I recently read and saw a show about Mannatech on ABC News and was surprised by quite a few things so I decided to take a closer look on my own.
Mannatech Background: From their own site
I visited their website to get some information about their products and services, a few things jump out to me right away.
- a disclaimer saying that statements said on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA, this is standard fare in the health industry, so no big deal but where IS any documentation showing ANY of the products being sold HAVE been evaluated by the FDA?
- WARNING #1: Page dedicated to the “Science of Wellness”. Wellness is NOT a science, this is equivalent to using the “Science of Creationism” to explain our beginnings. In other words, wellness is a belief, not a scientifically proven fact.
- WARNING #2: Scare tactic about how you may not be getting “enough” glyconutrients in your diet due to pollution, industrial farming etc… simple solution would be to simply eat more fruit and vegetables if you are really eating that BAD a diet or if you are that concerned, set-up your own hydroponics system or backyard garden.
- WARNING #3: Multi-level marketing approach, I would dismiss this entire company simply based on this. Does the Herbal Life plague ring a bell?
- WARNING #4: The CEO of Manatech is also the founder of Mannarelief Ministries who uses the “love of God through world-changing nutritional products designed to improve the quality of life and health.” I guess this explains Warning #1 quite well.
- WARNING #5: Pharmaceuticals are highly complex, require extensive testing and are promoted by highly skilled people. Although this company isn’t a pharmaceutical company and makes no mentions otherwise, it IS blurring the lines extensively throughout it’s web site.
- WARNING #6: Board member on the Council for Responsible Nutrition. This is an association that aggressively pushes for self-regulation of the supplements industry and keeping the FDA as far away from said supplements as humanly possible. This is no different then the Better Business Bureau approach which has no jurisdiction for any type of enforcement and simply take your money to become a member. Why NOT put stringent double blind, pharmaceutical grade testing and evaluation on all supplements?
Clarification regarding warning #4
Regarding warning #4, I absolutely give high praise for whatever the CEO of Mannutech can do to change the fate of under-privileged and poverty stricken children around the world, no matter his methods nor beliefs. What I don’t like is this mix of God and Science, simply believing something doesn’t make it a fact.
Mannatech Background: Based on ABC News Findings
When ABC News takes the time to not only write an article about your company but a three month investigation, heads are going to roll. In this case, I am very happy they put the spotlight to confirm my suspicions that arose simply by visiting Mannatechs own website.
- When asked point blank during an interview by ABC News if Mannutech products cured cancer or where promoted as such, the answer completely dodged the question.
- Video after video of sales demonstrations purporting that their product Ambrotose is able to cure cancer. I saw this bull shit at The Health Expo in Toronto last year and it turned my stomach.
- Unless you have a congenital defect, your body DOES produce enough glyconutrients that Mannatech tries to scare you otherwise.
- Proof that the science behind Mannatechs Ambrotose works is funded by the company itself, sure sounds like Atkins all over again doesn’t it?
- CEO of Mannatech, Sam Caster has a history of selling things that either didn’t work or didn’t even come close to what was claimed, sure sounds like another Kevin Trudeau doesn’t it?
- Sales associates (ei: multi-level distributors) telling others how to work around legal restrictions about their products
Mannatech isn’t all bad
I don’t believe everything Mannatech does is bad, it does help children around the world with SOME of its profits, for that, again, I give them praise. They are providing income streams for people around the world who wouldn’t have them otherwise. They are putting “health” into the forefront for massive amounts of people, although highly misguided and biased with a strong profit motive.
As this is a Christian company doing Gods work through an affiliated Ministry…
… then they should not only show their values but live by them. From what I see, they have broken Commandment #3 (do not misuse the name of God), Commandment #8 (do not steal) and of course Commandment #9 (do not lie). Mannutech and its distributors tie in faith to their product in various subtle ways, they steal lives from individuals who could possibly be saved using proven medical science (who cares about the wasted money) and lie to get their stuff out the door. If their stuff REALLY cures the plagues of this world, spend 25% of your estimated half a billion dollars worth on double blind studies in a clinical setting with a few hundred Cancer, HIV Positive and other patience. If I had any of these conditions, you would be the last people I would ask for help.
The Bottom Line
I believe, God being my witness, that Mannatech is no different then an Evangelized Herbal Life, I really do wish the FDA clamps down on the entire supplements industry to put an end to all this *wellness* nonsense.