Breaking News: Fraud Discovery Institute Claims Six of Herbalife’s Supplements Contains Dangerous Levels of Lead
The letter, posted on the website is attributed to an attorney from Oakland, Christopher Grell, who specializes in product liability. The letter suggests that six of Herbalife’s products contain levels of lead that exceed what is allowed under the California Safe Drinking and Toxic Environment Act of 1994. The act requires that businesses must warn potential consumers if any products contain chemicals known to be toxic or that potentially cause cancer.
I’m sure founder of the Fraud Discovery Institute and self-admitted convicted felon, Barry Minkow, must be thrilled that this letter has surfaced. Minkow if you are not familiar with him, is a San Diego pastor who served prison time for stock fraud and now works to uncover fraudulent activity within the MLM world. Minkow has been a perpetual thorn in the side of the MLM industry and has dedicated his life bringing down MLM companies through any means necessary, even if it means straddling the line of legal and illegal. Minkow was of course not available for comment.
A spokesperson for Herbalife, George Fischer, released a statement via telephone, referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which sets dietary guidelines, saying, “the FDA hasn’t established a general limit on lead in foods, but we are certainly well within their suggested guidelines”.
Yet Minkow lists 3 exhibits to back his claim. In Exhibit A - there is a lab report and “expert legal analysis”. The legal analysis was conducted by the law offices of Christopher E. Grell who specializes in ephedra litigation and dietary supplements amongst other things. A little background on Grell. Aside from some pretty interesting libel lawsuits he has crafted, he was also the loser of a case against Megabolife in which he represented a client suing because they allegedly suffered a stroke using the product. Grell’s website was not up and running at the time of us writing this.
In Exhibit B is a letter to Congressman Waxman with some pretty riveting data of Minkow’s discovery and work with FDA registered, independent accredited lab (Analytical Laboratories) in Anaheim, California.
Exhibit C showcases reports from the Journal of Hepatology which give some pretty strong statement to back Minkow;s claims of warnings of dangerous levels of lead.
The six products mentioned in the letter on the Fraud Discovery Institute website are the ShapeWorks Protein Drink Mix, Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix, Tang Kuei Plus herbal tablets, Thermojetics Nature’s Raw Guarana instant tea mix, ShapeWorks Cell Activator and Multivitamin Complex.
The letter on the Fraud Discover Website urged the state of California to require Herbalife to post warning on these products stating that consumption of the products might be dangerous to ones health. Also on the website was a document that they claim came from Analytical Laboratories in Anaheim that showed receipts for testing on the six products and evidence that the supplements do indeed contain lead levels above what is allowed.
This is another tough break for the company which just last month saw stock tumble as news of resume fraud was uncovered by none other than Barry Minkow. Hopefully Herbalife will test their products, provide honest answers to the public and their consumers and take quick action to rectify the problem. There is too much competition out there to sacrifice the safety of the consumer just to save face or make a quick sale. We will keep you posted on any new developments.
NEW YORK |
(Reuters) - Six dietary supplements sold by Herbalife Ltd contain
dangerous amounts of lead if taken according to package directions,
according to information posted on a private group's website on Monday.
Herbalife disputed the claim, saying its products met with regulatory requirements in all of its markets.
FDA hasn't established a general limit on lead in foods, but we are
certainly well within their suggested guidelines," Herbalife spokesman
George Fischer said in a telephone interview, referring to the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration, which sets dietary guidelines.
Fraud Discovery Institute posted a letter on its website on Monday
attributed to Christopher Grell, an attorney in Oakland, California,
specializing in product liability.
letter said that recommended daily doses of six Herbalife products
contained levels of lead that are dangerous and in excess of what
California law allows under its Safe Drinking and Toxic Environment Act
The law requires
businesses to warn consumers if their products contain chemicals known
to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. An explanation of the law can
be found on the website of California's Office of Environmental Health
Hazard Assessment here
Barry Minkow, founder of the Fraud Discovery Institute, was not immediately available to comment.
