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Mannatech

Mannatech (9/10/2004)
Mannatech is almost unique among multi-level marketing companies in that they actually talk about the product rather than the pyramid, and their distributors generally announce themselves by offering to sell Magic sugarMagic sugarsomething rather than offering fabulous wealth from some unspecified business opportunity. That comes later. One thing that Mannatech does share with other MLMs is the reluctance of distributors to be honest about what it is that they are selling and who they are selling it for. Mannatech distributors, however, always give themselves away by talking about glycochemicals, which are magic sugars that only Mannatech can provide. Apparently, these sugars are vital for life and we are all short of them, although real scientists seem to think that the body is quite capable of making any of these chemicals that it needs and that the glyconutrients get broken down in the stomach anyway and are not directly used by the body. I mentioned last week how alt-med promoters are fond of adding a veneer of respectability to their claims by making statements that they hope nobody will check, and a Mannacreep did just that this week when he posted the following bilge to an alternative medicine forum:

In 1994, Dr Gunter Blobel MD PhD, received the Nobel Peace Prize for his discovery in glycoproteins have with the body's ability to fix itself.

Leaving aside for the moment the odd language construction of the statement, it raised certain questions. The first is the obvious one of why the Peace Prize would have been awarded for something like this. As the 1994 Peace Prize was (inexplicably) awarded to Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin (and weren't they great champions of a peaceful end to the Middle East unrest?) it was obvious that there was at least one "mistake" in the statement. Perhaps Dr Blobel received the 1994 prize for Physiology or Medicine, but, no, that was won by Alfred G. Gilman and Martin Rodbell "for their discovery of G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells". Could these "G-proteins" be glycoproteins which can help the body fix itself? Well, no, the "G" stands for guanosine triphosphate, which helps messages from hormones pass through cell membranes. So what did Dr Blobel do? He won the 1999 Medicine Prize "for the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell", which again has nothing to do with either glycoanythings or the body fixing itself. Bad Mannaperson! Try harder next time.

At least the claim wasn't that someone had simply been nominated for a Nobel Prize for some work. Anybody can be nominated for any of the prizes if they can find someone qualified to fill in the forms. The various prize committees only announce the winners, although some nominations more than 50 years old have been revealed. Anyone who claims nomination as a qualification is almost certainly talking nonsense, and relying again on the listener's lack of knowledge. Someone was going to nominate me along with some other people a few years back. I don't know if he really went ahead with it, and the relevant committee isn't going to tell me if he did or didn't. I do know, however, that nobody has ever told me to put on my top hat, tie up my white tie, brush off my tails and get ready to meet the King of Sweden.


From: "rhoda taylor"
Subject: Mannatech
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2005 15:54:01 -0800

I know a couple of people who have gotten involved selling this.

I was wondering if the fact it's listed on The Millenium Project means it's a scam, MLM, pyramid and quackery and if their claims to having won 5 Nobel prizes are false?

Yes - it is a scam
Yes - it is MLM
Yes - it is a pyramid (all MLM organisations are)
Yes - it is quackery
Yes - the claims to have won Nobel Prizes are false (although they were only claiming one the last time I looked)

Something about the Nobel Prize lie is at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/mannatech.htm


Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 08:46:18 -0800
Subject: Re- comments about Mannatech Scam
From: Jen

Hello -

Recently I read your page on http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/mannatech.htm

And would like to add a bit more to help you out.

You have been misinformed about Mannatech. The reason why they sell their products the way they do is because of current FDA regulations. FDA regulations say that if you actually have a herbal medicine which can treat a current aliment, it must be considered a drug and therefore registered by the FDA. There is one simple problem however, these are simple sugars which we all put in our diet and are not drugs.

So you admit that they do not treat any ailment. What are they for, then? (Other than to make money for the sellers, of course.)

I'm not going to debate this with you, but education is the key to ignorance. In fact, I'm not even a Mannatech affiliate, just someone who knows enough about how corrupt the government of the United Stated actually is. I still personally use Mannatech products which have help subside migrane headaches as well as severe allergies...

If they are simple sugars which do not treat any ailment, how can they treat migraine and allergies? I suffer from both, and I would definitely call them "ailments".

Simple sugars and whole foods can help curb these problems in our society today as well.

