BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Florida man and his three sons are facing federal charges that they illegally sold a bleachlike chemical mixture as a miracle cure for the coronavirus and other diseases.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that the substance marketed as Miracle Mineral Solution was sold nationwide through an entity called the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing in Bradenton, Florida.
A Miami federal judge in April ordered the self-styled church to stop selling the substance, but authorities say they ignored the order.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the solution sold by the Grenons becomes a bleach when ingested that is typically used for such things as treating textiles, industrial water, pulp and paper. The FDA says people have died and been hospitalized after drinking the solution.
The FDA said in a news release last August that “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.”
The FDA has not approved the solution for any health-related used. But the Grenons marketed it as not only a coronavirus cure but also a cure for cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS, according to the complaint.
“Not only is this MMS product toxic, but its distribution and use may prevent those who are sick from receiving the legitimate healthcare they need,” Miami U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan said in a news release. “We will not sit idly by as individuals purposefully violate court orders and put the public in danger.”
The complaint says the Grenons initially agreed to abide by U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams’ order that they stop selling the solution, then changed their tone in podcasts and emails to the judge herself.
“We will NOT be participating in any of your UNCONSTITUTIONAL Orders, Summons, etc,” one email from Mark Grenon read. “Again and again I have written you all that . . . you have NO authority over our Church.”
A May podcast contained these comments: “You’re no judge. This judge could go to jail. “You could be taken out, Ms. Williams. We’re not obeying it. Don’t care what you do.”
Charged in the criminal complaint are 62-year-old Mark Grenon and his sons with two conspiracy counts and criminal contempt.
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