Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation

gcmaf facebook fake cancer cure 2x1

  • In a closed Fb group, British lady Amanda Mary Jewell has for years been promoting the chemical GcMAF, claiming it’s a remedy for most cancers and autism. She has offered no medical help for this declare. 
  • Jewell additionally sells costly, unregulated therapies at her clinic within the tropical nation of Belize. She will not be a UK-registered physician.
  • Each providers are marketed on Fb, in closed teams inaccessible with out invitation.
  • Different unproven so-called “cures” — just like the bleach often called Miracle Mineral Resolution — additionally flourish in closed Fb teams.
  • Specialists say these teams are a breeding floor for disinformation. Within the realm of life-altering ailments, a swap from a confirmed medical remedy to an unproven one may have severe penalties.
  • When contacted by Enterprise Insider, Fb closed a number of the teams in query. It has since introduced a rethink of the closed group system.
  • Go to Enterprise Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

In a telephone name to the self-described most cancers researcher Amanda Jewell, a British lady who calls herself “Mary” describes how she is struggling to manage. 

“My mother, she has stage three breast cancer. It’s spread to her right. It’s spread to her lymph nodes and they’re giving her chemotherapy. It’s so distressing,” she says. 

She describes her wrestle coping together with her six-year-old son, a “non-verbal autistic child, very picky in his diet, very violent.”

“I’ve got him acting out and doing what he’s doing and I’ve got my poor mother who’s so ill, she’s vomiting, her hair is starting to fall out,” she says. 

Within the name, “Mary” begs for an appointment, having organized the decision by becoming a member of Jewell’s invite-only Fb group, GcMAF Oracle. She hopes it will possibly present the remedy she’s desperately looking for. 

The title refers to Jewell’s core product — the substance GcMAF, the frequent title for GC protein-derived macrophage activating issue.

Jewell, to her choose viewers, claims that GcMAF is a breakthrough remedy for a raft of in any other case incurable situations, together with autism and late-stage most cancers.

Mary is the truth is an undercover campaigner in opposition to medical disinformation, and made the decision to show how bogus practitioners function.

“If I really juggle things around, I could get your mum in in a week’s time,” says Jewell. “Mary” is delighted. 

They talk about costs for the remedy, which may contain surgical procedure at Jewell’s clinic in Belize, central America, in addition to doses of GcMAF. “We do an all-in price with everything included,” she explains, quoting her $25,000. 

The whole, Jewell says, excludes the price of journey. She presents to deal with the autistic son at no cost.

Jewell describes herself as a “medical assistant instructor” on Fb, however Enterprise Insider has discovered no proof that she has any scientific qualification, and he or she will not be registered as a physician with the British Medical Affiliation, the related authority in her dwelling nation.

In Belize, well being authorities instructed Enterprise Insider that they’d by no means been introduced with proof that she has medical {qualifications}. 

Jewell admitted to the BBC in 2016 she will not be a physician, however stated she had labored with medical professionals for 15 years. 

What’s extra, medical authorities in international locations together with the UK and US say that GcMAF, which she promotes as a life-saving remedy, is unproven and unlicensed. 

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company instructed Enterprise Insider that GcMAF has by no means undergone the assessments essential to ascertain whether or not it’s efficient, and even protected for human use.

“We strongly advise people not to use unlicensed products such as GcMAF, which may pose a significant risk to health,” stated a spokesperson. 

And within the US, authorities had an identical warning. 

“In general, GcMAF treatments are not approved or licensed by the FDA for use in the U.S.,” stated Jeremy Kahn, a spokesman for the Meals and Medicine Administration within the US. 

A breeding floor? 

A Enterprise Insider investigation has discovered that Amanda Jewell will not be alone in exploiting Fb’s system of invite-only non-public and secret teams to unfold medical disinformation and questionable medication to hundreds of individuals. 

Fb eliminated Jewell’s private account and the GcMAF Oracle group for violating its guidelines after her actions had been flagged by Enterprise Insider.

Earlier than the takedown, the group had greater than 7,000 members, every of whom had requested to affix.

Contained in the teams — largely invisible to moderators and regulators — anybody can falsely painting themselves as a medical skilled.

