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Latin American doctors challenge FDA restrictions on chlorine dioxide treatment for COVID

Bolivia physicians report treatment effective, safe when properly administered

Posted by

February 16, 2022


02:29 PM

Latin American doctors challenge FDA restrictions on chlorine dioxide treatment for COVID

Doctors from the Global Coalition for Health and Life (COMUSAV AMÉRICA), a consortium of Central and South American medical professionals, have sent the FDA a formal request to “Remove the restriction concerning the prohibition of the use of chlorine dioxide.”

The doctors, none of whom practice medicine in the US, explain why they are specifically turning to the American regulatory agency with their request:  “This [FDA] restriction is used as a reference in other countries to prohibit the study and research of the use of chlorine dioxide in the treatment of people with COVID-19.”

Already legal in Bolivia for COVID treatment

Dr. Patricia Callisperis, a signatory to the request and the director of the Clínica del Sur medical clinic in La Paz, Bolivia, is afforded a privilege unavailable in the rest of the world; authorization to treat COVID-19, malaria, dengue and other diseases with chlorine dioxide (ClO2).

A pediatrician specializing in children's orthopedics and the treatment of congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), Dr. Callisperis not only uses chlorine dioxide in her clinic but serves as a leading activist to legalize its use outside Bolivia.

Like drinking bleach?

FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless, MD, gave this stern warning in 2019, before the COVID pandemic, against the use of Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a sodium chlorite solution which, when mixed with an acid (such as the juices of citrus fruits or vinegar), produces chlorine dioxide.

“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," said Dr. Sharpless.

The Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter likewise warns that MMS carries a “Risk of serious health problems.” 

Yet widely used?

Despite the FDA’s comparison of MMS with drinking bleach, chlorine dioxide, discovered in 1811 by Sir Humphry Davy, has many common uses. Henan borichem Technology Company, a subsidiary of Suzhou Doer Gas & Chemical Equipment Company, says, “Because of its killing rate of … typhoid bacteria, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis … it is widely used in hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and homes in foreign developed countries for disinfection and sterilization…”

The World Health Organization (WHO) even provides guidelines for the use of chlorine dioxide in water treatment and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports placing chlorine dioxide pouches inside fruit-packing cartons to kill pathogens to “Make Produce Safer and Reduce Spoilage.”

In 2019, The Big Issue asked, “Does the idea of chowing down on chicken that’s been blasted with chlorine dioxide sound appetizing? Americans have been served up chlorine-washed poultry for decades…”

In answer, the weekly paper quoted a USDA official who said, “Ken Isley of the US Department of Agriculture is having none of it though, telling an audience of journalists at a food convention in Chicago this month, ‘I think the concerns and fear are unfounded. I would stack US food safety and our food safety record against anywhere in the world.’”

It’s all about dilution

The UK’s Food Standards Agency's 2010 warning against consumption of MMS specified that, while that warning listed less severe side effects even when taken as directed (including severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea), the main concern is with a failure to dilute as required.  “If the solution is diluted less than instructed, it could cause damage to the gut and red blood cells, potentially resulting in respiratory failure.”

Thus, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a maximum contaminant level of “0.8 mg/L for chlorine dioxide in drinking water.” 

The WHO provides this advice to the world’s water treatment agencies.  “It is possible to reduce the concentration of chlorine dioxide and chlorite effectively to zero (<0.1 mg/l) by reduction; however, it is normal practice to supply water with a chlorine dioxide residual of a few tenths of a milligram per litre to provide some protection against microbial regrowth during distribution.”

In a study entitled Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of chlorine dioxide, investigators Alberto Rubio Casillas of the Clinical Laboratory, Regional Hospital of Autlán, Jalisco Health Secretariat, México, and Pablo Campra Madrid of the Digestive Modeling Research Group at the University of Almería, Spain, argue that, “there is no experimental evidence available to support that [in] administering doses lower than 3 mg / kg / day there is a risk of systemic toxicity or variations in relevant clinical parameters…”


Casillas’ study concludes that, when sufficiently diluted, chlorine dioxide is both safe and effective in treating various diseases:  “… the main bioactive molecule (derived from ClO2 metabolism) within the body is ClO2⁻ …

“The fact that ClO2 / ClO2⁻ are not toxic if they are ingested at low concentrations suggests an interesting therapeutic application. 

“In vitro studies have shown that ClO2 can inactivate human influenza virus, measles virus, and herpes virus (Sanekata et al., 2010). Other researchers have shown that ClO2 is capable of destroying the polio virus, hepatitis A, HIV-1, and the coronavirus that caused SARS (cited in Miura and Shibata, 2010). 

“Oral Ingestion of aqueous solutions of ClO2 in low concentrations (0.3-0.9 mg / kg / day) could be used for the prevention and treatment of deadly viral infections, such as influenza, COVID-19, and AIDS.”

In a video outlining the history of the use of chlorine dioxide, Dr. Callisperis says she has “seen how a person has come out of a hypoxia from a 60 [blood oxygen saturation level] to an 80 and 90 in less than 4 hours.”

Uphill legal battle

The claims of COMUSAV AMÉRICA doctors and researchers Casillas and Madrid notwithstanding, the US federal government does not appear to be in any way reversing course on its approach to the use of chlorine dioxide as a medical treatment. In April, 2021, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced indictments against a Florida man and his three sons for marketing and selling as MMS as a treatment for a variety of ailments including COVID-19. 

Questioning mass vaccination of children

Dr. Callisperis has also challenged the wisdom of the mass vaccination program for children. Speaking at the first scientific gathering on COVID-19 in Bolivia on February 2, 2022, Callisperis demanded that a proper risk-benefit analysis be made vis-à-vis children. In a Spanish language video of the conference posted to Facebook, Dr. Callisperis can be heard listing the adverse events associated with the COVID-19 vaccines, including myocarditis, thrombocytopenia, ovarian and uterine damage, and demanding that  the nation's scientific societies break their silence on these side effects and justify the vaccination campaign in light of the rapid mutations of the virus that detrimentally impact the vaccines’ efficacy. 

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