These sugars are so simple that your body can make them from the components of your food, But as they don't treat any ailments but instead only "curb ... problems" I suppose taking them is harmless. Except to your wallet.

Just my two cents...


Subject: Mannatech
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 11:25:28 -0600
From: "Robinson, Christina"

So are you saying anything that has to do with nutritional supplements is a scam?

No. I am saying that multi-level marketing is a scam. The fact that Mannatech products are useless and have no nutritional value is icing on the cake.

You seem to believe we can stay perfectly healthy with diet and exercise. Just what diet would that be? Have you come up with the perfect balance of nutrition. I would be very interested in this. Please also prove this theory to me.

Which theory would that be? That people can get a balanced diet and enough exercise if they set out to do these things? That hardly needs proving - it is what in mathematics is called "an axiom".

Thanks,
Christi Robinson


Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 17:43:12 -0400
Subject: I was Skepticle too

A friend of mine bought into Mannatech about 5 years ago. He has experienced overwhelming success with this company as well he has reaped the benefits of wellness in his life and has witnessed the benefits of Mannatech's products in the lives of others. I'm not writing this email to convince you of anything. After looking at your webpage about the Millenium project I have to lay some truths about the company and glyconutrients out in plain view. It's simple so don't expect me to get to complex about the subject. I don't know if you've ever heard of Harpers Biochemistry, most likely you have because you seem like a knowledeable and intelligent person. I do believe though that you have been misinformed when explaining or trying to make a point on the bodies natural ability to obtain necessary monosaccharides from our every day sources of food. Chapter 56 in Harpers Biochemistry is titled Glycoproteins and is devoted to the recently discovered area of glycoscience. W hen our everyday food is consumed the body immediately begins to break down whatever it is that we consumed and only 2 or 3 of the necessary 8 monsaccharides are found in our consumed diets. These 2 or 3 monosaccharides become useful in the bodies functions ie: metabolic rate, immune functions, etc. This is the problem that we run into those other monosaccharides(or missing links in the human diet) are necessary for proper cellular response and function. I recently have started to take Mannatech's products and I can attest to the fact that indeed they do work. I have never had a severe medical problem or ailment. I've kept my body in good shape and workout consistently. I have noticed that my focus at work and in my personal life is more deffined. I also can tell you that my healing rate for working out is much more responsive. I know you can say that it's a state of mind perhaps, that when I started taking these products that I convinced myself that they were going to be ef fective. I've been practicing a highly intense weight training program for a good part of my life. I can promise that these products, Ambrotose in particular, allows my body to respond better to weight bearing stimuli and produce more energy while exercising. A few other points that I would like to make are the fact that many Olympic athletes use this product in their training and Mannatech is also supported by the NFL's Player Association. Just one more thing to actually reiterate on the subject of the Nobel Prize. I have no intention of correcting you I just would like to set the record straight. Four of the last eight Nobel Prizes for medicine( the medical field does participate in the Nobel Prize) have dealt with the cellular communication process and its importance to our welness. The 1999 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Dr. Gunter Blobel for his work in this new field of Science-Medicine called Glycobiology. I hope that you will take this information that I hav e brought to the table and make an educated reanalysis of your view on glyconutrients and Mannatech's role in the world today. I am in no way a certified physician or clynical expert but I have studied and taken courses in college on the human body and it?s response to carbohydrates. Glyconutrients takes this approach to carbs for energy a step further and proves the usefullness of the product towards cell communication and the body's immune boost response. Remember there is nothing magical about these sugars, I hope the magical comment was not a shot taken in hopes of distastefulness. I think that anyone with knowledge of how the body works will agree that Mannatech's products help treat the underlying condition of illness at the cellular level and do not just treat and rid of symptomatic illness, such as do many pharmaceutical drugs. I believe that many people in the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry may feel threatened by the science of glycobiology but this very well could be what we've been looking for, that is a product for the body's WELLNESS and not treatment. Hope to hear back from you.
Mannatech User and Associate,
Robert Goldrick

Robert was less than happy with the speed of my response, and wrote to me again.

