A US man accused of selling a toxic industrial bleach as a cure for Covid-19 through his Florida-based church has been extradited after being arrested in Colombia.
Mark Grenon, 64, made his first appearance in a federal court in Miami, Florida, on Thursday.
He has been charged with fraudulently marketing and selling “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS), a toxic industrial bleach, as a cure for Covid, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism, malaria, hepatitis, Parkinson’s, herpes, HIV/AIDS and other serious medical conditions, according to court documents.
In addition, Grenon, along with his three sons – Jonathan, 36, Jordan, 28 and Joseph, 34 – have also been charged with defying federal court orders.
The Grenons falsely claim ingesting MMS can treat, prevent and cure Covid.
MMS has not been approved for Covid treatment and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA states that MMS is a bleach typically used for treating textiles, industrial water, pulp and paper.
The agency has also issued warnings that drinking MMS was the same as drinking bleach and could result in dangerous side effects that may also be life threatening in some cases.
The indictment states that the Grenons sold MMS under the guise of Genesis II Church of Health and Healing (“Genesis”), an entity they are accused of creating to avoid government regulation of MMS and shield themselves from prosecution.
Charging documents said Genesis’s own websites described it as a “non-religious church” and Mr Grenon, its co-founder, has repeatedly acknowledged Genesis “has nothing to do with religion” and that he founded it to “legalise the use of MMS” and avoid “going to jail.”
A Miami federal judge had ordered the church to stop selling the substance in 2020, but the order was ignored.
Grenon was arrested in Colombia several months later.
He will face trial at a court in Miami in September.