(CNN)Three months after President Donald Trump suggested ingesting disinfectants as a treatment for coronavirus, a Florida man and his three sons are facing criminal charges for allegedly selling a toxic solution to tens of thousands of people as a cure for Covid-19.
Florida man and his sons charged with selling toxic chemical as a coronavirus cure to thousands
Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons, Jonathan, 34, Joseph, 32, and Jordan, 26, all of Bradenton, Florida, supposedly manufactured, promoted, and sold "Miracle Mineral Solution" (MMS), a chemical solution containing sodium chlorite and water, the criminal complaint affidavit says.
The men sold the toxic bleach under the guise of Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, an entity they allegedly created in an attempt to avoid government regulation, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida said in a statement.
They've been charged with criminal contempt, conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for their alleged actions, the US Attorney's Office said.
CNN hasn't been able to reach the Grenons or their lawyers for comment.
The men allegedly claimed that MMS could prevent, treat and cure Covid-19, according to federal prosecutors. They're accused of telling customers to orally ingest the chemical, "which causes the solution to become chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach, typically used for industrial water treatment or bleaching textiles, pulp, and paper," federal prosecutors said.
The affidavit also alleges that the Grenons had previously marketed MMS as a miracle cure-all for dozens of other serious diseases and disorders, including cancer, Alzheimer's, autism, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS.
The Grenons allegedly sold tens of thousands of bottles of MMS nationwide, including to consumers throughout South Florida.
The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved MMS for treatment of Covid-19, or for any other use, but has received reports of people requiring hospitalizations, developing life-threatening conditions, and dying after drinking MMS, according to the US Attorney's Office.
"The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing has actively and deliberately placed consumers at risk with their fraudulent Miracle Mineral Solution, and Americans expect and deserve medical treatments that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective," said Catherine Hermsen, assistant commissioner of the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations.
"We commend the efforts of our law enforcement partners for vigorously investigating this matter. The FDA will continue our efforts to make sure these and other like-minded sellers do not jeopardize the health of Americans during this pandemic and in the future," she continued.
In April, the FDA had already sent a warning letter to Genesis II Church of Health and Healing and multiple websites associated with the firm.
The agency has also issued previous warnings that chlorine dioxide poses a significant risk to health and is not shown to be safe and effective for any health use.