Floridians who promoted a bleach cocktail as a cure for COVID-19 arrested in Colombia

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Colombian officials said they arrested two Florida men wanted in the United States for illegally selling a bleach-like chemical as a miracle cure for the novel coronavirus and other illnesses.The Colombian prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday that Mark and Joseph Grennon had been arrested in the resort town of Santa Marta and were shipping their “miracle mineral solution” – chlorine dioxide – to customers in the United States, Colombia and Africa .

Mark Grenon is the Archbishop of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, based in Bradenton, Florida, which centers on using the toxic chemical as a supposed sacrament that it claims can cure a wide variety of illnesses ranging from cancer to autism to malaria and now COVID-19.

A Miami federal judge in April ordered the self-proclaimed church to stop selling the substance, but this was ignored.

The organization has also operated in Mexico, Australia and other countries. Despite opposition from doctors and health experts, the Bolivian congress recently legalized the use of the substance.

A federal criminal complaint filed in July accused Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons, Jonathan, 34, Jordan, 26, and Joseph, 32, of conspiracy to defraud the United States, of conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and criminal contempt.

Miami federal court records last month did not list lawyers for any of the Grenons. They face a maximum of 14 to over 17 years in prison if found guilty of all charges.

Men have been selling the substance for several years and promoting it as an antidote for a number of health issues and conditions, including autism. The fifth state discovered in a 2016 investigation that it had been sold in Canada despite Health Canada warnings. And a man from British Columbia two years later was convicted under the Food and Drug Act of marketing, packaging and selling MMS.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, the solution sold by Grenons becomes a bleach when ingested, which is typically used for things such as treating textiles, industrial water, pulp and paper.

Authorities have said its consumption can be fatal or lead to dangerous side effects such as severe vomiting or diarrhea or life-threatening low blood pressure.

In their announcement of the arrest, Colombian authorities said seven Americans had died from ingesting the mixture, but did not provide a source for the claim. The original statement from US officials does not attribute any specific deaths to the men and their business.

The FDA said in a press release last August that “Ingesting these products is equivalent to 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 use.

“The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing has actively and deliberately put consumers at risk with their fraudulent mineral quick fix and Americans expect and deserve medical treatments that have been shown to be scientifically safe and effective,” Catherine Hermsen, Deputy Commissioner of FDA Bureau of Criminal Investigations said in a statement last month.

Federal complaint says the Grenons initially agreed to comply with U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams’ order to stop selling the solution, then changed their tone in podcasts and emails to the judge herself. .

“We will not participate in any of your orders, summons, etc. UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ”read an email from Mark Grenon. “Over and over I have written all of this to you… you have NO authority over our Church. “



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