From: "Goldrick, Robert"
Subject: Where's my response?
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 12:48:28 -0400

Hello my name is Robert Goldrick. I sent you an email about 1-2 months ago and was wondering if you had a response for my discussion. Just checking in to see if you could come back with anything of substance. I guess not though.
Sincerely,
Robert Goldrick

As I have a limited attention span, I usually refuse to read paragraphs containing more than 300 words. This is based on the perfectly reasonable assumption that the Gettysburg Address contains only 278 words and therefore sets a plausible upper limit on the expression of a single thought. Your first self-serving message about the Mannatech fraud contained more than 700 words in a single paragraph and was therefore rejected by my brain filter.

Having said that, I notice upon scanning your message that it contains the old Mannatech lie about Dr Gunter Blobel and his Nobel Prize. He won the 1999 Medicine Prize "for the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell", which has nothing to do with Mannatech or "glycobiology", whatever that is. I realise that you are just parroting something told to you by your upline, but facts are facts. At least you didn't give me the absurd nonsense that I received from a previous Mannatech salesperson who made the ludicrous claim that in "1994, Dr Gunter Blobel MD PhD, received the Nobel Peace Prize for his discovery in glycoproteins have with the body's ability to fix itself".


From: "Shawn D"
Subject: Mannatech
Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2006 15:55:42 +0800

YOU ARE A FOOL MATE, YOU ARE DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD. YOUR FACTS AND FINDINGS ARE SOLELY BASED ON YOUR OWN OPINION AND THE MINISCULE LENGTHS YOU GO TO TO VERIFY YOUR FACTS. YOU SHOULD BE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW IT'S NO-ONE ELSE'S FAULT, EVEN YOURS, THAT YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY SERIOUSLY ABUSED AS A CHILD AND PERHAPS IN YOUR LATER YEARS. HOW DO I KNOW THIS? AFTER CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF THE BS ON YOUR SITE, IT IS OBVIOUS YOU'RE JUST AN ANGRY LITTLE MAN WHO CAN ONLY FIND FULFILLMENT IN DESTROYING OTHERS HOPES AND DREAMS, BY PROVIDING THESE SO-CALLED FACTS THAT QUITE FRANKLY ARE DOWNRIGHT LIES. WHERE IN ANY OF YOUR ATTENTION SEEKING PEOPLE DESTROYING LIES IS THE PROOF TO BACK UP EVERY CLAIM YOU MAKE?? ON TOP OF THAT YOU DON'T ACTUALLY ANSWER OBJECTIONS, BUT RATHER ATTACK THE SMALL DETAILS SO THE AVERAGE PERSON WILL JUST LISTEN TO YOUR OPINION AND MAKE OTHERS LOOK BAD. SOME PEOPLE DO HAVE A LITTLE MORE KNOWLEDGE THAN TO BE SUCKED IN BY A PLAYGROUND BULLY WHO NEEDS SERIOUS DISCIPLINE. YOU ARE AN INCOMPETENT FOOL WITH A VOCABULARY THAT IS TOO BIG FOR YOU TO HANDLE AND WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO STOP GATHERING NEW INFORMATION TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR CLAIMS? IF YOUR SO INTELLECTUAL LIKE YOU MAKE OUT THEN DON'T YOU REALIZE THE WORLD WE LIVE IN IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING AND NEW RESEARCH AND FINDINGS ARE BEING DISCOVERED EVERY DAY!!! YOU NEED TO FIND SOMEONE PROFESSIONAL TO HELP YOU OVERCOME YOUR OBVIOUS SOCIAL AND MENTAL ISSUES SO YOU CAN STOP SPREADING HATEFUL HERESAY, AND DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE WITH YOUR WORTHLESS EXISTANCE THAT MAY ACTUALLY HELP PEOPLE MOVE FORWARD, NOT DRAG THEM WITH YOU WHILE YOU TAKE GIANT LEAPS BACK. EITHER THAT OR I SINCERELY HOPE KARMA CATCHES UP WITH YOU, AND A GREAT MISFORTUNE IS PLACED UPON EVERYTHING YOU EVER TRY TO ACHIEVE, UNTIL SUCH TIME AS YOU START TRYING TO GENUINELY DO SOMETHING FOR THE HUMAN RACE. WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW IS CLOSED-MINDED NEGATIVE NASTY VINDICTIVE SHIT THAT CAN ONLY COME FROM SOMEONE THAT HAS BEEN THROUGH SEVERE TRAUMA AT SOME STAGE OF THEIR LIFE. YOU PITIFUL EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING!!!!!


