Federal prosecutors in Miami charged a family on Wednesday after they marketed and sold a toxic bleach substance as a cure for COVID-19, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said in a news release.
The four individuals from Bradenton, Florida, were charged with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and criminal contempt, the release said.
The individuals charged include Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons Jonathon Grenon, 34, Jordan Grenon, 26, and Joseph Grenon, 32.
The family claimed that their “Miracle Mineral Solution” could “treat, prevent and cure COVID-19” and sold it through a company named “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing” in order to avoid government regulation.
The solution contained sodium chlorite and water. When ingested orally, the substance transforms into chlorine dioxide, which is extremely toxic.
The FDA has reported hospitalizations, life-threatening conditions and death from those who have consumed the solution, the release said.
Common side effects of ingesting the substance include “severe vomiting, diarrhea and life-threatening low blood pressure,” according to the FDA.
The Grenons had previously marketed the solution as a cure for cancer, Alzheimer’s, autism, multiple sclerosis and AIDS, despite it never being approved by the FDA.
The family had already sold tens of thousands of bottles nationwide when they were arrested, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.
“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,” according to Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
“Making claims that unproven drugs, especially potentially dangerous and unapproved chlorine dioxide products, can cure or prevent COVID-19 or any other disease is unacceptable,” she added.
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