Judge stops Florida church from peddling phony bleach cure for coronavirus
A vial and swab for a COVID-19 test are shown while medical workers test the homeless through the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)(Lynne Sladky/AP)
A federal judge has ordered a self-described church in south Florida to immediately stop peddling a bleach mixture it’s pushing as a “miracle" cure for coronavirus.
The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing claims “Master Mineral Solutions” or MMS is a preventive treatment and cure for ailments including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis, according to a news release from the Food and Drug Administration. In late March, shortly after the pandemic ramped up in the United States, the church added COVID-19 to its list of diseases that can be healed by the concoction.
A link to purchase on MMS online reads: “The Coronavirus is curable, can you believe that? ... MMS will kill it.”
The solution is sold as part of a “sacramental kit,” which includes a two-ounce bottle of MMS and a two-ounce bottle of hydrochloric acid, which is marketed as an activator, CBS News reported.
The FDA has previously issued a warning to the group regarding the product and in the last decade has repeatedly urged customers against drinking chlorine dioxide products like MMS.
The agency noted Genesis II showed no intention of stopping its sales despite people “experiencing serious adverse events, including respiratory failure, life-threatening low blood pressure, acute liver failure and QT prolongation after drinking.”
Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Florida on Friday filed a request with the U.S. district court for a temporary restraining order against Genesis II, which they called a “secular organization," not a church.
“The FDA is particularly concerned that products that claim to cure, treat or prevent serious diseases like COVID-19 may cause consumers to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment leading to serious and life-threatening harm,” the agency said
“There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent COVID-19.”