Multi-level marketers tell lies! And they call this news? (30/9/2006)
Mannatech is a company which sells useless "nutrients" through a multi-level marketing scheme. Some of the "nutrients" are various forms of sugars, all of which are immediately broken down by the digestive system into chemical compounds which can be used by the body just as happens to most carbohydrates in food. Taking these Mannatech products provides no more benefit to the consumer than eating spoonfuls of sucrose would, but it does provide a benefit to the Mannatech corporation and whoever sold the stuff from their position in the pyramid.

One of the big Mannatech sellers is Ambrotose, which goes one step further by being composed of indigestible dietary fibre. This might provide nutrients to bacteria in the lower intestine but has no apparent nutritional value for humans at all. In a moment of arrogance worthy of its own Nobel Prize if such a category existed, Mannatech have issued a media release saying how useless this product is. You can read this proud confession here. See where it says "It is said to have a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal system, slowly fermenting to increase beneficial microflora like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria and decrease endogenous pathogenic bacteria"? Great for germs, less great for humans.

One of the claims made by Mannatech distributors is that the products are based on good scientific research, and that Nobel Prizes have been awarded for this research. I have heard claims as high as five for the number of Nobel laureates, but the most common is to refer to Dr GŁnter Blobel, who won the Physiology or Medicine Prize in 1999 "for the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell". My favourite Dr Blobel claim is still:

In 1994, Dr Gunter Blobel MD PhD, received the Nobel Peace Prize for his discovery in glycoproteins have with the body's ability to fix itself.

Understandably, it irks real scientists when their achievements are belittled by association with nonsense which has nothing to do with reality or their research. Dr Blobel issued a cease and desist request against Mannatech in 2004 but this hasn't stopped the lies and misrepresentations. He has now been joined by two other Physiology or Medicine laureates, Dr Paul Greengard (2000 - "for ... discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system") and Sir Paul Nurse (2001 - "for ... discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle"). You can read about their campaign to disassociate themselves from this scam here. I wish them luck, but inevitably Mannatech will claim to have no control over what independent distributors say and the lies will continue to be propagated in the effort to sell more sugar to people who don't need it.


How many times do I have to say things? (14/10/2006)
I shouldn't really be surprised that someone selling MLM can't understand English, but despite all that I have had to say about Mannatech trying to deceive people about Nobel prize winners endorsing their sugar pills, I still get emails like this:

I have been reading your comments on Mannatech. I started selling these last week after being told these things from my upline. However, i can now confirm one thing: Dr Gunter Blobel did NOT recieve the Nobel PEACE prize, but the Nobel PRIZE FOR MEDICINE. As seen on the following CNN News site: http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9910/11/nobel.medicine.03/

I hope this helps.


Don't you just love this? I don't like scamsters selling sugar and pretending that it can cure things, and that makes me a homosexual? I think this email says much more about the mental state of the writer than it does about me.

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 22:57:23 -0600
Subject: About mannatech
From: Harrison Salisbury

You're a homo--you have no idea how well glyco helps the body. Wow! Stop fighting that which is doing so much good. It will knock you're socks off if you looked at it without the pride barrier.


Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2007 10:14:15 -0800
From: Lindsey Littleton
Subject: Lindsey Littleton-Mannatech is Not A Spam.

I just want to tell you that you have no idea what you're talking about. Mannatech is not a scam at all. I personally know people who sell it and I take it because I have eczema and over the past 5 years, I don't even look like the same person. You really need to get your facts straight because Dr. Gunter Blobal isn't even the doctor that discovered these glyconutrients. You're an idiiot dude.


Pure filth! (9/6/2007)
Whenever the MLM and quackery scam of Mannatech is given some critical examination, Mannacreeps start oozing out of the woodwork to offer defence of the scam. On June 1 the ABC's 20/20 program pointed a spotlight at the scam and the results were predictable, with the ooze quickly developing into a flood. You can read about the investigation here, and when I last looked there were almost 800 comments. I have much better things to do with my time than read glowing testimonials for expensive sugar pills, but I looked at the first few and there were the obvious ones written by the Mannatech public relations agency. (You can buy a lot of PR with the proceeds of $400+ million sales, especially when the product costs almost nothing to make and the sellers do the advertising and pay for the distribution.)

