MIAMI — A man accused of selling a toxic industrial bleach as a coronavirus cure through his Florida-based church has been returned to the United States after being arrested in Colombia.
Mark Grenon, 64, made his initial court appearance Thursday in Miami federal court following his recent extradition, according to court records. Grenon and his three adult sons were indicted last year on one count each of conspiracy to commit fraud and two counts each of criminal contempt.
Grenon is the archbishop of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, based in Bradenton, Florida. The church manufactured, promoted and sold chlorine dioxide as a “Miracle Mineral Solution,” officials said. The Grenons claim the solution can cure a vast variety of illnesses ranging from cancer to autism to malaria to COVID-19. A Miami federal judge had ordered the church to stop selling the substance in 2020, but the order was ignored and Grenon was arrested in Colombia several months later.
When ingested, the solution sold by the Grenons becomes a bleach that is typically used for such things as treating textiles, industrial water, pulp and paper, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Authorities said ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach and can be fatal.
"[The] FDA has received reports of people requiring hospitalizations, developing life-threatening conditions, and dying after drinking MMS," according to a news release from the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
The FDA has not approved the solution for treating COVID-19 or anything else.
Court records did not list attorneys for Grenon who could comment on the charges.