Desperate parents are trying to cure autism by making their kids drink poisonous chemicals.
At least six police forces across Britain have questioned families over allegations children as young as two were forced to drink bleach and turpentine.
Some were also given bleach enemas to purge “parasites” which a church cult and unqualified advocates like ex-drug addict Danny Glass blame for causing the behavioural condition.
Tonight, as a task force of MPs and campaigners investigated, a doctor warned that the quack remedies will end up killing children.
One in every 100 kids in the UK suffers from some form of autism, for which there is no medical cure.
Dr Jeff Foster said: “Autism is a neuro-developmental condition which is not amenable to any form of tablet treatment. It’s developed in the womb or in the early stages of life.
“You just can’t reverse it and anyone claiming that does not understand the condition.
“When you have very extreme measures like this to ‘cure’ a condition it’s just a roulette game.
“Eventually someone will die. It’s only a matter of time.”
Our investigators infiltrated a closed Facebook group dedicated to the dangerous practice, where we found UK parents following the use of so-called Miracle or Master Mineral Solution (MMS) for autism.
MMS, which is unlicensed and has no proven medical benefits, is a potent cocktail of sodium chlorite mixed with citric acid powder to make a industrial-strength bleach which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration.
The quack formula is available on UK-based websites for around £30 despite being banned in other countries.
Last week we were easily able to buy the product – marketed as “water purification and citric activator” – from a Manchester based health product site called PH Health.
It was sold under the banner of MMS with dozens of positive reviews.
The solution carried the warnings “keep out of reach of children” and if ingested “seek medical advice”.
Yet on the closed CD Autism website parents discussed their children’s consumption of the product and posted pictures of what they claimed were parasites which had left their children after enemas.
One British mum, an NHS finance worker, wrote that her son had began to suffer diarrhoea.
Another woman suggests kids should be given 16 doses of the chemical chlorine dioxide each day for between three and six months.
In private messages to our investigator, a mum described how she has turned to chlorine dioxide in desperation.
She explained how her two-year-old “cried really hard” when he was given his first enemas using a water bottle but how things are getting “better and better”.
Trying to convince herself she was doing the right thing, she wrote: “Some mean people said it’s bleach and harmful for kids. But it’s helped so many!”
Some parents also talked about the use of turpentine to kill off parasites wrongly said to cause autism.
This practise is shockingly advocated by British ex-drug addict Danny Glass, who lives in Thailand and last week narrowly escaped jail after admitting causing his fiancee’s death by reckless driving.
Glass, from Margate, Kent, calls himself Sunfruit Dan online and urges parents to give autistic kids up to seven drops of turps three times daily to get rid of “parasites”.
Self-styled American church “archbishop” Jim Humble, an ex-Scientologist, claims MMS cures just about every disease and disorder, including autism.
His disciple Kerri Rivera, who claims to have “healed” her autistic son, recommends giving children one drop of MMS in eight ounces of water a day before building up to eight hourly doses.
She then advocates bleach enemas “no less than once every other day”.
She says: “You may need to do them more often, particularly if you see parasites coming out.”
Misguided parents say their children stop autistic behaviours such as rocking and chewing – but campaigners say this is out of fear when the “treatment” is inflicted on them.
Horrified British GP Dr Foster, who runs a private practice at the Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, West Midlands, said: “Chlorine dioxide causes abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.
“If you drink it on a long-term basis it causes inflammation of your gut lining, stomach, oesophagus and intestines. At some stage something pops and then you can bleed to death.
“Your gut will excrete whatever has just been shed from having this irritant, and that’s likely what parents are seeing come out. They might make claims the doses are so small that it’s not like giving proper industrial bleach. But no dose is safe.”
The twisted treatment is now coming under scrutiny of authorities in the UK.
The Autism Commission, made up of MPs and campaigners, is expected to include recommendations to tighten the law surrounding so-called cures.
Commission chair Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield, who has a 10-year-old autistic grandson, said: “We have heard from parents very concerned about MMS.
“There is a very large, really unscrupulous group of people out there who take advantage of vulnerable families.”
