Galaxy-brained YouTuber Jordan Sather tweeted Tuesday that he drank bleach in order to prove the FDA and news media wrong.
“I’ve drank MMS (a.k.a. chlorine dioxide), brushed my teeth with it, breathed it, cleaned with it, used it topically,” he wrote. “If MMS was a toxic bleach, I should be dead. Sorry FDA and fake news media, you lose this one.”
Sather claimed he drank MMS, or chlorine dioxide, which the Food and Drug Administration labels as industrial bleach. His tweet was in response to an NBC News story about private Facebook groups and YouTube channels that push parents to use MMS as a cure for autism by feeding them to children or dumping them in baths filled with bleach.
Chlorine dioxide is a mix of sodium chlorite and an acid activator that former Scientologist Jim Humble first hawked as a miracle cure two decades ago. Humble claimed MMS had cured malaria, leading him to name himself archbishop of a new religion centered around chlorine dioxide, which he dubbed the Miracle Mineral Solution, or MMS. Humble touted MMS as a cure for AIDS, cancer and diabetes.
In the 2013 book Healing the Symptoms Known as Autism, author Kerri Rivera extended MMS to be a supposed cure for autism, as well.
While the ingredients of MMS aren’t illegal because the mixture is used for bleaching paper and wastewater treatments, it is illegal to market or sell chlorine dioxide for human consumption.
In a 2010 health warning, the FDA said it had received several reports of people with low blood pressure and dehydration after taking MMS. The report warned about the health risks of drinking MMS, including damaging digestive tissue and destroying red blood cells. The FDA also says it knows of no research that suggests MMS is a safe or effective treatment for autism—or any other disease, for that matter.
The National Autistic Society in the U.K. has also warned against MMS, calling it a dangerous product that has been peddled as a cure for autism.
Other Twitter users have since responded to Sather’s absurd attack on the FDA and news media for their criticism of MMS as a cure for autism.
Author and Paste Games contributor Keith Law called MMS a “fake autism cure,” adding that “charlatans tell parents to give literal bleach to their children with autism.” He then called Sather and MMS advocates “cranks encouraging people to drink bleach” before calling on social media websites to take responsibility for spreading false information that can harm children.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins also tweeted that “some Qanon people” are drinking bleach, angry about the NBC story criticizing YouTube channels encouraging parents to give children bleach to cure autism.
Sather, who has 190,000 YouTube subscribers, responded with his own tweet, calling Collins ignorant for equating chlorine dioxide to bleach, even though the FDA has warned that the substance amounts to industrial bleach and can cause permanent harm to children.