Police in Colombia arrested two American citizens on Tuesday on charges of selling a bleach-like chemical substance they allegedly claimed was a cure for the Chinese coronavirus and a host of other diseases.
The Associated Press reported that father and son Mark and Joseph Grenon were arrested in the northern beach town of Santa Marta from where they allegedly shipped their “Miracle Mineral Solution” to the United States, Africa, and other parts of Colombia, which has experienced a recent surge in coronavirus cases. Prosecutors allege that at least seven people have died from taking the concoction.
Mark Grenon – who is also the self-described archbishop of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing in Bradenton, Florida – promoted the product as a substance with divine healing powers. In April, he ignored the order of a court in Miami that he must stop selling the solution, which is only legal in Bolivia.
The arrest followed the filing of a federal criminal complaint last month against Grenon and his three sons, Jonathan, 34, Joseph 32, and Jordan, 26, on charges conspiracy to defraud the United States, violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and criminal contempt. If convicted of all charges, they will face a maximum of between 14 and 17 years in prison.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the solution sold by the men transforms into bleach when ingested, and is typically used when dealing with textiles, industrial water, pulp, and paper.
“Miracle Mineral Solution has not been approved by the FDA for any use, but these products continue to be promoted on social media as a remedy for treating autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and flu, among other conditions,” the FDA wrote in a warning last August. “However, the solution, when mixed, develops into a dangerous bleach which has caused serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.”
“Ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach,” it continued. “Consumers should not use these products, and parents should not give these products to their children for any reason.”
Having initially pledged to abide by District Judge Kathleen Williams’ ruling, Grenon reportedly changed his mind and sent aggressive emails in response.
“We will NOT be participating in any of your UNCONSTITUTIONAL Orders, Summons, etc,” Grenon reportedly wrote in one email. “Again and again I have written you all that . . . you have NO authority over our Church.”