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Federal Court restrains MMS Australia from advertising and supplying MMS and DMSO

4 June 2020

The Federal Court of Australia has made orders restraining Southern Cross Directories Pty Ltd trading as MMS Australia (MMS Australia) and its director Charles Barton from advertising and supplying goods containing certain potentially dangerous substances, including the main chemical used to make 'Miracle Mineral Solution' (MMS), until a further hearing next week.

On 3 June 2020, the Federal Court of Australia heard an application by the Secretary of the Department of Health seeking orders requiring MMS Australia and Mr Barton to cease advertising and supplying certain therapeutic goods, including MMS, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and another product containing yohimbine.

The Court adjourned the hearing to Wednesday, 10 June 2020, to allow Mr Barton and MMS Australia to obtain legal representation. The Court also made orders restraining MMS Australia and Mr Barton from advertising and supplying products containing sodium chlorite (the main chemical used to make MMS), DMSO or yohimbine until the hearing next week.

The orders made by the Federal Court can be accessed on the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

MMS and DMSO are not registered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.  Products that are not registered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods cannot lawfully be sold as therapeutic goods in Australia. The TGA is particularly concerned about the harmful effects that can be caused by the ingestion of MMS, and has published a safety alert to warn consumers.

The TGA takes action concerning unlawful activity

The regulatory scheme is important to the safety of Australian consumers and the TGA investigates suspected illegal activity in relation to therapeutic goods. A range of compliance and enforcement tools are available and where necessary, this may include criminal or civil court proceedings, which can result in substantial penalties, fines or imprisonment.

In July 2019, the Federal Court of Australia ordered Peptide Clinics Australia to pay $10 million to the Commonwealth for breaches of the mandatory rules for advertising.

In March 2020, the TGA commenced proceedings against Evolution Supplements Australia Pty Ltd and its sole director in relation to alleged advertising contraventions. In that matter, the Federal Court granted, by consent, an interim injunction to prevent the continuation of the alleged unlawful advertising.

Any person, including businesses, must comply with the requirements for advertising. The TGA encourages online advertising complaints to prevent potentially serious outcomes.

The TGA is also reminding consumers to be on the lookout for misleading ads in its how to spot a dodgy health product ad campaign.