And in the event that they achieve affect there, they’ll unfold misinformation and market profitable “treatments” that are, at finest, a waste of cash and, at worst, may trigger severe hurt.

Greater than half of Fb’s 2.2 billion world customers are members of teams, normally networks of mates, household or colleagues.

Some are public and open to all customers. Others, like Jewell’s, are non-public however might be discovered by looking Fb. These require approval from a moderator to affix.

A 3rd class is invitation-only, and can’t be discovered by searches.

Amanda Mary Jewell

Moderators like Jewell are supposed to assist implement Fb’s guidelines banning dangerous conduct.

Nonetheless, there’s nothing to cease anybody from bypassing the location’s guidelines, spreading conspiracies and misinformation, and promoting illicit substances.

One of many members of the group was Emma Dalmayne, the campaigner who posed as “Mary” within the name to Jewell. Dalmayne works to show medical disinformation, and shared her recording with Enterprise Insider to lift consciousness of the issue.

She instructed Enterprise Insider that if individuals with life-threatening sicknesses reject confirmed cures, the outcomes might be deadly. On secret Fb teams, she stated, individuals might be persuaded to show to unproven therapies as a substitute of confirmed ones.  

“They are allowing people to turn their backs on proven treatments to go with quacks, and they are giving them a platform,” Dalmayne stated of Fb. Her conclusion: “They are allowing people to die.”

Jewell has not responded to Enterprise Insider’s makes an attempt to contact her, by way of e mail, LinkedIn, a earlier telephone quantity, and varied intermediaries.

When Enterprise Insider referred to as a quantity related to Jewell, a girl picked up the telephone claiming to be her sister. The girl, who declined to provide a reputation, stated Jewell was in Honduras. She didn’t reply any substantive questions on Jewell’s actions.

Jewell did publish a response to the deactivation of her Fb accounts. Writing on her web site, she stated that the closures had been a response to the success of her therapies. 

“These had been all harmless individuals in want of assist and recommendation, good individuals actively concerned and all in favour of pure cures, with testimonies of hundreds of individuals and the way they’ve helped themselves by recovering from sicknesses like most cancers, autism and plenty of different persistent situations.

“No crimes had been dedicated right here. We’re not discussing something aside from merely serving to individuals. It could appear that one too many individuals had been getting actual profit.

“And so 15 years of data misplaced. As persons are as soon as once more left to delve deeper and look tougher for good data.

“Our reach was over 5 million people and the numbers were increasing. Clearly our good results were too good.”

It isn’t clear on what foundation Jewell claims GcMAF cured hundreds of individuals, or that her group reached 5 million.

GcMAF warning 

GcMAF is a kind of protein discovered within the physique that helps increase the immune system and battle infections. A fringe different medication motion has tried to advertise as one thing extra.

For years — with out the help of mainstream science — advocates have claimed that boosting the quantity of GcMAF within the human physique will help to battle off in any other case incurable sicknesses, together with most cancers. 

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company instructed Enterprise Insider that GcMAF has by no means undergone the assessments essential to ascertain whether or not it’s efficient, and even protected for human use.

“We strongly advise people not to use unlicensed products such as GcMAF, which may pose a significant risk to health,” stated a spokesperson. 

Final 12 months, British businessman David Noakes was jailed for 15 months for producing GcMAF at a website close to Dover, England, for breaking legal guidelines prohibiting the manufacturing and sale of unlicensed medication.  

screenshot GcMAF Oracle YouTube

Within the US, authorities had an identical warning. 

“Under FDA law and regulations, generally a company first must show that its drug product is safe and effective before it may be marketed. GcMAF treatments have not been subject to the rigorous approval process and manufacturing scrutiny required for FDA-approved products, and are therefore not being legally marketed,” stated Kahn, the FDA spokesman. 

However although its sale as a pharmaceutical has by no means been discovered to be protected or efficient, on Fb there’s a thriving community of teams like Jewell’s overtly selling it.

$3,900 a month for an unproven remedy

Screenshots of conversations in GcMAF Oracle group — shared with Enterprise Insider by autism rights campaigner Fiona O’Leary — present how moderators within the group promoted and offered the substance. 