I get my share of these ludicrous testimonials as well, with many of them pushing the "I don't sell it but I know it works" line. Yeah, right! Here's an email sent to me by an "alternative health practioner (sic)" (who would be a medical expert, of course):

Hi, I have just been reading about your opinions about Glyconutients and in particular Mannatech. Just to explain who I am, I am an alternative health practioner and have been for over 20 years. My aim is to help my clients become well and fit again, I do use often herbal remedies that are effective at helping cure ailments. Just recently however A client of mine who was suffering from Parkinson's disease tried to come of her medication that she had been given and has been taking for many years. As she knew that it was her medication that was giving her more trouble than her disease. Well, I will not recommend anything to a client without it being scientifically proven to be safe and free of any side effects,as it would mean that I would go into prison for a very long time, whereas a Qualified medical doctor can give chemotherapy to a patient and poison them and yes, even kill them without any repercussions on their part.

I am more interested in healing my clients than wanting to slagg off other products or procedures so in my field it is results that count not scientific drivel from a medical profession that cannot even agree amongst itself what, is or is not, acceptable as a treatment. I tell all of my clients to educate themselves as it is ignorance that will keep them stuck where they are now.

I recently did a survey in my home town and asked one simple question and that question was, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HEALTH? Is It
A: The Governerment
B: The National Health Service
C: Your GP
D: Yourself.

The results were far worse than I had expected, out of 250 people questioned only 17 answered correctly "D" the remainder were fairly evenly distributed amongst the other three with the government coming out just ahead with 81.

The Lady in question above decided to try out Glyconutrients and within 2 weeks, was completely free from any symptoms of Parkinson's.This was further confirmed when she went to London to see the specialists who were a little perplexed to find also there were no symptoms that they could find. If you are a medical Doctor then your first priority is toward your patient and not your own personal prejudices. As for Mannatech, like the man said they legally cannot claim that this is a medical cure and that is the only reason why they, or any other company selling Glyconutrients claim that they are simple sugars and nothing else. In respect to MLM this is being taught in your own Universities as a business tool and all businesses want to make profits so why not take some profits away from the greedy corrupt drugs companies who make billions from research and give little back in return.

To any one who reads this I would say the same as I do to all my clients, Get yourself educated it could save your life.

Parkinson's Disease is an irreversible, degenerative disease of the nervous system. Like many such diseases, the symptoms fluctuate over time. Nobody in the history of the world has ever been cured of Parkinson's by eating a few cents worth of sugars, even if the sugars come at a price many hundreds of times greater than the cost of packaging and distribution. To even suggest that Mannatech can be of benefit to Parkinson's sufferers shows a level of morality which would not be detectable by anyone with a conscience. I don't care if the person saying it is deluded or (as seems to be the case with this correspondent) prepared to believe anything if it contradicts scientific medicine. Saying it is lying and an attempt to deceive gullible and desperate people and steal their money.


More good news (7/7/2007)
The headline in the Dallas Morning News says it all: "AG sues Coppell's Mannatech over health claims - Company accused of exaggerating benefits of its supplements". You can read the story here. Mannatech's official response is beautiful. In a media release which takes about a page to print, the only response is:

"We are aware of the situation and will be taking appropriate action to address any issues or concerns from the Texas Attorney General's office," said Terry Persinger, Mannatech's President. "We take matters of this nature very seriously and intend to cooperate to reach a resolution."


From: "Rhonda"
Subject: ulcerative colitis
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 22:50:29 +1000

I am 28years old and I was diagnosed with UC 2 years ago and wondered if Mannatech products would help me if so which ones and what dosage should I take.

Vanessa Kerr

The only thing I can recommend you take with Mannatech is a very quick walk, perhaps even a run, away from whoever is trying to sell you the rubbish. The answers to your specific questions are a) none of them and b) zero. Go to a real doctor, not someone who wants to sell you expensive sugar and who only cares about how much money they can transfer from your wallet to theirs.


Hilarity! (9/2/2008)
You can imagine my trepidation when I looked at my email inbox and saw a message with the subject line "Cease and Desist" from someone at Mannatech. With trembling fingers I moved the mouse until the pointer was pointing at the message and, clenching my teeth, gave a tentative click with one hand while the other hand rummaged in a drawer looking for my lawyer's business card and my prescription for Zoloft. The message opened and what did I see? I saw something totally unexpected.

Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2008 17:02:29 -0500
From: webcompliance@mannatech.com
Subject: Cease and Desist

TO: Peter Bowditch

RE:Impermissible Use of Health Claims Attributed to Mannatech Products 1.5.47
http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/mannatech.htm

Dear Peter Bowditch:

We need your immediate assistance with a critical issue related to your website. It has come to our attention that you currently have statements on your website which are or could be construed to be unauthorized health claims which go beyond stating that Mannatech nutritional products promote the maintenance of health and general well-being. The statements made on your website are contrary to Mannatech policy.

Demand is hereby made that you immediately remove from your website any statement or reference which (i) states, suggests or implies that Mannatech nutritional products prevent, treat or cure disease, (ii) states, suggests or implies that Mannatech nutritional products are a substitute for a doctor's standard of care, and/or (iii) is in any manner in contradiction with Mannatech's existing policies and procedures. Demand is further made that you refrain from engaging in this activity in the future.

Please contact the undersigned in writing within five (5) business days from the receipt of this letter advising that you have made the requested modification to your website and confirming that you will refrain from such activity in the future.

Failure to comply with this demand may result in legal and compliance action up to and including litigation in which Mannatech will seek injunctive relief, damages and attorney's fees and costs as allowable under Texas law. Mannatech will undertake all actions necessary to secure your compliance.

Having brought this to your attention, we are confident that you will understand our concerns and act immediately. We will be monitoring your website, and await your response in writing. Please contact the undersigned at webcompliance@mannatech.com if you have any questions regarding Mannatech's position in this matter. Nothing herein shall be construed as a waiver of any rights Mannatech has at law or in equity, all of which are expressly reserved.

Your prompt attention and cooperation in this matter are greatly appreciated.

Respectfully,
Mannatech Legal, Ethics & Compliance Department

What could I say? Here is my reply:

I am rather puzzled by your Cease and Desist demand as I can guarantee that I have never made any claim for the effectiveness of Mannatech products in the treatment or management of any disease or ailment, human, veterinary or agricultural. I would not make such a claim as I would not believe it to be true, and truth is important to me. If you read the web page you objected to you will see that the only claims of effectiveness for anything from Mannatech are made by people extolling (and presumably selling) the products. In fact you might even see where I took someone to task for claiming that sugar pills were an effective treatment for Parkinson's Disease.

I must thank you, however, for your clearly implied admission that Mannatech products are useless in the treatment or management of any disease. I will quote you in future when Mannatech distributors abuse me for not recognising the amazing curative properties of the products.

I will, of course, be removing nothing from my site and will be making no changes to the way I comment about Mannatech in the future. As is my usual policy, your email and this reply will be featured prominently on my site.

Thank you.


I guess that Mannatech's lawyers either can't read or have a comprehension problem.

Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 13:09:12 -0500
From: webcompliance@mannatech.com
Subject: Cease and Desist

TO: Peter Bowditch

RE: Impermissible Use of Health Claims Attributed to Mannatech Products 1.5.47
http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/mannatech.htm

Dear Peter Bowditch:

We previously contacted you requesting your assistance on a critical issue concerning your website. We have requested and made formal demand that you immediately remove any statements from your website which are or could be construed to be unauthorized health claims which go beyond stating that Mannatech nutritional products promote the maintenance of health and general well-being. The statements made on your website are contrary to Mannatech policy.

Demand is hereby made that you immediately remove from your website any statement or reference which (i) states, suggests or implies that Mannatech nutritional products prevent, treat or cure disease, (ii) states, suggests or implies that Mannatech nutritional products are a substitute for a doctor's standard of care, and/or (iii) is in any manner in contradiction with Mannatech's existing policies and procedures. Demand is further made that you refrain from engaging in this activity in the future.

We remain confident you understand our concerns and also appreciate that it is imperative that you promptly comply with the demand to cease and desist, and to document your compliance in writing within five (5) business days of the receipt of this letter. If you have already complied with this demand, we thank you and appreciate your cooperation.

Nothing herein shall be construed as a waiver of any rights Mannatech has at law or in equity, all of which are expressly reserved.

Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

Respectfully,
Mannatech Legal, Ethics & Compliance Department

I replied:

I am not sure why you didn't receive my response to your earlier Cease and Desist demand, but as it appears on the page in question and I assume you have checked that page before sending the current email I am at a loss as to why you do not seem to understand my position on this matter. For reference, here is my previous response:

I am rather puzzled by your Cease and Desist demand as I can guarantee that I have never made any claim for the effectiveness of Mannatech products in the treatment or management of any disease or ailment, human, veterinary or agricultural. I would not make such a claim as I would not believe it to be true, and truth is important to me. If you read the web page you objected to you will see that the only claims of effectiveness for anything from Mannatech are made by people extolling (and presumably selling) the products. In fact you might even see where I took someone to task for claiming that sugar pills were an effective treatment for Parkinson's Disease.

I must thank you, however, for your clearly implied admission that Mannatech products are useless in the treatment or management of any disease. I will quote you in future when Mannatech distributors abuse me for not recognising the amazing curative properties of the products.

I will, of course, be removing nothing from my site and will be making no changes to the way I comment about Mannatech in the future. As is my usual policy, your email and this reply will be featured prominently on my site.

Thank you.

To make matters quite clear, the following statements describe my position:

  • I am not a Mannatech distributor, so your rules do not apply to me.
  • At no place on my site do I state, suggest or imply "that Mannatech nutritional products prevent, treat or cure disease".
  • At no place on my site do I state, suggest or imply "that Mannatech nutritional products are a substitute for a doctor's standard of care".
  • I don't do either of these things because I have no reason to believe that "Mannatech nutritional products prevent, treat or cure disease" or "Mannatech nutritional products are a substitute for a doctor's standard of care". I fact, I believe quite the opposite.
  • If you do not want me to publish such claims made by Mannatech distributors then you should instruct Mannatech distributors not to email people with such claims.

Once again I must thank you for your admission that claims for any medical usefulness of Mannatech products are baseless.

As always, your email and this response will be published prominently on my web site.

Thank you.


I am severely criticised (12/4/2008)
This just in. I have flogged myself with a wet noodle and sent myself to sit in the corner for 10-23 nanoseconds.

From: "Wayne Schermerhorn"
Subject:
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 16:37:03 -0700

You really should pull your head out of your ass

Do you have a specific complaint or is it all too much for you to take in?

And, surprise, surprise, I find myself in conversation with a Mannatech cretinoid:

From: "Wayne Schermerhorn"
Subject: Re:
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 14:58:47 -0700

Yeah, you either don't have a clue about glyconutrients or you're getting paid from an outside source to post all this garbage. Take a look at the latest medical texts. I'm sure you know that it's real. How does a person such as you live with himself ? Unfortunately there are plenty of weak minded people out there that actually believe the garbage you write. Perhaps someone should start a web site to directly combat yours. Or maybe the attention you're giving to glyconutrients and Mannatech is actually good even though it's negative. For those who aren't weak minded, maybe they'll research glyconutrients, and Mannatech for themselves, and find out the great benefits. So maybe you're doing some good work. Anyone with minute brain function can see that you have no proof at all about what you're spouting.

But Wayne, Mannatech have now told me twice that the stuff they sell is useless. Why should I believe you and not them?


Mannatech. Can't these people read? (7/3/2009)
Last year I had an exchange of emails with the lawyers at Mannatech who seemed to be under the misapprehension that I was a distributor of their rubbish and that I was making some health claims about the stuff. I don't know why these people seem incapable of actually reading the page that they object to, but here is the latest missive, with my reply.

TO: Bowditch, Peter

RE: Impermissible Use of Health Claims Attributed to Mannatech Products 1.36.17
http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/mannatech.htm

Dear Bowditch, Peter:

We need your immediate assistance with a critical issue related to your website. It has come to our attention that you currently have statements on your website which are or could be construed to be unauthorized health claims which go beyond stating that Mannatech nutritional products promote the maintenance of health and general well-being.  The statements made on your website are contrary to Mannatech policy.

Demand is hereby made that you immediately remove from your website any statement or reference which (i) states, suggests or implies that Mannatech nutritional products prevent, treat or cure disease, (ii) states, suggests or implies that Mannatech nutritional products are a substitute for a doctor's standard of care, and/or (iii) is in any manner in contradiction with Mannatech's existing policies and procedures. Demand is further made that you refrain from engaging in this activity in the future.

