[Note: The following is a translation of an article written in Portuguese, published by a Brazilian scientist/journalist.]
There is no known medication capable of preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 or eliminating it from the body of infected patients. The best way to clean surfaces where the virus may still be present is soap and water, detergent or 70% alcohol. In spite of this, and expanding the seemingly infinite series of medical inventions and stupid products, without any scientific basis, there now is plasmatic water, or GANS water, to allegedly eliminate the new Coronavirus and / or treat COVID-19. According to the propagators of this new medical solution, you can drink it or spray it both on your body and in rooms, bedrooms and other spaces, to eradicate the virus from the entire environment. These promises are devoid of any scientific basis.
The product is the result of the ideas of an Iranian nuclear engineer, Mehran Tavakoli Keshe. The idea of GANS (“Gas in Nano-Solid State”) is not new. It appeared in 2010 and was promoted internationally by the Keshe Foundation, whose work began in 2015. Basically, the central idea is that you can make a mixture of water, metals and salt, inside a glass, and provide the formation of “nanoparticles” by trapping different gases, such as carbon dioxide or methane.
The final product (such as “GANS water” or “plasmatic water”), formed inside the glass, could, according to the promoters of the invention, be used for therapeutic purposes. What makes the process attractive, at first glance, is the ease of execution. Anyone can prepare their water in the kitchen. And further: according to Keshe’s disciples, using different metals in the process, different gases can become “nano-solids” in the final solution, serving to interact therapeutically with different systems: the soul, the emotions or the physical body. Yes, that’s right: a gas that interacts with the soul.
The Brazilian page created to promote the product has, as an opening message, highlighted, the warning that what you see there is not a medical recommendation. It seems like nonsense, doesn’t it? The reason for the message may be to avoid juridical problems. Which is prudent, as it is worth noting that Keshe himself, along with his wife, was convicted in Belgium on charges of this kind.
Chemistry for the high school exam
There are several videos teaching how to make that special water (see an example here). However, what draws attention to the construction of what Keshe’s disciples call the “cup of life” is that everything is very similar to a rudimentary experimental structure of electrochemistry, something that many people learn at school. Basically, everything is just a solution of water and salt, with different metals immersed, which causes electric charges and ions to move in the system, causing several effects that any candidate well prepared for the high school exam should be able to explain…
From the exchange of electric charges, and the interactions between ions, the effects of chemical reactions that are processed can be easily perceived: corrosion or metallic deposition can occur, in addition to the formation of substances that precipitate, that is, they deposit themselves at the bottom of the glass.
All of these effects can yield good discussions in a chemistry class. But what about the formation of “captured gases” that would be the special feature of GANS? Several experimental tests have already been done to try to identify these trapped gases, but nothing has been found. Experiments in search of signs of carbon dioxide (CO2), applied to the product of a commercially sold GANS kit, revealed that the material actually formed in the process is nothing more than zinc-based compounds, one of the metals used in the system.
Likewise, another independent test showed that the final product does not have CO2 nanoparticles, and also did not demonstrate magnetic behavior. This is important because the argument that seeks to justify the therapeutic use of GANS water involves “energetic interactions”, via gravitational and magnetic fields between all the constituent particles in the universe. This is all just misuse of scientific language to impress the unwary. See an excerpt of the supposed explanation of the principle of therapeutic action of water formed against the new Coronavirus:
“When we put drinking water in contact with the GANS, there is a field transfer from the GANS to the water, which causes the virus to lose its strength and disconnect itself from the infected cell. This process drains the virus energy and eradicates it” (video from the Keshe Foundation, 2min57s, emphasis added).
It is precisely in this context that yet more fake news have recently emerged regarding the fight against COVID-19: the statement circulated on the internet that a mixture of water, salt and zinc (exactly the compounds found at the end of the production of the “plasmatic water”) would be able to fight the disease. As several doctors interviewed on the subject reported, there is no reliable evidence to support this claim.
Still on the evidence, the treatment dissemination video states, at the end, that the efficacy of the plated water was tested experimentally, reaching a positive result for hundreds of patients. Although it looks like a promising result, this is only published in an article (of the “Plasma Times”) that the video itself indicates in the final credits. When analyzing it, however, what can be seen is that several patients were followed “before and after” treatment with GANS. There is no information on conventional life support treatments used concomitantly, there are no blind studies, nor a comparison of the experimental group with the group of patients who received a placebo… That is, there are not the minimum conditions necessary for a real evaluation the effectiveness of the product.
It is always important to remember that, in general, “pre” – “post” studies – which compare how a group of people were before and after an intervention, without independent controls – say very little. Think about the last time you had a cold, and all the things you did before you became healthy again (drink water, sleep, use the bathroom, play with the cat …). In a “pre” – “post” analysis, any of them could appear as a “cure” (you had a cold before playing with the cat, you played and, two days later, the cold was gone).
