Friday, June 01, 2007

Mannatech - Selling Placebos as Cures for Cancer?

I know someone who bought into this crap.
from ABC News:

Cure for Your Disease or Empty Promise?
Sugar Pills Have Some People Turning Down Doctor's Advice, But Critics Say They're Bogus

June 1, 2007 —
How much would you pay for a pill made of sugar?
Try $415 million. That's how much Mannatech, a Texas-based company, made in the last 12 months selling sugar pills and powders made from larch bark and aloe, known as glyconutrients.

Mannatech says its product, Ambrotose, is a simple nutritional supplement that helps the cells in one's body communicate with one another. Ambrotose is sold exclusively by multilevel marketing sales associates who, functioning as independent contractors, try to sign up customers to buy the product and become sales associates themselves.

The product is shipped directly from the company to customers, with sales associates getting a cut of the profits.

But critics say the company's bottom line is has been boosted by unverifiable health claims made by some of it's multilevel marketing sales force.

A three-month "20/20" hidden camera investigation found outlandish claims being made by some Mannatech sales associates around the country, extolling what they say are the extraordinary powers of Mannatech's patented product, called Ambrotose. Ambrotose costs at least $200 a month -- more than some prescription drugs.

What Exactly Is Ambrotose?

Mannatech says Ambrotose draws on a new cutting-edge field called glycobiology. Glycobiology is a legitimate science that looks into how complex carbohydrates promote cellular communication.

But two of its leading scientists, Dr. Hudson Freeze from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, Calif., and Dr. Ronald Schnarr from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, say there is a huge disconnect between this new science and what Mannatech sells.

Mannatech strongly contests these conclusions, citing a large number of studies and research papers that can be found on the Web at But articles, published in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, have linked some of those studies to a research institute that Mannatech funds. full article

They should be investigated for for at least false advertising and possibly fraud. I know their products aren't FDA regulated but selling snake oil to cancer patients should be strongly discouraged. Although the public should know by now that no reputable company would use multi level marketing to sell holistic or alternative medicine. Hopefully someone will sue the pants off of them and win.

All MLM companies should be checked out thoroughly before buying from or investing in them.