Police have probed cases in East Yorkshire, Cheshire, Luton, Dover, North London and Northern Ireland.
In Belfast, a specialist in alternative medicine, Dr Finbar Magee, was suspended by the General Medical Council over his use of MMS for autism.
A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said: “MMS contains sodium chlorite which is bleach. It has no proven, or conceivable health benefit.”
The Food Standards Agency has also warned against its use.
A drop-out hippy who last week admitted killing his pregnant girlfriend in a road crash is peddling turpentine treatment for children.
Danny Glass, 29, who is not known to have any medical background, claims to have used it on kids all over the world “through my own expertise and knowledge on the subject”.
On YouTube, he promises people who ingest turps can live a “sickness and disease-free” life before adding a link to his own website which clicks through to Amazon sales of the oil.
Yet the oil he promotes carries an Amazon warning “for external use only”.
His sacredpurity website also offers his “health coaching” programme for around £70 for an hour long Skype session.
Glass, from Margate, Kent, tells YouTube followers: “It’s going to be very, very rare for any children to get any symptoms because I haven’t seen it so far, but someone may prove me wrong in the near future.”
Glass tells parents to start his “protocol” slowly, starting off with three drops, before adding: “It’s such a small dose that for them to get a reaction would be almost impossible.”
He warned if children suffered side-effects such as nausea, headache, fatigue and drowsiness after their first dose then they shouldn’t be given another the same day.
Glass, who lives in Thailand, admitted causing death by reckless driving after his six-months pregnant girlfriend Sophie Anderson was killed when his scooter collided with a truck in Phuket.
He was given a two-year suspended sentence last week and said he was “over the moon” about it.
Sophie, from Blackpool, hit the headlines herself last year when she put a video online of her breastfeeding her five-year-old son.
My war on quacks
Mum Emma Dalmayne has led a four-year campaign against MMS after being left horrified by the practice.
The mother of six, who has five children with autism, joined forces with Fiona O’Leary to infiltrate closed Facebook accounts.
Emma, 41, of south-east London, and Fiona, from Dublin, have reported a string of parents in Britain and America who inflict the toxic “cure” on kids.
Emma, pictured with son Damien, 10, and daughter Skylar, five, said: “When I first read about MMS I didn’t think it possible that parents would feed their own children a bleach solution – let alone give them enemas with it.
“I felt disgusted and sickened.”
Emma, who has written two books on autism and runs a support group, believes the Government must do more to crack down on the practice.
“MMS is a bleach and it’s making children sick,” she says.
“Women are posting about how
their children are vomiting and pain
but take it as a sign the parasites are being purged. They call it the herxheimer reaction.
“The children stop a lot of the behaviours associated with autism, rocking or screaming, and these parents think they have been cured.
“But they are simply too scared to do it any more.
“If this was happening to non-autistic children there would be an outcry but because they are autistic everyone turns a blind eye.”
Voice of The Sunday People: Ban this ‘miracle’ menace
The sale of fake medicines on the internet is a growing concern.
Among the most dangerous is a fake cure for autism being peddled online.
Miracle or Master Mineral Solution is a mix of sodium chloride and citric acid powder.
It is effectively an industrial-strength bleach.
And people are using it on their children.
A horrific myth – pushed online by a combination of religious nuts and fake scientists – says autism is caused by parasites.
And to purge these non-existent parasites, parents are giving their little ones huge doses of this bleach.
A whole raft of quack medicine has built up around it.
And it needs to be stopped.
Some people say a parent should be allowed to make their own mind up.
But these parents are often vulnerable people at the mercy of modern-day snake-oil salesmen.
One desperate parent posted on a secret Facebook group devoted to the medicine asking: “Should we be doing this? Is this normal?”
The answer to that is an emphatic “NO”.
A probe at Westminster is looking in to these fake cures.
But it must be done quickly.
Doctors are warning it is just a matter of time before a child dies.
These evil drugs, banned in other countries, remain available here.
We must protect children and parents by taking swift action and banning the drug’s sale.
And punishing the charlatans lining their pockets by exploiting the vulnerable.
Make Autistic ‘Cures’ Illegal In The UK – sign the petition