British schoolboy exposes phony drug through Twitter
A 15-year-old teenager from Wales has prompted a global Internet campaign against a phony "miracle drug" after posting warnings about it on the social networking website Twitter.
Rhys Morgan, a 15-year-old who suffers from Crohn's disease, stumbled upon a substance called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) while looking into treatments for his condition, which causes swelling in the digestive tract.
"I found out about it while browsing a support forum for Crohn's disease, which I was diagnosed with earlier this year," Morgan told AFP.
Morgan's search led him to a website run by the drug's apparent creator Jim Humble claiming that MMS was "the answer to AIDS, hepatitis A, B and C, malaria, herpes, TB, most cancers and many more of mankind's worse diseases".
The website also claims that MMS has been tested on over 75,000 people in Africa and that Humble has personally treated over 2,000 malaria victims with the drug.
Soon after, Morgan found a reference to the drug on the US Food and Drug Administration website.
The agency warned, "The product, when used as directed, produces an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health."
Britain's Food Standards Agency later posted a similar notice about the product, stating that "when taken as directed it could cause severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea."
Rhys began posting warnings about MMS on his Twitter page, and overnight the number of people following his tweets rocketed from 150 to 350. He also began complaining about the drug to Britain's Trading Standards agency.
The Cardiff schoolboy's warning has since been picked up by science writers in the British media and re-tweeted to thousands of their readers.
Humble was not immediately available for comment.
When asked what he would say to Humble if he got the chance, Morgan said: "I would ask him to think about what he's doing and to think critically about his product."
© 2010 AFP