lay off the bleach. In an announcement posted yesterday, the agency repeats its guidance that Americans not purchase or consume purportedly curative liquids—which are in fact, essentially bleach—as they’re accompanied by “serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.” The agency first issued such a warning in 2010.
These products are marketed on social media as cure-alls for conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, autism, hepatitis and flu, and are sold under snake-oil-sounding brands including Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, and Water Purification Solution. “Mineral solution” might sound safe, but the FDA is here to say that no, these are just bleach.
“Miracle Mineral Solution and similar products are not FDA-approved, and ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach. Consumers should not use these products, and parents should not give these products to their children for any reason,” FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in the statement.
It’s unconscionable that purveyors of these potentially lethal products would prey on families desperately seeking a silver-bullet cure. But it also behooves consumers to remember that if a “miracle” treatment seems too good to true—especially if it’s being peddled on Instagram—it probably is.