Please contact the undersigned in writing within five (5) business days from the receipt of this letter advising that you have made the requested modification to your website and confirming that you will refrain from such activity in the future.

Failure to comply with this demand may result in legal and compliance action up to and including litigation in which Mannatech will seek injunctive relief, damages and attorney's fees and costs as allowable under Texas law. Mannatech will undertake all actions necessary to secure your compliance.

Having brought this to your attention, we are confident that you will understand our concerns and act immediately. We will be monitoring your website, and await your response in writing. Please contact the undersigned at webcompliance@mannatech.com

 if you have any questions regarding Mannatech's position in this matter. Nothing herein shall be construed as a waiver of any rights Mannatech has at law or in equity, all of which are expressly reserved.

Your prompt attention and cooperation in this matter are greatly appreciated.

Respectfully,

Mannatech Legal, Ethics & Compliance Department

I thought I had made this clear last year when I received a similar complaint from you. I do wish that you would actually take the time to read the page you are complaining about, but just in case you can't do that I will reiterate what I said last time (and which appears on that page).

At no place on my site do I state, suggest or imply that Mannatech nutritional products prevent, treat or cure disease, or state, suggest or imply that Mannatech nutritional products are a substitute for a doctor's standard of care. I would not do either of these things because I do not believe that such statements would be true. I do not care what Mannatech's policies are with regard to such statements because I am not a Mannatech distributor.

Before you write to me again with complaints about things I do not do please try to read my clearly expressed opinions about Mannatech. You only make yourself look foolish by displaying a total lack of comprehension.

Again, I would like to thank you for implicitly informing me that Mannatech products have no role in the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease and that they do not provide an alternative to professional medical care. I will cite this to Mannatech distributors who contact me with anecdotes suggesting otherwise.

As is my usual policy, your email and this reply will be published on my web site.


From: Paul Krismanits
Subject: Question about Mannatech
Date: Tue, 05 May 2009 22:31:02 -0400

I read everything you have posted and I must ask, are you an idiot? You say over and over again that their doctor didn't win the Nobel Prize but I googled it and he DID win it in medicine in 1999. Look it up yourself http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1999/.

You might like to point to exactly where I said that Dr Blobel didn't win the Nobel Prize. If your Google skills are good enough, you might even find where I said:

Dr Gunter Blobel, who won the Physiology or Medicine Prize in 1999 "for the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell".

Did you notice the web link there? It appears to be the same one you gave me, and I had it in 2006.

So what it didn't have to do with their product?

If it had nothing to do with the product, why do they use his name as a form of endorsement?

The dude still works for them!

Does he? Then why did he get a lawyer to issue a Cease and Desist order against Mannatech for saying that his research had something to do with sugar pills? Most people don't stay employed if they set lawyers on the boss. Even you recognise (see above) that his research had nothing to do with Mannatech.

Also, I couldn't find ANYWHERE but your own site where it says 1994 for the prize.

I was quoting from a message sent to me by a Mannatech distributor. The fact that the lie doesn't appear elsewhere just makes it even more ludicrous.

Your attempt to discredit through this one area is ludicrous. So one salesman who didn't quite know what he was talking about e-mails you and you use that against the company?

No, I used it against the writer, but surely even you can find examples of fraudulent claims of Mannatech-related research winning Nobel Prizes. You can see some Nobel winners complaining about the lies here.

Since you know MLM so well, you should know that their salespeople are self-employed. THe company itself never made that statement.

Of course it didn't. MLM companies rely strongly on the distributors making the claims, so that the companies can use what is called "plausible deniability". It just seems rather a strong coincidence that the same lies keep coming from different distributors.

So what is it? Did you just try Mannatech and suck so now you have to go nuts on it?

The education in basic arithmetic I received in school prevented me from ever joining any pyramid scheme, however well disguised from the law they might be. I don't have to keep a dead dog in my house to know that something rotten smells bad.

That sure is open-minded. I read over and over your site, and your just a smug SOB who is twisting stuff to fit your own opinions, without any real regard for the truth or any desire to find out what it really is. You must be a Democrat.

Why? Do Democrats have a better grasp of reality than members of other parties?

Oh, and I bet this e-mail never finds its way onto your page. Coward.

You lost that bet, didn't you? On four pages to start off with, and then only three after it drops off the front page.



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