BRADENTON, Fla. — A federal court has ordered a Bradenton-based group to stop touting a bleach equivalent as a cure for COVID-19.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered a temporary injunction against Genesis II Church of Health and Healing and four men associated with the self-described church. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, which requested the injunction, the organization was selling "Miracle Mineral Solution" and suggesting it could treat coronavirus.
"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," the FDA wrote in a news release. "When combined with the included activator MMS has a chlorine dioxide content equivalent to industrial bleach."
The court also determined there was a danger the group would keep selling the product if there wasn't a temporary order prohibiting it.
"It is vital that sellers of drug products comply with the FD&C Act and do not sell products with false and misleading claims, especially to treat COVID-19 and other debilitating diseases, such as autism and Alzheimer’s Disease,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. wrote in a news release.
“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," Commissioner Hahn added. "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.”
As CBS News reports, one of the founders of Genesis defiantly responded to the FDA in a letter two days later.
"We can say cure, heal and treat as a Free Church," he wrote. "Don't need you [sic] approval or authorization for a Church Sacrament...There will be NO corrective actions on our part...You have no authority over us!...Never going to happen."
Business records indicate the church was registered in June 2015. CBS News says the organization even has testimonials that it claims are from people who said they felt better after taking the solution. Those testimonials don't include names.
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