An American family accused of selling toxic industrial bleach as a cure for covid-19 through their church in Florida will face court for three federal crimes that could result in life imprisonment.
The four people – Mark Grenon, 62, and their children, Jonathan, 34, Jordan, 26, and Joseph, 32 – have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and two crimes of disrespect, the aim of which is comparable to accusations of bad faith.
If convicted, the entire family faces possible life sentences.
Mark Grenon is the archbishop of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, located in Florida, where he sells chlorine dioxide (bleach) as a “Miracle Mineral Solution,” officials said.
The Grenons say the solution can cure a wide variety of illnesses, from cancer to autism, malaria and covid-19 and, although last April, a Miami federal judge ordered the church to stop selling the substance, they ignored it. order and maintained the scheme.
According to the regulatory agency for medicines in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration, the solution sold by the Grenons constitutes a bleach commonly used to treat textiles, cellulose and paper and its ingestion can be fatal.
The leader of that Church was arrested last September, in Colombia, for manufacturing, promoting and selling this solution as a cure for covid-19 and other diseases, and, according to the BBC, at the time, the fraud was worth 100,000 euros. monthly.
The solution was also sold in other countries, including Portugal, where its sale is not prohibited since it is a bleach and, therefore, it falls outside the jurisdiction of the national authority of the medicine, Infarmed.
This is not the only fraudulent solution presented as an answer to covid-19.
On Wednesday, the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer had detected counterfeit versions of its vaccine against covid-19 in Mexico and Poland.
The investigations, conducted in collaboration with local authorities, found that 80 people in Mexico received a fake vaccine labeled as the drug from Pfizer and BioNTech at a price of $ 1,000 (about 825 euros) per dose.
These doses were administered in February, at a clinic in the state of Nuevo León, and simply contained distilled water, with Mexican authorities detaining six people.
Pfizer took some of the vials to one of its laboratories in the United States and examined the fake vaccines, detecting that even the vial sticker with information on validity and the batch was falsified.
The substance tested in Poland was labeled as a Pfizer vaccine, but it was an anti-wrinkle tonic. In this case, there is no evidence that the vaccine was administered to anyone, as it was confiscated in an apartment.
Local authorities, the United States and pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have stepped up efforts to detect more cases of distribution of fake vaccines, which can not only affect confidence in the vaccines but cause health problems.
The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 3,073,969 deaths worldwide, resulting from more than 144.6 million cases of infection, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.