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  • Report: #144025

Complaint Review: Premier Team Online Home Business System - Herbalife International

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  • Submitted: Wed, May 25, 2005
  • Updated: Sun, September 23, 2012

  • Reported By:Dunbar Nebraska
Premier Team Online Home Business System - Herbalife International
www.bdbglobal Internet U.S.A.

Premier Team Online Home Business System Aka Herbalife International false advertisement lead me down a path of begging, borrowing, and not getting a dime Work at home ripoff Internet Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: Proof Read Your Report

*Consumer Comment: PTI Business System almost got me too!

*Consumer Comment: Buyer Beware - Do Not Pay for Employee Training

*General Comment: Proof is in the pudding

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Heres the whole truth

*Consumer Comment: I Have Purchased the program!!!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: big lessons

*Consumer Comment: This is ridiculous!

*Consumer Comment: Herbalife is a deceptive company

*UPDATE Employee: Do your research!

*General Comment: What they do is false advertise period

*UPDATE Employee: PTI is BBB--PREMIER TEAM INTERNATIONAL

*UPDATE Employee: Get Facts Straight

*Consumer Comment: BBB Accreditation of all PTI's = NO !!

*Consumer Comment: Facts vs Hearsay

*Consumer Comment: Herbalife International = RIPOFF SCAM!

*UPDATE Employee: Premier team international

*Consumer Comment: Premier Home Business

*Consumer Suggestion: Before I became a victim of your scam my intelligence and research protected me.

*Consumer Suggestion: Before I became a victim of your scam my intelligence and research protected me.

*Consumer Suggestion: Before I became a victim of your scam my intelligence and research protected me.

*UPDATE Employee: In Response to your Post

*UPDATE Employee: In Response to your Post

*UPDATE Employee: In Response to your Post

*UPDATE Employee: In Response to your Post

*Consumer Comment: Obviously you didn't read as to why this was reported

*UPDATE Employee: PTI

*Consumer Comment: Responding to the rebuttle

*UPDATE Employee: In Response to your Post

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Heres my Herbalie story. I needed some money to get back in College, it was about 10grand. So I figured I'd look into work at home jobs to try and get some quick and easy money. ya im 21 and im dumb.

I answered an ad in the paper that stated: Computer Help Wanted. Earn $25 - $75 hour. PT/FT. Training Provided. it had a number and this website www.bdbglobal.com..since I had alot of comp. programing experience I thought, this shouldn't be to hard.

Boy was I wrong. The web site was full of testimonials with no desc of job. I then was stupid and used the last of my money to get the decison package of $39 + s/h. that included a cd, vhs, and booklet, again full of testimonials. then came what i like to call, "my boss", Debbi Bailey.

She's a nice gal, and she helped me as best as she could. She advised me that I needed to pay around $300 for Internation Bussiness Package, which I had to borrow from parents. It came with some products that I had to use, and some marketing material and more testimonal stuff.

After wasting my time with "homework", which was online training if you want to call it that. Then there were this consumer training calls that i had to listen in on, which where like confrence calls and had tons of other people listening to more garbage about how to sell, and more importantly becoming a supivisor.

I then sat down surfing one night like I always do and came across this website. After reviewing tons of reports about herbalife I decided I better quit now before I become worse off.

Then I thought to myself - how'd I get to this point. It was from answering an ad in the paper for computer help earning $25-$75 pt/ft. Wait a minute. It doesn't mention anything about retailing, which to my knowledge isn't computer help. And it also doesn't mention all the investment required.

False Advertisment!

I will be updateing this report as soon as I talk to Debbi and find out what she tries to do in order to keep me as one of her downlines.

Ira
Dunbar, Nebraska
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/25/2005 10:27 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Premier-Team-Online-Home-Business-System-Herbalife-International/internet/Premier-Team-Online-Home-Business-System-Aka-Herbalife-International-false-advertisement-l-144025. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Proof Read Your Report

AUTHOR: Jerry - ()

Your rip off report is full of typos; when you update it as you say you will do, why not fix all of the typos at the same time. If you can't even take the time to proof read your material before you put it on the internet, then you darn sure can't run a business. 

Herbalife is a real business, but you have to do some work in order to be successful at it.

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#2 Consumer Comment

PTI Business System almost got me too!

AUTHOR: Lynn C - ()

  I was amost ripped off by this company too. Thank God I found this website when I became suspicious as to why they wouldn't tell me what they do and what I was expected to do.

  I answered an email saying I could earn money from home. This sounded good to me since my husband just retired and we are living on half of the income we used to. My husband is very ill, he can't work and I have had four back surgeries so it's hard for me to find a regular job too. I have a daughter in high school and the bills keep rolling in and things are getting rough. A job to work from home seemed like the perfect soultion.  

  After answering the email I received a phone call from Lynnett who sounded very nice and patiently answered all my questions. I asked her if I had to pay any money up front because we are on a strict budget, she responded "no, we don't work like that." I said I didn't want to have to sell anything she responded "no we aren't that kind of company." Ok, so far it sounded good, she then sent me two emails that would "train" me and I would find out all I wanted to know about this company. I received a video that just went on and on about how this man was broke before and now he has everything he could ever want. Then there was a workbook that I was to fill out before the next phone appointment. After all of that I became suspicious and waited for her to call. When she called she still wouldn't give me an answer so I changed the appointment call. I went online and I found this site that gave me all the answers I needed. They want me to sell Herbalife! Why not just say that in the beginning without all the sneaking around. I even went on BBB website and there is nothing about PTI on their website. 

  Thank you Ripoff Report for warning me before I got more involved and might have fallen for their line and spent money that would have better spent to feed my family or help pay for all the medications for my husband and myself. Thank you very very much!