Therefore, it is not because there are reports of people who appeared cured after drinking or spraying this water on the body (as here, for example), that this is sufficient evidence to defend this preparation as a good treatment. Studies that aim to validate the efficacy of treatments or medications are carried out using appropriate research methodologies, and not just reports from satisfied patients. In addition, even completely inert treatments can work for some people (see more here and here).
Although this product is not really new, having arisen over the past decade, the current pandemic moment has created fertile ground for the reuse of pseudoscientific ideas arising in different contexts.
In this kind of (pseudo) medicine MMA, the price to pay is high: as long as the population is not aware that medical treatments need to be based on adequate evidence to be applied, many people will welcome with open arms pretty much anything they (scammers like Keshe) offer with the promise of health. In doing so, they bypass effective medicine in exchange for potentially harmful pseudosciences.
In this sense, there is a page on the Internet whose purpose is to disseminate information that publicly demonstrates the facts against the fallacious arguments developed by Mr. Keshe (visit www.keshefacts.org). Even when accessing the page, there is, at the moment, a message specifically aimed at Brazilians: due to the significant increase in the number of accesses to the page by Brazilian users, they warn that Mr. Keshe and his foundation DO NOT offer anything effective for the cure of COVID-19.
Appeal to authority
But how is it possible that people get carried away by this kind of idea? While it is not easy to answer the question, some strategies are well known. And at least two of them appear here, in the GANS water universe:
- Professional training: Mr. Keshe is an (alleged) nuclear engineer, as publications favorable to his ideas insist on affirming and reaffirming. The idea is to pass the validation by authority, that is, if someone with the scientific background he has defends the product, then that becomes a reason for us all to believe it too. However, in science, ideas and theories must always rely on more (much more) than the mere authority of those who defend them. Evaluating evidence is always more important than accepting the authority argument. [Note by keshefacts.org: Although Keshe keeps claiming to be a nuclear engineer, his claims cannot be confirmed. All that has been confirmed in writing is the fact that M.T. Keshe attended Queen Mary College, not that he ever graduated from it!]
- Scientific talk: in all publications related to the GANS universe, we find long texts exploring words from the technical-scientific vocabulary, such as nanotechnology, plasma, energy, magnetic fields and gravitational fields. Contrary to what it seems, there is no rigorous scientific basis behind the use of this vocabulary in the context of GANS. This strategy uses words as an artifice of blinding by science, that is, by using terms that the lay public does not master, a shield is created so that people cannot assess the situation and perceive the mistake.
Marcelo Girardi Schappo is a physicist, with a doctorate in the field from the Federal University of Santa Catarina. He is currently a professor at the Federal Institute of Santa Catarina, participates in a research project involving the interaction of radiation with the material and coordinates an extension project aimed at the scientific dissemination of themes of modern physics and astronomy.
[Note by keshefacts.org: The above Brazilian article confirms the Iranian assessment of Keshe’s so-called “technology”, which can be read here.]
Previously posted message to Brazil (August 5, 2020):
Devido ao grande número de visitantes deste site do Brasil, gostaríamos de enviar uma mensagem importante ao Brasil:
Estamos cientes de que seu país foi atingido especialmente pelo COVID-19. Estamos enviando muito amor e compaixão.
Mas esteja ciente de que A FUNDAÇÃO KESHE NÃO TEM CURA PARA COVID-19. A FUNDAÇÃO KESHE É UMA ORGANIZAÇÃO DE SCAM.
Se você consumir a substância chamada “GANS“, você corre um risco ainda maior e pode morrer por isso.
Para se proteger do COVID-19, faça o seguinte:
– Usar uma máscara
– Lave as mãos frequentemente (cerca de 20 segundos com sabão e água morna)
– Pratique o distanciamento social
Quem oferece uma “cura milagrosa” da maneira que Keshe faz é provavelmente um charlatão!
Due to the overwhelming number of visitors to this website from Brazil, we would like to send an important message to Brazil:
We are aware that your country has been hit especially hard by COVID-19. We are sending you lots of love and compassion.
But be advised that THE KESHE FOUNDATION HAS NO CURE FOR COVID-19. THE KESHE FOUNDATION IS A SCAM ORGANIZATION.
If you consume the substance called “GANS“, you put yourself at even higher risk and might die from it.
In order to protect yourself from COVID-19, do the following:
– Wear a mask
– Wash your hands often (about 20 seconds with soap and warm water)
– Practice social distancing
Anyone who offers you a “miracle cure” the way Keshe does is most likely a charlatan!