San Diego pastor who served more than seven years in jail for stock
fraud, Minkow now works to uncover frauds. He has a history of
criticizing Los Angeles-based Herbalife, which sells weight-loss and
nutritional products through direct sales.
six products mentioned in the letter on the Fraud Discovery Institute
website are the ShapeWorks Protein Drink Mix, Healthy Meal Nutritional
Shake Mix, Tang Kuei Plus herbal tablets, Thermojetics Nature's Raw
Guarana instant tea mix, ShapeWorks Cell Activator and Multivitamin
Herbalife shares closed down 4.2 percent at $40.17 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
April, Herbalife said its president and chief operating officer,
Gregory Probert, had not finished his MBA degree as stated in his
biography. The company said Probert had been enrolled at California
State University during the 1980's but never obtained a degree.
the time, The Wall Street Journal reported that Minkow had uncovered
the discrepancy about the degree, but on Monday Herbalife declined to
comment on that. The newspaper also reported that Minkow had "put"
options in a bet that Herbalife's stock price would fall.
letter posted on Monday on the Fraud Discovery Institute website urged
California to order Herbalife to place "clear and reasonable warnings on
these products so that the consumer is informed that these products
contain chemicals known to cause developmental harm."
said in an interview on Monday that individual tablets may not exceed
California's 0.5 microgram limit on lead in dietary supplements, but he
said the daily recommended dosage would result in lead exposure large
enough to warrant a warning label.
document purported to be an invoice from Analytical Laboratories in
Anaheim Inc, based in Brea, California, for $5,820 for testing the six
products was posted on Fraud Discovery's website. Analytical
Laboratories did not reply to calls and an e-mail to discuss any tests.
market capitalization, after Monday's stock decline, was $2.61 billion,
based on the number of shares outstanding as of April 28. It had sales
of $2.15 billion in 2007, according to its earnings statement.
The company's latest regulatory filing said its products are sold in 65 countries by a network of over 1.8 million distributors.
month, Herbalife said that Spain's Ministry of Health had issued an
alert cautioning consumption of Herbalife products due to suspicious
cases of hepatic toxicity, or liver damage, presumably associated with
Herbalife products. Herbalife said it was in discussions with the
"For more than 28 years,
tens of millions of Herbalife consumers worldwide have been safely using
Herbalife products with an extremely low incidence of serious adverse
event reports citing liver function abnormalities," the company said at
(Editing by Toni Reinhold)
Published May 20, 2008 FoxNews.com
One group claims that six dietary supplements sold by Herbalife Ltd. contain high levels of lead if taken as directed, Reuters is reporting.
The Fraud Discovery Institute posted a letter on its Web site claiming that the supplements in question contain levels of lead that are dangerous and in excess of what California law allows under its Safe Drinking and Toxic Environment Act of 1994, also known as Prop. 65.
Herbalife told Reuters its products met with regulatory requirements in all of its markets.
"The FDA hasn't established a general limit on lead in foods, but we are certainly well within their suggested guidelines," Herbalife spokesman George Fischer said in a telephone interview, in which he was referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which sets dietary guidelines.
The six products mentioned in the letter on the Fraud Discovery Institute Web site all contain between two to 12 times the maximum amount of lead allowed in California's Prop. 65 law when taken as directed. They are the ShapeWorks Protein Drink Mix, Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix, Tang Kuei Plus herbal tablets, Thermojetics Nature's Raw Guarana instant tea mix, ShapeWorks Cell Activator and Multivitamin Complex.
Dr. Mike Rosen, a board certified internist on Long Island, N.Y., said even if the products contain two to 12 times the maximum amount of lead allowed in a product, the law was designed with a large cushion.
"It's probably not a significant amount of lead; California made the cushion 1/1,000 of what a safe dose would be," Rosen said. "But, there is so much of this stuff on the market that is notoriously mislabeled. And, anyone can make their own product. You need to be cautious, and you need to discuss what you are taking with your health care provider."
Among the products tested, quality was inconsistent according to an article on HealthNewsDigest.com.
- 1 supplement provided 30% of the isoflavones on the label.
- Another supplement provided 65% of the claimed amount of glycitein — an isoflavone in soy.
- Lead contamination was detected in 1 supplement.
- 2 products violated FDA labeling requirements by not specifying the plant parts used as ingredients.
- 6 supplements met quality standards.
- 3 creams provide their listed amount of progesterone.
You’ll have to buy the report to learn more. 9/17/08 19:30 JR