Lynn C
 
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#3 Consumer Comment

Buyer Beware - Do Not Pay for Employee Training

AUTHOR: OceanSpectre - (United States of America)

No person should ever pay to have employee training for a company; a legitimate company will provide training as part of your employment - and you'll get paid for your time.
If that is not the case, you are probably involved in a pyramid scheme or flat-out fraud.
Otherwise, the "employment training" they are selling is educational in nature at best, just as if you were paying tuition, and should be presented as such.
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#4 General Comment

Proof is in the pudding

AUTHOR: Carol - (United States of America)

I almost fell into this scam myself. Thankfully there are sites like these that assist us in making a more educated decisions. Having said that I want to thank all of you for your posts. Especially all you Herbalife representatives! Your rebuttal posts to all those who have felt ripped off and angry are despicable to say the least. If you are such a "reputable" company then why would you be so very disrespectful with your language? All of your posts have allowed me to realize that you could care less about the welfare of those who are disappointed. I would never consider working with a company that would post in the manner that Herbalife representatives have. What company would call someone "Stupid" or play on the vulnerability of someone being honest enough to call themselves stupid?? WOW you people have a lot to learn about manners and integrity within business practices!!!  If you're considering this MLM with Herbalife I strongly suggest that you take the time and read through all of these posts and pay close attention to how the Herbalife rep's are responding, it's embarrassing and professionally pathetic, they should ALL be fired!! 
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Heres the whole truth

AUTHOR: wise guy - (United States of America)

Listen I have been in 7 MLM companies and in Herbalife 2 times! The second time I landed smack dab into PTI where my mentor was from.  Both times my "mentors" convinced me to buy $5000 worth of product so I could make 50% profit when I sold. Heres where I failed and succeeded. I succeeded in moving a bunch of my product. whoopy doo. I had shows in my home for family members and friends. They bought the product lost some weight (not a lot of weight but a little) and I successfully made a bunch of profit off of my own family, friends, and church members. Now they don't buy it any longer and I successfully took their money in my opinion. Yeah they got a half way decent product but look where i am now and they are back where they were as well. The truth is other than retailing,  MLM is set to make money off the backs of many many people who fail. 98% to 99% do not make it. (true statistic) The pay structure is bass ackwards. Its old school marketing from the ww2 era but the basic concept of helping people and making residual income is still appealing to everyone. Unfortunately it doesn't work very well other than for big time retailing. When I was in PTI, I was lied to, Kicked off of calls for being late to the webinar, treated like crap by my upline because I wasn't producing fast enough or buying their leads, and most of all I let my family down and blamed myself. Can you imagine what this does to a marriage? I wish I had just delivered pizzas. However I still believed in residual income and I wouldn't give up! I kept trying. But this is the straw that broke the camels back. Here is the deal. I knew someone very high up in PTI personally. This person was making 15g a month. He told me all the true story and why he/or she left. These people are constantly recruiting, selling leads and even opening brick and mortar retail stores to make their checks stay consistant. They weren't telling us any of their struggles. Only the same old success stories that were stretched out. My friends pay dropped from 15g to 4g a month because he had 10 key people out of hundreds that were doing anything substantial.  This dude recruited almost 200 people in a year and invested 80g! Thats when I quit.  What chance did little old me have? This tells me one important thing. MLM is set so the little people struggling feed the big people. Let me tell you I found a company that does the exact oposite finally! Im making money and off of people who succeed. In fact I make more by helping them. I wish I could advertise it here and save all of you believers out there who want to make residual income and work from home. I finally achieved it after all the heart ache and pain. And Im just an average person. Anyway here is my final comment. These people create belief in you fast. They make you write down your dreams and goals and tell you that this is the way to achieve them. I was on webinars and calls every other night hearing all the hoopla. But they never gave me a road map that worked. Not even the lame leads that I bought ever panned out. Thank God they didn't or someone would be in the same boat I am.  It's sad because the success stories were repeats after awhile in the webinars. The same top dogs were doing the seminars and telling the same stories word for word. Some of them would cry to make it sound more personal. But I knew it was fake after I found out how much these exact people were actually struggling to keep consistant pay coming in.  You know when I was struggling they never called me or helped me. In fact since I left not one person has sent me even a simple email or thank you for the money I brought to them. MLM will let you down. I promise. I have tried almost all of them. Literally. Im so sorry for the people who will read this, scoff at it, and continue to try. I feel for you. I promise you I am a person who legitimately tried. I read all the self help books over and over. I did audio daily to train my mind and even wore a stupid button that said lose weight now ask me how everywhere I went just as they told me to. I felt and still feel like a fool. They brainwash people like hitler. I beg you mlm people Please just be sure you have a plan B because a time will come when you will see that Im right. I have tried this since age 14 and Im almost in my 40's. Yeah thats the definition of insanity isn't it. Doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result. But hey, at least I finally found what I was looking for. I will tell you this. I can't advertise on here but if you look up the binomial marketing system that is taught in many text books now, that is the type of marketing you can count on and the type that my company employs. It is a steady stream of people helping people succeed and creates residual income. If your looking for a real opportunity that is not a scam or a bunch of people sucking the life out of you stick with this and you won't go wrong. Thanks for reading. 
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#6 Consumer Comment

I Have Purchased the program!!!

AUTHOR: Dee22011 - (United States of America)

I just purchased this program last night I will see how it works and I will confirm if this is a scam or not.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

big lessons

AUTHOR: af - (United States of America)

I was in PTI for 2 years I worked it very very hard I spent $300 to buy myself a job then I went to all the online classes became a supervisor witch cost me $2300. I was on a morning call were they were to motivate you by either lifting you up or making you fill like a failure because you didn't meet your numbers. I was told I should quit my job to be full time at Herbalalife.

I was making about $2300, a month but was spending $5000 to $8000 a month. Most of the money I would be making, came from selling a kit or getting someone to go supervisor very little product was sold I could not hardly give the product away. One day I had some questions with what I was doing and how nothing was adding up money wise but they would always said"the money will come" and I believed them or wanted to believe them. 

Well I just wanted to slow down work on selling product not the kit and my supervisor freaked out she said I was taking money away from her family and that if I didn't keep going they would kick me out of Herbalife not just PTI but Herbalife and they did. I was $70,000 in the whole I had quite my really good job and had to sell my 401K to try to pay off our credit card debt. I have no money to help my children with there college.



This may work for some but at what cost to others. I know about 7 or more people this has happen to, same story.  In my journey with Herbalife I hurt people  thinking I was doing right and for that  I am truly sorry. I believe Herbalife might be a good company but PTI is not. Thank you for letting me share this with you. This has been a big lesson for me and my family very costly but I am stronger for it I don't go into things so lightly I question more. If you still want to go into business with this company Good luck to youbut please keep some of the things I wrote in the back of your mind when you look in to this company.

sincerely

af in washington state

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#8 Consumer Comment

This is ridiculous!