In a single dialog, Jewell recommends a three-month course of GCMAF to a girl whose mom has stage four kidney and lung most cancers. She advocates shopping for 32 vials of the substance at a worth of greater than $350 per vial. Enterprise Insider’s calculations discovered the remedy would price round $3,900 per thirty days.

In one other trade, a person with most cancers describes struggling to fundraise for his GcMAF remedy.

Though his language will not be fully clear, the message seems to say that GcMAF with he injects beneath his pores and skin (subcutaneous, or “sub q”) prices him $150 per milliliter.

GcMAF group conversation

He describes gathering cash from household and mates, in addition to operating a GoFundMe web page, to afford the remedy. Enterprise Insider confirmed that the GoFundMe exists. 

Consuming bleach, and an anti-vaxx echo chamber

Enterprise Insider has discovered quite a few different examples of unproven, and due to this fact doubtlessly harmful, substances being promoted as medicines in closed Fb eco-systems.

Dalmayne, the campaigner — who actually does have an autistic little one — has additionally joined non-public teams dedicated to selling so-called Miracle Mineral Resolution as a remedy for autism.

The substance is in actuality a type of poisonous bleach banned by medical authorities worldwide. In March Enterprise Insider reported that within the Fb teams mother and father share disturbing footage of the accidents to their autistic youngsters attributable to MMS, whereas others encourage them to maintain administering it.

Alongside GcMAF, Jewell has promoted MMS in her group as a remedy for autism and malaria.

Renee DiResta, a Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Belief for 2019, instructed Enterprise Insider that networks of personal and secret Fb teams are additionally selling anti-vaccination conspiracies, faux most cancers cures, and selling the sale of medical exemptions for folks who don’t desire their youngsters vaccinated. 

Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant professor in communications at Syracuse College, instructed Enterprise Insider by e mail that Fb’s failure to implement its insurance policies introduced a risk to public well being. 

Fb, she stated, “has been encouraging the use of private groups as a way to offload content moderation responsibility, and accountability, to moderators within these groups.”

“The company should do more to make sure that its platform is not being abused or threatening public health.”

Fb stated it had eliminated teams selling MMS, GcMAF, and anti-vaccination conspiracies uncovered as a part of Enterprise Insider’s investigation. 

A spokesman for the location stated: “We do not allow the sale of non-medical or pharmaceutical drugs on Facebook, and we have taken down all the groups, user accounts and related pages flagged by Business Insider.”

“We have recently tripled the size of our safety and security team to 30,000 to help us keep Facebook safe. We also urge people to use our tools to report anything they feel shouldn’t be on Facebook.”

A spokesperson referred Enterprise Insider to the location’s insurance policies on anti-vaccination disinformation, which say that the location downranks anti-vaccination misinformation on its information feed, and rejects all paid anti-vaccination advertisements. 

A rogue medical clinic, fueled by Fb 

In addition to operating the Fb group, Jewell had a venture extra bold than selling and remotely promoting GcMAF. 

After contacting and speaking to Jewell on the location, some individuals had been persuaded to pay tens of hundreds of {dollars} extra to go to her clinic.

In her telephone name with “Mary” — the pseudonym Dalmayne utilized in her name — Jewell quoted $25,000 for remedy on the Belize clinic, which included surgical procedure in addition to GcMAF.

In her name with Dalmayne, Jewell claims that she wouldn’t revenue from the course.

“Not everything’s financial,” she stated. “We all have to get something out of it, and for me it’s what I get out of the job itself which is wonderful.”

Jewell’s clinic was for a number of years positioned within the village of Progresso in northern Belize. It was referred to as the Flower of Well being and Wellbeing Heart.

Although the clinic was introduced as place the place life-saving therapies had been out there, it was by no means registered with medical authorities in Belize. 

GcMAF clinic Belize

On the clinic, Jewell personally administered programs of GcMAF. 

On her YouTube channel, individuals who went to the middle are interviewed about its advantages. In others movies, Jewell offers recommendation on weight loss program and most cancers, and the “link between emotion and cancer.” 

In images on her Fb web page, Jewell is pictured in an working theater apparently in scrubs whereas a affected person is present process a surgical process.

