A federal court has ordered the "Genesis II Church of Health and Healing" to stop distributing a bleach product that Genesis claims is a cure for COVID-19 and many other health problems.
The US government sued Genesis on Thursday, alleging that it violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with labeling for its so-called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), also known as Master Mineral Solution. Genesis' website "contains claims that MMS is intended to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent coronavirus, which includes COVID-19, and links to testimonials claiming that MMS cures a litany of other diseases including, among others, Alzheimer's, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis," the lawsuit said. Despite its name, the "church" is a "secular entity based in the State of Florida," the government lawsuit said.
"In the midst of a viral pandemic and national emergency like nothing seen for more than a century, the above-captioned defendants are exploiting the crisis by marketing a powerful industrial bleach to consumers as a remedy for coronavirus," the government also said in its lawsuit.
On Friday, the government's request for a temporary injunction against Genesis was granted by Judge Kathleen Williams of US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The injunction orders Genesis to refrain from distributing MMS or any other unapproved drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in an announcement:
In granting the government's request for relief, the court found that the United States has demonstrated that Genesis and the associated individuals named in the injunction are violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C) by unlawfully distributing MMS, an unapproved new drug and misbranded drug. When combined with the included activator MMS has a chlorine dioxide content equivalent to industrial bleach. The court also found that there is a danger that the defendants will continue violating the law without the temporary restraining order.
A preliminary-injunction hearing is scheduled for May 1. While Genesis is currently prevented from selling MMS under the temporary restraining order, the FDA is also seeking a permanent injunction and refunds for people who bought MMS.
“Please pray for us”
Genesis was selling MMS online and describes it as a sacrament. Attempting to purchase the product today leads to an error page that says, "We are currently in prayer!!! During these difficult and trying times, we are in prayer and seeking The LORD's wisdom & guidance. Please pray for us."
Genesis' main website calls the organization "a non-religious church" that aims to "restore health" to the world and which "was formed for the purpose of serving mankind and not for the purpose of worship."
We contacted Genesis about the FDA lawsuit and injunction today and will update this article if we get a response.
"Despite a previous warning, the Genesis II Church of Healing has continued to actively place consumers at risk by peddling potentially dangerous and unapproved chlorine dioxide products," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said. "We will not stand for this, and the FDA remains fully committed to taking strong enforcement action against any sellers who place unsuspecting American consumers at risk by offering their unproven products to treat serious diseases."
In addition to Genesis itself, the named defendants in the lawsuit are Mark Grenon, Joseph Grenon, Jordan Grenon, and Jonathan Grenon. Mark Grenon is described by Genesis as its "archbishop."
Dangerous, life-threatening side effects
Genesis has been touting its bleach product for years and was called the "Church of bleach" in a KABC-TV report in October 2016. Genesis was founded by Jim Humble, "a former Scientologist who claims he's a billion-year-old god from the Andromeda galaxy," and the group pitches MMS as a "'miracle potion' [that] can cure anything from cancer to the common cold," that report noted.
Genesis "disputes that MMS is bleach, noting that it is not the same as the liquid bleach one might buy in a grocery store, which is sodium hypochlorite," we noted in an August 2019 article. "But 'bleach' is actually a generic term used to describe many stain-fighting chemical products, which often are chlorine-based and work by strong oxidation reactions."