AUTHOR: The Observer - (United States of America)

I was on the Internet doing some research on PTI, because there is a representative that contacts and wants to join her team. I will not be joining her team due to the fact that she never really tells me what the business is about, it's like a secret being held until the big moment, then Surprise! Is it because, if they let people know the all important information up front that the person could reject them up front? I am totally blown away by these rebuttals from the herbalife reps on here and still can't believe they even bothered to post at all. We as consumers have the right to come and post on this website when we feel we have been wronged or deceived in the hopes of getting a valid response from the accused. All I have read from the accused are more testimonials, and insults....what is wrong with that picture? The first report is stating a fact that the ad they responded to which was in no way a good way to recruit people. You are not offering jobs, you are trying to get sign ups for an MLM opportunity and the way these ads read are deceptive. The economy is in bad shape and companies like yours take advantage of people who may be looking for real work because for some you are able to get away with posting on job boards or websites. If you are doing well in your business, good for you, but this is not the place for you testimonials and insults against people who feel they have been wronged by your company. This site is what it is, and that is for people to help other people to realize they need to do the research before giving away their money. Why don't you all start letting people in on the information they need to know up front so they can make an informed decision before they end up on this site or somewhere else. Besides, you all owe it to us as representatives of your companyto let us choose and see the whole picture instead of the the parts about people that supposedly so much money, I need to know about the downside too... Stop advertising and insulting the consumer, even though we may not be apart of your company, we are still apart of your word-of-mouth advertising, if you disrespect us here, you only give us proof enough not look into your business that the whole world can see and we can direct family and friends to.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Herbalife is a deceptive company

AUTHOR: BJ - (United States of America)



Herbalife is a deceptive company. I got suckered in from a "work-at-home" Website that didn't even reveal that the company you'd work for was Herbalife until later on.

Pyramid Scheme Alert organization says of this company:

Consider recent news and developments:

The president of Herbalife resigned after it was disclosed that he had published false academic credentials

European Health Officials Investigate Herbalife's Product Safety Spanish Authorities along with other European regulators are investigating potentially dangerous lead levels in Herbalife products.

Charges of fraud and health risks against Herbalife go back to the 1980's. An ABC Evening News report, April 22, 1985 hosted by Peter Jennings detailed controversy over Herbalife diet products and pyramiding sales structure. The health risk issues centered around Dr. Richard Marconi who promoted Herbalife products. It was revealed that Marconi received his Ph.D. through a mail order course from an unaccredited school. In that report other nutritionists described Herbalife products as primarily laxatives and diuretics with potential of potassium deprivation.

Herbalife lures consumers to invest in its "business opportunity" as "Supervisors" - and requires them to buy $3,000 of products. An independent analysis of Herbalife's actual commission payments revealed a top-loaded pay plan in which 85% of all commissions are transferred to less than 1% of distributors at the top, and financial losses suffered by 99% of the rest of the distributors. 60% of the "Supervisors" quit within a year. The average Herbalife payment to the Supervisors is just $10.55 a week. Herbalife must replace all the dropouts each year.

Herbalife has no sustainable customer base. 80% of all its distributors quit the scheme within one year and there is no evidence that the distributors engage in profitable retail selling. The schemes gains its revenue by recruiting unwitting consumers into a bogus "direct selling" business and inducing them to buy "inventory."

The charges of business fraud against Herbalife are not new. A recently certified class action lawsuit against Herbalife and several of its marketing groups makes many of the same charges now leveled against Herbalife operating an "endless chain" in violation of California law, and causing widespread losses to consumers who are lured by the unproven health claims and false income promises.

The class action case against Herbalife addresses one other area of fraud accusations the collaboration of Herbalife with infamous "lead generation" schemes. The lawsuit charges that Herbalife distributors not only are lured into a pyramid recruitment scheme but are also induced to purchase thousands of dollars in basically worthless sales "leads" which they are told they will need to "succeed." (99% of all Herbalife distributors never earn a profit.)

A similar 2004 case against Herbalife was settled several years ago with millions paid back to consumers in restitution. The case documented the lead scheme mostly unknown to distributors and shareholders that enriches some Herbalife's upliners and further impoverishes the recruits.

Canadian authorities have fined Herbalife in the past for making false income claims.



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#10 UPDATE Employee

Do your research!

AUTHOR: Amanda - (United States of America)

I must say that I am shocked that these people who have been "scammed" by "Herbalife" didn't even bother to do their research before reporting them as scammers.

First off, Herbalife employs independent distributors. This means that Herbalife distributors do not sit in an office day to day. They do not clock in and out with a punch card. They do not have meetings, or memos. They are completely independent. This is good, in some ways, for Herbalife, and bad in others, because they are not able to monitor what each and every distributor is doing.

Herbalife has strict policies regarding ways to sell, information you are allowed to use, and media that you are allowed to use. They do not allow sales on ebay, and they do not allow you to force your customers to buy the IBP. They are not allowed to advertise under a different company name without saying that they are Herbalife Independent Distributors. In short, they are not allowed to do what they did to you. If Herbalife was to find out about that, and find out who it was, that person would be removed from the Herbalife corporation. But, is it fair to blame Herbalife because some idiot is using their name to scam people?

Now, I am sorry that you have had bad experiences with bad distributors (or people who aren't even distributors!), but I am having a hard time understanding how you can say that the entire Herbalife corporation is a scam. That would be like me doing a Google search for a job with Nintendo. I come across a site who "for only $39.95" will train me in the best way to find a job with Nintendo, and then blame Nintendo when I don't get a job with them. It would be ridiculous, and if I took it to court, the judge would laugh in my face.

When you buy the IBP, the intention is NOT for you to resell the product it comes with. You are buying the products for YOU TO TAKE. Herbalife believes and promotes wholeheartedly that if you are not taking the products, and you do not believe in the products, that you should not be selling the products. When you purchase the business pack, you are purchasing the basic products, as well as a few free samples, FOR YOUR USE. Basically, the application to become a distributor is almost free and is the icing on the cake, because you get a discount on all future purchases after you fill it out, and you don't even have to sell!