She instructed Dalmayne in her name that she doesn’t function on sufferers, however is as a substitute current to reassure them. It’s unclear who the persons are who did function on sufferers, and whether or not they had any qualification.

Dr Marvin Manzanero, Director of Well being Providers on the Ministry of Well being in Belize, instructed Enterprise Insider that his officers investigated and “didn’t find any evidence of any surgery having been done there.” 

Manzanero stated that Jewell closed down the clinic earlier this 12 months, after authorities in Belize launched began wanting into it. 

“The clinic was never officially sanctioned by the Ministry of Health and so we only interviewed her once and she was told what our problem was with her ads and clinic, and she said she was leaving,” he wrote.

“A follow-up visit two days later confirmed that she had basically left overnight.”

An issue that is getting worse 

DiResta, the disinformation skilled, has spent 5 years monitoring the unfold of anti-vaccination conspiracies and different medical misinformation on Fb. 

She instructed Enterprise Insider that most individuals discover the teams by typing in frequent search phrases, like “vaccine” or “cancer cure.”

As soon as somebody manages to achieve entry to a personal group like Jewell’s — accessible to look however requiring the permission of moderators to affix — some are given entry to completely secret teams, which aren’t publicly searchable.

Right here, banned medicines are offered by way of instantaneous messenger. 

“Once you’ve been a member of the private group and they trust that you’re not a secret infiltrator or anything, that’s when they refer you and invite you into the secret group — you see people being brought in more into more closed communities,” she stated. 

“Most of these groups for anti-vaccination and cancer quackery will move people into these chats and develop a closer relationship before they deliver the contraband.” 

In Jewell’s group, moderators will direct members to not talk about remedy supply in public threads, however ask them to make use of direct messenger as a substitute. It’s unclear whether or not any secret teams operated on the periphery of Jewell’s closed one.

Simply what number of closed or secret teams are utilizing Fb to promote or promote faux medicines is tough to say, stated DiResta, as Fb has made solely restricted data public. 

Fb’s response

Fb has taken some steps in latest months to restrict the unfold of medical misinformation and the promotion of pretend cures on the location — however critics say it’s not doing almost sufficient. 

After eradicating Jewell’s teams, a spokesperson instructed Enterprise Insider “We do not allow the sale of non-medical or pharmaceutical drugs on Facebook, and we have taken down the group, the user’s account and related pages.”

DiResta stated the location had blacklisted some phrases related to the anti-vaccination motion, that means that the teams selling the conspiracy weren’t exhibiting up in search. 

In April Fb eliminated one group by a outstanding exponent of MMS, the banned bleach, earlier than eradicating others flagged to the location as a part of Enterprise Insider’s investigation. 

In August the location introduced a change to its teams coverage, saying that it will eliminate the choice to make teams “secret.” Personal teams would stay.

However for DiResta, the change was merely beauty, as teams would nonetheless be capable to be taken out of search by labelling themselves “private and hidden.”

“I don’t see what substantive impact this will have on any of the issues they’ve had with the feature itself,” she remarked. 

A Fb spokesperson directed Enterprise Insider to extra insurance policies. 

The insurance policies say that “like all elements of Fb, individuals in these teams should adhere to our Neighborhood Requirements, which lay out what’s and is not allowed on our service. When individuals break these guidelines, together with in non-public teams, we take motion.

“Every single piece of content in private groups can be reported to us. Where we see that someone is an administrator of multiple groups that are all engaged in activity that violates our policies or is illegal then we may shut down all of those groups on the basis of a single report.”

Dalmayne stated that when she first got here throughout Jewell’s title, she had herself been lately identified with lung most cancers. She warned that, as long as Fb fails to behave, quacks will proceed to make use of the platform to take advantage of the determined. 

“She comes across as anyone’s best friend,” she stated of Jewell. 

“When I had cancer, and someone had said it’s terminal and you’re leaving your kids, I’d have tried anything. You don’t want to leave your family. You don’t want to leave your children.”

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Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation
Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation
Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation
Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation
Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation

Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Fb teams, the place most cancers therapies — and even surgical procedure — are offered past the attain of the regulation

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