The passing of a bill that is already before Parliament will help regulators ban "unethical products", including the "miracle" Ebola cure currently being sold in New Zealand this weekend, an industry umbrella group says.
Controversial healing group Genesis II Church of Health and Healing is hosting a three-day seminar in Waikato this weekend to promote its bleach-based solution that medical experts have slammed as being potentially fatal, NZME. News Service revealed today.
The non-religious church says Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), concocted of chlorine dioxide, a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment, is an effective treatment against cancer, HIV, malaria, Ebola, and other diseases.
New Zealand's medical regulatory body, Medsafe, however, says the product is nothing more than industrial bleach that can cause "serious harm to health".
Now, Natural Products NZ, which represents natural products, functional foods, complementary medicines, cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals industries, says MMS should be banned.
Chairman Ron Geiger says the Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill, which awaits its third reading, will regulate the manufacturing and selling of natural health products in New Zealand.
"The new regulations would make it far more difficult for questionable products such as the so-called Ebola cure to be marketed and sold here so it is hoped the Government will pass the Bill into law as soon as possible," Mr Geiger said.
It will strengthen regulation around which ingredients and health benefit claims will be permitted or not permitted, and what product information must be provided.
Mr Geiger said the new regulations will provide "a higher level of assurance" that the natural health and supplementary products available in New Zealand are "safe, approved, effective and contain what is stated on the label".
MMS is sold in New Zealand through miraclemineral.co.nz as a "simple, scientifically proven pathogen killer".
One 125ml bottle of MMS, sold online as a water treatment, costs $26 plus $5 postage.
This weekend's seminar is being held at Ngatea Water Gardens Function Centre, owned by Roger Blake, who sells MMS.
Tickets were being advertised on the church's website for US$500 ($646) but Mr Blake said a simple donation would be accepted.
"They are not here to make money," said Mr Blake, a former mechanical engineer who has sold MMS to about 2000 customers, mostly in New Zealand.
"This seminar is not about introducing it to new people - basically everybody coming knows what it does, and has treated cancer for themselves. Most of them would've been dead without this product.
"It has treated everything from cancer, arthritis, hepatitis, shingles, chickenpox, and not one customer has complained."
More than 40 people have confirmed attendance for the seminar, which begins on Friday morning. It will feature talks by church leader "Archbishop" James Humble and other church members. Attendees will get lunch, booklets, a "Reverend ID card" and "Health minister ID card", and afterwards be authorised to "open a Church chapter".
The Australian Medical Association says 10 people have reported being poisoned by MMS in the past five years and has called for a ban.
The Victorian Poisons Information Centre told the Herald Sun newspaper it could cause "potentially life-threatening illnesses".
The FDA reissued a warning against the use of MMS this year after receiving "several reports of health injuries from consumers using this product, including severe nausea, vomiting, and life-threatening low blood pressure from dehydration".
In response, the church re-posted a 2010 video that rejected the claims.
Mr Humble claims 5 million people have tried MMS worldwide over the past five years, with no major adverse effects.