I, personally, have lost 20 pounds on the product, and I haven't even been taking it 100% the way Herbalife recommends. I will happily promote the product to any family or friends. Just their product recommended for stress has made such a difference in my life, it's amazing! My husband and I sell the products, and although we aren't rich (I don't think anybody would classify Herbalife as "Get rich quick!", because it's not!), the extra income helps us get by month to month, and each month, the "extra" becomes bigger and bigger. Plus, I've seen my aunt-in-law's (who started in the poor part of Mexico, same as my mother in law) checks, so I know that it's possible to make good money doing this if you really put time and effort. You can't expect something for nothing; it's not gonna happen!

I hope this opened some people's eyes about Herbalife and the true benefits it has to offer you! Please don't be scared away because some people cannot distinguish a scam artist from the true company they are pretending to be a part of.

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#11 General Comment

What they do is false advertise period

AUTHOR: Leo - (United States of America)

    Like the original report says this is not about whether the products and program work this is about the lies, manipulation and false advertising your company/team does to recruit people into your business. It is just out right wrong.
    I was sending to learn about how to use click bank to make money and the whole 7 page ad showed nothing but click bank and this guy making tons of money using click bank with videos. No mistaking what was being offered, nothing about products period other than how to sell them and list them and help others find these products that really want them using click bank and the products other people were willing to let other people sell for them. Not joining someones downline and ordering products month after month. It said $39 to learn how to use click bank. I did read the terms and conditions stating you would get charged $39 a month if you wanted to keep having a mentor.
    I wanted a mentor for click bank. I guess now I will have to either buy someone else's program or learn it all on my own as it will be tough to trust anyone that says they want to teach click bank and how it works from here on out.

WHAT A JOKE I AM FURIOUS WITH YOU PEOPLE
QUIT FALSE ADVERTISING TO GET PEOPLE TO LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS

      LEO

DWAYNE BRIGHTMAN is the supposed internet guru who offered this false crap. I wont be trusting anything this guy ever tries to sell me and neither should you.


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#12 UPDATE Employee

PTI is BBB--PREMIER TEAM INTERNATIONAL

AUTHOR: BuildingSuccess1983 - (United States of America)

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#13 UPDATE Employee

Get Facts Straight

AUTHOR: Chails - (U.S.A.)

Herbalife International was rated an A with the BBB, not PTI. Have you not figured out that PTI is the system & tools you have to run & accelerate your successful Herbalife business. I just want to say one thing, this is a business for serious people that invest a little to get a lot back in return. Time is money & I definitely don't want to waste it here.
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#14 Consumer Comment

BBB Accreditation of all PTI's = NO !!

AUTHOR: 6emm - (United States of America)

Go to BBB's website.  Punch in Premier Team International for the whole USA.  The results are 8 companies.  All are NOT accredited by the BBB.  I won't invest in any company without accreditation.  Thanks for the warning.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Facts vs Hearsay

AUTHOR: Paul H. - (United States of America)

I understand that the PTI business might not be for everyone but I feel very blessed that we found the opportunity and how it has changed our lives. I am not suprised to find this negative post as negative posts and false expectations are common in the home-based business industry.

The only thing that people need to concern themselves with is valid information and not hearsay. I look at the internet as being like a "bathroom wall". Anyone can write anything on the internet whether or not it is valid or factual information. The non-regulation of the internet has caused many issues for many major companies in the world and that is very un-fortunate. It is very sad that people have to write negative things about people or businesses and they usually do it because they have a hidden agenda. Especially people in the home-based business world. People will report negative information about our company to get people interested in their business opportunity. In my eyes that doesn't make another company look good by using unethical marketing tactics to attract people. 

The bottom line is we are in the people helping business and Herbalife is one of the top home-based business in the world.

Please look at the FACTS about Herbalife International:

1) 29 years in business
2) Traded on the New York Stock Exchange 
visit: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lViRMg7EQrU
3) A- Rating on the Better Business Bureau (
http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Report/Herbalife-International-of-America-Inc-20585)
4) Projected to do $4 Billion Dollars in Business this year
5) #1 In Health & Wellness Products in the World, Currently in 72 countries (
http://www.mlm-today.com/2009/04/14/herbalife-international-nutrition-company-review/)
6) Giving back - Herbalife Family Foundation Feeds 100's of thousands of people around the world (visit: 
http://www.herbalifefamilyfoundation.org)

One of the Key things is the PTI online system. Most home based businesses are about door to door selling and talking to strangers in Starbucks. The PTI business system brings the Herbalife products and business opportunity to the open market.   70% of Americans are overweight and unhealthy. We have the solution.

 

I don't know what anyone here does for a living, but I help people get healthy by introducing the incredible Herbalife products to them and their families.

 

These are the facts... Not hearsay...

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#16 Consumer Comment

Herbalife International = RIPOFF SCAM!

AUTHOR: Rob - (U.S.A.)

Pay no attention to the previous fake posts made by Cre8ive1970 & Leading Income, because they're all lies! These creeps are crimminals working for this phoney company...stealing your hard-earned money. And don't give me that "you have to work at it" BS, because the system is phoney and you will be OUT thousands of dollars instead of making it! Perpare to throw away all your money if you consider Herbalife. Considering all the negative reports against this company, it's plain & simple Herbalife is a total & complete fraud! Any positive remarks favoring this scam are posted by crooks! The government needs to dish out serious prison sentences to these crooked scammers!  

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#17 UPDATE Employee

Premier team international

AUTHOR: matt - (United States of America)

Just like you said in the beginning of your report... "you are 21 and dumb". There are many ways to market working for <a href="http://www.premierteaminternational.net"> Premier Team International </a> and getting more clients. Premier team international is a very reputable company and the problem is that you did not even try to work with them. You were desperate and wanted to make some quick cash so you could go to school. Premier team international is a home based business that helps individuals market herbalife. Nothing is quick and easy when it comes to money. If this were the case everyone would be doing it. They are dedicated to working with serious people trying to build a legit home based business without making them spend hours doing so. If you thought you could do this in a month then you were mistaken and it was no fault to PTI. I hope you understand now that PTI is not a scam and they are very serious about helping others and have helped tons of their members with their proven methods.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Premier Home Business

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

I'm glad I found this Ripoff Report before I got too far into the processes with this company. I signed up for the online information package that was available, and was then contacted by one of their representatives via telephone and email. I was told to watch the video in said email. Fortunately, I had found Ripoff Report about a week earlier, and decided to do the smart thing and check out the company here. I read the original report, and all of the rebuttals before watching the video. What I saw in the video was the same thing I saw in the reports, so I made my decision not to work with them, and sent an email saying similar to my "business coach."

