Story at a glance

  • A movement marketing bleach as a “miracle” cure is growing.
  • Promoters claim it can cure anything from COVID-19 to autism.
  • The practice has drawn condemnation and warnings from the FDA, the Pan American Health Organization and individual national health ministries.

The belief and use of bleach as a “miracle” cure for COVID-19 and other serious afflictions is growing as a movement.

Last month, the Justice Department indicted Florida man Mark Grenon, as well as his three adult sons, for reportedly promoting chlorine dioxide, a type of bleach, as a cure for COVID-19 and other illnesses. 

According to the indictment, Grenon has been selling the toxic bleach through a church he helped found known as Genesis II, calling the substance MMS, or "Miracle Mineral Solution." The bleach is typically used to treat wood products and can be fatal if consumed in high quantities.


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Genesis II and its marketing of MMS is gaining most of its traction in Latin America, prompting warnings from the Pan American Health Organization and individual health ministries in nations including Bolivia that it has no medical benefits and can be fatal when ingested.

In March, COMUSAV, a self-described alternative health group, held a conference on the medical use of chlorine dioxide in Bolivia.

One of the event’s promoters included one of the church's founders, Jim Humble. The former Scientologist claimed he learned of bleach's ability to heal during a mission in the jungle. Another contributor was Kerri Rivera, a former Chicago real estate agent who markets “bleach enemas" for autistic children as a cure to their autism. 

In April 2020, Genesis II and Grenon and Humble received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration for “Unapproved and Misbranded Products Related to Coronavirus Disease” in relation to the use of their bleach MMS solution being sold in the United States. Rivera received a separate warning letter from the FDA for the same offense in September 2020.


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However, variations of the bleach solutions and professions of its healing powers continue to pop up in other areas. According to Vice News, Peru’s congress launched an investigation into the use of bleach as a cure to COVID-19 in May.

In Mexico, people from actors to army officers are promoting the miracle uses of bleach.

Meanwhile, in Argentina, one TV host drank bleach mid-segment live last August. 

Grenon, Humble and Genesis II have not responded at this time. 


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Published on Jun 04, 2021