Thanks Ripoff Report. You saved me a lot of time and money.
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#19 Consumer Suggestion

Before I became a victim of your scam my intelligence and research protected me.

AUTHOR: Daniel - (U.S.A.)

Unless you can give me your bank account statements from a verifiable banking institution any statement that you will make copies of your checks and mail them out is BS. I can go to Office Max and purchase a computer program and write checks that look real. So tell that BS to the Marines. Henry in South Carolina almost had m believing you and Premier Team International were true work from home offers. However, after learning what you state you sell it turns out to be total BS lies. Herblife products are highly dangerous. I now offer everyone else the rst of the story LADY! I hope to GOD you don't lose anymore children. Read and learn.

Herbalife
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Herbalife, Ltd.
Type Public (NYSE: HLF)
Founded Los Angeles, CA (1980)
Headquarters Los Angeles, CA
Key people Michael O. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer

Brett R. Chapman, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Richard P. Goudis, Chief Financial Officer


Y. Steve Henig, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer

Industry Nutrition & Skin Care products
Products Weight management, nutritional supplements, personal care
Revenue USD$2.4billion (2008)[1]
Website www.herbalife.com [1]
Herbalife International (NYSE: HLF), founded in 1980, is a company that sells weight-loss, nutrition and skin-care products by multi-level marketing[2], also known as network marketing. It has been the subject of controversy and lawsuits.

Contents [hide]
1 Company history
2 Product overview
2.1 Health Concerns
3 Business methods and controversy
3.1 Crazy Fox commercials
3.2 Litigation
4 Clinical studies
5 Sponsorships
6 Nutrition Advisory Board
7 See also
8 References
9 External links



[edit] Company history
In February 1980, Mark Hughes began selling the original Herbalife weight loss product from the trunk of his car. Hughes often stated that the genesis of his product and program stemmed from the weight loss concerns of his mother, whose death he attributed to an eating disorder and an unhealthy approach to weight loss. The company's slogan -- "Lose weight now. Ask me how?" became a burgeoning call sign for its distributors, who often wore buttons or otherwise adorned their vehicles with the slogan, or posted signs and distributed flyers with the slogan, and a distributor's telephone number. Adopting the multi-level marketing system for distribution and growth, the company attracted thousands of would-be entrepreneurs who sold its products on a door-to-door or word-of-mouth campaign, shunning mainstream commercial distribution in commercial stores. The company promised riches to distributors who remained loyal to its selling and dietary proselytizing. Early efforts to bring in distributors involved conventions, where Hughes would give a keynote address, preceded by testimonials from persons claiming to have realized significant health improvements for significant maladies after embarking on the Herbalife program.

By 1982, Herbalife had reached $2,000,000 in sales and opened a distributorship in Canada, its first outside of the United States. In 1985, the California Attorney General sued the company for allegedly making false claims about the efficacy of its products. The company settled the suit the following year for $850,000 without admitting wrongdoing.[3] In 1986 Herbalife became a publicly traded company via NASDAQ. Independent distributors' personal vehicles could be seen on the street, decorated by decals bearing the mysterious slogan "Make money now, ask me how!". In 1994 Mark Hughes started the Herbalife Family Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping children. The organization receives donations from Herbalife itself as well as individuals within and outside the company. The Herbalife Family Foundation has donated more than $6.5 million to children's causes worldwide. In 1996 Herbalife reached $1,000,000,000 in annual sales.

In 2000, Hughes died at the age of 44 from a drug overdose. The company has continued to grow after his death.

In 2002, Whitney and Co. LLC and Golden Gate Capital acquired Herbalife for $685 million and took the company private.[4]

In April 2003, Michael O. Johnson joined Herbalife as CEO following a 17-year career with The Walt Disney Company, most recently as president of Walt Disney International.[3] On December 16, 2004, the company had an initial public offering on the NYSE of 14,500,000 common shares at $14/share. 2004 net sales were reported as $1.3 billion. In April 2005, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary with a four-day event attended by 35,000 Herbalife Independent Distributors from around the world. In August 2005, Dr. Steve Henig joined the company as Chief Scientific Officer, responsible for product research and development. In 2008, President and COO Greg Probert resigned after it was reported that he had not completed the degree requirements for the MBA he claimed on his resume.[5]

Herbalife Ltd is incorporated in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in Los Angeles, California[6] and employs 3500 worldwide. Products are distributed worldwide through a network that Herbalife claims contains 1.9 million independent distributors in 70 countries.[7]

Herbalife spends less than $2 million per year on research and development.[3]


[edit] Product overview
Herbalife's product offering includes weight-management products such as Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, a soy-based meal-replacement shake and one of the first products introduced by the company. Other categories include targeted nutrition such as heart health, energy and fitness, and skin care.

Proponents claim that the Herbalife strategy is aligned with health industry recommendations for safe weight control, eating a balanced diet, low-energy food with regular exercises, and that their nutritional and weight management line of products facilitate this through macronutrient and micronutrient food formulas.


Herbalife provides testimonials from health professionals as part of their marketing campaign. Some of the products are vegetarian, some are even kosher or halal.

In its annual report (SEC Form 10-K) Herbalife declares that all of its products are manufactured by outside companies, except for a small amount of products manufactured in its own manufacturing facility in China. The major suppliers include NBTY (Nature's Bounty), Fine Foods (Italy), PharmaChem Labs and JB Labs which together account for more than 40% of its product purchases in 2006. [8] In addition Herbalife declared in its annual report 2005 that the Company's research and development is primarily performed by outside consultants and that 2005 Herbalife had not incurred any material R&D costs.


[edit] Health Concerns
Some of the original Herbalife weight loss products contained the active ingredient Ma Huang or Sida cordifolia, two herbs containing ephedrine alkaloids. Adverse reactions involving the company's Thermojetics original green tablets were recorded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Herbalife subsequently stopped using ephedrine in its products in the face of rising insurance premiums.[9][10] The U.S. FDA banned supplements containing ephedra in 2004.[11]

Scientific studies in 2007 by doctors at the University Hospital of Bern in Switzerland and the Liver Unit of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel found an association between consumption of Herbalife products and hepatitis.[12][13] In response, the Spanish Ministry of Health issued an alert asking for caution in consuming Herbalife products.[14] Herbalife has stated they are cooperating fully with Spanish authorities.[15]

The Fraud Discovery Institute has reported that laboratory test results of Herbalife products show lead levels in excess of limits established by law in Herbalife's home state of California under Proposition 65.[16][17] Barry Minkow founded the Fraud Discovery Institute after serving a jail term for stock fraud.[18] He has disclosed that since the beginning of his group's investigation he has begun shorting Herbalife stocks to the tune of $50,000 to fund it.[19][20][21] Proposition 65 requires notification of consumers where a product "contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." Herbalife has responded, stating that its products meet federal FDA requirements.[22][23] The company states other independent lab tests it has commissioned show that Herbalife products do not exceed the Proposition 65 limits.[19][24]

On the 10th of May 2008 a suit was filed on behalf of a woman who developed lead-related liver complaints that she claims were a reaction to a combination of Herbalife products.[18][25] The suit was filed by lawyer Christopher Grell, cofounder of the Dietary Supplement Safety Committee and an ally of Minkow.[18] On the 17th of June 2008, the suit was expanded to add distributors who had supplied the woman with the Herbalife products, with Grell launching a website to offer persons who believe they were harmed by Herbalife products the chance of redress.[26] In August 2008, Minkow retracted all accusations against Herbalife and removed any mention of the company from his Web site.[27]


[edit] Business methods and controversy
Supporters and merchants involved with Herbalife contend that it is a genuine and profitable multi-level marketing business opportunity. Critics of Herbalife contend that it is a Pyramid scheme[28] and that the company has not made enough effort to curb abuses by individual distributors. Herbalife has consistently denied such allegations and stated that its business model is fully legal.[29] Herbalife is a member of the Direct Selling Association in most countries in which it operates.

In its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), company management specifically noted problems with inappropriate business practices many years ago, their subsequent long-lasting effects and the need to avoid any repetition. Herbalife's September 2006 quarterly report to the SEC describes a distributor network that is relatively easy to enter and exit, financially, by comparison with those of many other network marketing companies. The company tracks distributor retention by annually "re-qualifying" active distributors; most recently, 41.5% of distributors were still active after twelve months, up from 39.7% a year before. Company management considers the number and retention of distributors a key parameter and tracks it closely in financial reports. As of December 2008, Herbalife has 1.9 million independent distributors in 70 countries. It refers to supervisors who qualified in 69 countries under its traditional marketing plan plus China sales employees collectively as Sales Leaders.' The company had 456,858 supervisors worldwide and 48,236 sales employees in China, for a total of 505,094 sales leaders worldwide.

Herbalife's Scientific Advisory Board is chaired by David Heber, M.D. Ph.D, F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N., who is professor of medicine and public health and the founding director of the Center for Human Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at UCLA. According to a 2004 Forbes article, Dr. Heber joined the board at roughly the same time Herbalife made a $3 million donation to establish the Mark Hughes Cellular & Molecular Nutrition Laboratory at his Center for Human Nutrition, leading to criticism of Heber's actions as an inappropriate conflict of interest.

Louis J. Ignarro, Ph.D., a Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at the UCLA School of Medicine, is also a member of Herbalife's Scientific Advisory Board. Ignarro worked with Herbalife to develop Niteworks, a dietary supplement designed to boost the body's own production of nitric oxide, and later became a member of the company's Scientific Advisory Board. Ignarro endorsed this product in exchange for a royalty agreement reported to have earned his consulting firm over $1 million in the first 12 months. Ignarro also promoted Niteworks' ingredients in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, without disclosing his financial interest to the publication. After Ignarro's ties to Herbalife were revealed, the journal issued a correction to the article, citing Ignarro's undisclosed "conflict of interest". UCLA conducted its own investigation and determined that Ignarro did not act improperly as all the research was done in Italy and no research funds came from UCLA.[citation needed] Therefore, it was not legally necessary for him to disclose anything. Ignarro also stars as the primary speaker in a one-hour Herbalife promotional video for Niteworks.


[edit] Crazy Fox commercials
As of April 2008, a series of commercials featuring a large red animated fox advertising home-based business opportunities have been running on US television stations. The advertisements typically feature a series of testimonials from actors playing individuals who have made sums of money between $5,000 USD and $15,000 USD per month as a result of participating in an undescribed business program. The viewer is advised to visit a website of the format crazyfox(arbitrary number).com or (arbitrary number)crazyfox.com; all of these domains redirect to the same site at crazyfox.com. The site contains a form where the user can provide their personal information and pay a fee to receive a "success kit"; the kit is an hour-long video with no information as to how the individual will earn money. [30]


[edit] Litigation
A 2004 settlement resolved a class action suit on behalf of 8700 former and current distributors that accused the company and distributors of "essentially running a pyramid scheme."[31] A total of $6 million was to be paid out, with defendants not admitting guilt.

In a routine financial report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in mid-2006, Herbalife management identified two pending lawsuits significant enough to warrant notifiying their investors:

In a California class action suit, Minton v. Herbalife International, et al., the plaintiff is "challenging the marketing practices of certain Herbalife International independent distributors and Herbalife International under various state laws prohibiting "endless chain schemes", insufficient disclosure in assisted marketing plans, unfair and deceptive business practices, and fraud and deceit".
In a West Virginia class action suit, Mey v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al., the plaintiffs allege that some "telemarketing practices of certain Herbalife International distributors violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, and seeks to hold Herbalife International vicariously liable for the practices of these distributors. More specifically, the plaintiffs' complaint alleges that several of Herbalife International's distributors used pre-recorded telephone messages and autodialers to contact prospective customers in violation of the TCPA's prohibition of such practices".
Herbalife managements insisted they have meritorious defences in both cases and that in the West Virginia case, any such distributor actions also went against Herbalife's own policies. Management also contends that any adverse legal outcomes Herbalife might suffer would not significantly affect their financial condition, particularly since they have already set aside an amount that they "believe represents the likely outcome of the resolution of these disputes".

Mey v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $7 million into a fund for class members part of the suit.[32] Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.

Bunnpoff v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $13 million dollars to members of the class action suit. Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.

Swoboda v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $24 million dollars to members of the class action suit. Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.


[edit] Clinical studies
Three clinical studies have been completed that show the effectiveness of Formula 1.

The studies, conducted at University of California, Los Angeles; University of Ulm, Germany; and Seoul University National Hospital, Korea, showed that using Formula 1 meal replacements twice a day led to effective weight loss. Individuals in the studies who had certain weight-related conditions showed improvement in those conditions as a result of using Formula 1 shakes for weight loss.

The studies in Germany and Korea were conducted by members of Herbalife's Nutrition Advisory Board, Drs. Marion Flechtner-Mors and Belong Cho, respectively. The results of the UCLA study were published in Nutrition Journal (August 2008); while the Korea results appeared in The International Journal of Clinical Practice (February 2009). Dr. Flechtner-Mors presented in October 2008 at the annual meeting of The Obesity Society in Phoenix, Arizona and at the European Congress of Obesity in Geneva, Switzerland.


[edit] Sponsorships
Herbalife sponsors a variety of fitness and sporting events around the world. In 2009, it sponsored IndyCar Drivers Townsend Bell and E. J. Viso in the Indy 500[33]. [34] Bell took fourth place in the race[35]


[edit] Nutrition Advisory Board
Herbalife states that its Nutrition Advisory Board consists of "leading experts in the fields of nutrition and health who help educate and train our independent Distributors on the principles of nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle."[36]

David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N. Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA.[37]
Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.
Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H.
Alexey Borisov, M.D.
Joaquim Caetano, M.D.
Marco DeAngelis, M.D.
Jorge Dominguez, M.D.
Marion Flechtner-Mors, Ph.D.
Julian Alvarez Garcia, M.D.
Lazlo Halmy, M.D., Ph.D., DMSci
Shih-Yi Huang, Ph.D.
Linong Ji, M.D.
Patricio Kenny, M.D.
Rocio Medina, M.D.
Anoop Misra, M.D.
Alla Pogozheva, M.D.
Ralph Rogers, M.D.
Nikolaos Sitaras, M.D.
Jean de la Tullaye, M.D.
Nataniel Viuniski, M.D.
Yoshio Yoshimoto, M.D.

[edit] See also
Direct selling
Multi-level marketing

[edit] References
^ Herbalife 2008 Annual Report
^ Aegon in Missouri Provokes Regulators Finding Sales Deceptions By Seth Lubove (2008/5/28) Bloomberg.com
^ a b c "Nobel Prize Winner Didn't Disclose Herbalife Contract" Bloomberg News report
^ Herbalife acquisition completed. (Industry News).(Whitney and Co. and Golden Gate Capital acquire Herbalife International)(Brief Article) | Nutraceuticals World | Find Article...
^ Ethical flap forces exit of president: Herbalife executive Probert credited with company's growth.(HEALTH CARE)(Gregory Probert) | Article from Los Angeles Business Journal | ...
^ Herbalife calls buyout bids too low
^ About Herbalife: Herbalife
^ SEC Filing Form 10-K, annual report 2006 Herbalife
^ Herbalife Ltd. (2005-03-14), "Form 10-K", United States Securities and Exchange Commission: page 15, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1180262/000104746905006359/a2153305z10-k.htm#05WLA1071_1
^ Evans, D. (2002-04-11). "Herbalife, Other Ephedra Marketers Face Soaring Insurance Rates". Bloomberg L.P..
^ "Sales of Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids (Ephedra) Prohibited". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/ephedra/february2004/.
^ Association between consumption of Herbalife nutritional supplements and acute hepatotoxicity.
^ Herbal does not mean innocuous: ten cases of severe hepatotoxicity associated with dietary supplements from Herbalife products.
^ Spanish Ministry of Health issues precaution on Herbalife brand
^ Herbalife Responds to Spain's Ministry of Health Alert
^ Herbalife lead levels draw attention - Regulation - NutraIngredientsUSA - Food, Beverage & Nutrition - Publications - Decision News Media
^ Second, FDA Registered, Independent Lab affirms Higher Lead Levels in Herbalife Product, reports Fraud Discovery Institute, Children's Herbalife Products contain Materially Excessive Lead Levels affirmed in New Lab Results, Expert reports to Fraud Discovery Institute, New Tests reveal 904 Percent More Lead in Herbalife, NuSkin Nutritional Shakes than Competitors, reports Fraud Discovery Institute
^ a b c Los Angeles Business Journal Online - business news and information for Los Angeles California
^ a b Herbalife rebuffs lead allegations
^ ref.doc
^ UPDATE 1-Herbalife rebuts lead claims, says no safety issues | Markets | Markets News | Reuters
^ FOXNews.com - Group Says 6 Dietary Supplements Contain Dangerous Levels of Lead - Health News | Current Health News | Medical News
^ Herbalife Tangles with Prop 65, Testing Company
^ More lead testing confirms product safety, says Herbalife - Industry - NutraIngredientsUSA - Food, Beverage & Nutrition - Publications - Decision News Media
^ Herbalife Sued for Negligence and Fraud by Victim
^ http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/200806171030PR_NEWS_USPR_____AQTU079.htm
^ http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINBNG1688320080822?rpc=44
^ "Herbalife Sets More Layoffs". The New York Times. 1985-05-30. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405E2D91739F933A05756C0A963948260.
^ Statement from Nordic Herbalife Director denying toxicity of Herbalife products, pyramid marketing scheme
^ Work At Home: The Real Deal - NewsChannel 9 WSYR
^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m5072/is_25_26/ai_n6100846
^ HERBALIFE LTD. - HLF Annual Report (10-K) Item 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
^ http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009905170404
^ http://www.hvmracing.com
^ http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-indy-notes25-2009may25,0,4127594.story
^ Advisory Boards - Science: Herbalife
^ http://research.mednet.ucla.edu/institution/personnel?personnel_id=8464
Notes
"Nutritional Supplement Seller Feeling Much More Fit These Days". Investor's Business Daily. http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=7&issue=20060616. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
"NYSE Group, Inc. Herbalife Ltd". NYSE Group, Inc. http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/hlf.html. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
"Sales of Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids (Ephedra) Prohibited". Food and Drug Administration Home Page. http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/ephedra/february2004/. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
Herbalife (2006-01-09). AEG and Herbalife Announce Amgen Tour of California Sponsorship; Agreement Extends Herbalife Partnership as the Official Nutrition Company for Professional Bicycle Race. Press release. http://ir.herbalife.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=183568&PrevSect=PR. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
Gunn, Eileen (February 27, 2006). "Racing to the top? Try the triathlon". U.S. News & World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060227/27eetriathlon.htm. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.

[edit] External links
Official website
Herbalife Family Foundations site
Company profile by MarketWatch
Herbalife Ltd.'s financial reports - Corporate disclosure and financial reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington Post article "Nitric Oxide Now -- Ask Me How: Some Find Nobel Laureate's Alliance With Supplement Marketer Hard to Swallow", Washington Post, October 7, 2003
Slate.com article "Make money now, ask me how! :Was Herbalife founder Mark Hughes a showy swindler or a dot-com deity?"
Brain, Child article "Seller Beware", Brain, Child, Summer 2008
Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) company's profile - Yahoo Finance
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbalife"
Categories: Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange | Multi-level marketing | Companies based in Los Angeles, California | Companies established in 1980 | Nutrition
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Respond to this report!
What's this?

#20 Consumer Suggestion

Before I became a victim of your scam my intelligence and research protected me.

AUTHOR: Daniel - (U.S.A.)

Unless you can give me your bank account statements from a verifiable banking institution any statement that you will make copies of your checks and mail them out is BS. I can go to Office Max and purchase a computer program and write checks that look real. So tell that BS to the Marines. Henry in South Carolina almost had m believing you and Premier Team International were true work from home offers. However, after learning what you state you sell it turns out to be total BS lies. Herblife products are highly dangerous. I now offer everyone else the rst of the story LADY! I hope to GOD you don't lose anymore children. Read and learn.

Herbalife
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Herbalife, Ltd.
Type Public (NYSE: HLF)
Founded Los Angeles, CA (1980)
Headquarters Los Angeles, CA
Key people Michael O. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer

Brett R. Chapman, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Richard P. Goudis, Chief Financial Officer


Y. Steve Henig, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer

Industry Nutrition & Skin Care products
Products Weight management, nutritional supplements, personal care
Revenue USD$2.4billion (2008)[1]
Website www.herbalife.com [1]
Herbalife International (NYSE: HLF), founded in 1980, is a company that sells weight-loss, nutrition and skin-care products by multi-level marketing[2], also known as network marketing. It has been the subject of controversy and lawsuits.

Contents [hide]
1 Company history
2 Product overview
2.1 Health Concerns
3 Business methods and controversy
3.1 Crazy Fox commercials
3.2 Litigation
4 Clinical studies
5 Sponsorships
6 Nutrition Advisory Board
7 See also
8 References
9 External links



[edit] Company history
In February 1980, Mark Hughes began selling the original Herbalife weight loss product from the trunk of his car. Hughes often stated that the genesis of his product and program stemmed from the weight loss concerns of his mother, whose death he attributed to an eating disorder and an unhealthy approach to weight loss. The company's slogan -- "Lose weight now. Ask me how?" became a burgeoning call sign for its distributors, who often wore buttons or otherwise adorned their vehicles with the slogan, or posted signs and distributed flyers with the slogan, and a distributor's telephone number. Adopting the multi-level marketing system for distribution and growth, the company attracted thousands of would-be entrepreneurs who sold its products on a door-to-door or word-of-mouth campaign, shunning mainstream commercial distribution in commercial stores. The company promised riches to distributors who remained loyal to its selling and dietary proselytizing. Early efforts to bring in distributors involved conventions, where Hughes would give a keynote address, preceded by testimonials from persons claiming to have realized significant health improvements for significant maladies after embarking on the Herbalife program.

By 1982, Herbalife had reached $2,000,000 in sales and opened a distributorship in Canada, its first outside of the United States. In 1985, the California Attorney General sued the company for allegedly making false claims about the efficacy of its products. The company settled the suit the following year for $850,000 without admitting wrongdoing.[3] In 1986 Herbalife became a publicly traded company via NASDAQ. Independent distributors' personal vehicles could be seen on the street, decorated by decals bearing the mysterious slogan "Make money now, ask me how!". In 1994 Mark Hughes started the Herbalife Family Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping children. The organization receives donations from Herbalife itself as well as individuals within and outside the company. The Herbalife Family Foundation has donated more than $6.5 million to children's causes worldwide. In 1996 Herbalife reached $1,000,000,000 in annual sales.

In 2000, Hughes died at the age of 44 from a drug overdose. The company has continued to grow after his death.

In 2002, Whitney and Co. LLC and Golden Gate Capital acquired Herbalife for $685 million and took the company private.[4]

In April 2003, Michael O. Johnson joined Herbalife as CEO following a 17-year career with The Walt Disney Company, most recently as president of Walt Disney International.[3] On December 16, 2004, the company had an initial public offering on the NYSE of 14,500,000 common shares at $14/share. 2004 net sales were reported as $1.3 billion. In April 2005, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary with a four-day event attended by 35,000 Herbalife Independent Distributors from around the world. In August 2005, Dr. Steve Henig joined the company as Chief Scientific Officer, responsible for product research and development. In 2008, President and COO Greg Probert resigned after it was reported that he had not completed the degree requirements for the MBA he claimed on his resume.[5]

Herbalife Ltd is incorporated in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in Los Angeles, California[6] and employs 3500 worldwide. Products are distributed worldwide through a network that Herbalife claims contains 1.9 million independent distributors in 70 countries.[7]

Herbalife spends less than $2 million per year on research and development.[3]


[edit] Product overview
Herbalife's product offering includes weight-management products such as Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, a soy-based meal-replacement shake and one of the first products introduced by the company. Other categories include targeted nutrition such as heart health, energy and fitness, and skin care.

Proponents claim that the Herbalife strategy is aligned with health industry recommendations for safe weight control, eating a balanced diet, low-energy food with regular exercises, and that their nutritional and weight management line of products facilitate this through macronutrient and micronutrient food formulas.


Herbalife provides testimonials from health professionals as part of their marketing campaign. Some of the products are vegetarian, some are even kosher or halal.

In its annual report (SEC Form 10-K) Herbalife declares that all of its products are manufactured by outside companies, except for a small amount of products manufactured in its own manufacturing facility in China. The major suppliers include NBTY (Nature's Bounty), Fine Foods (Italy), PharmaChem Labs and JB Labs which together account for more than 40% of its product purchases in 2006. [8] In addition Herbalife declared in its annual report 2005 that the Company's research and development is primarily performed by outside consultants and that 2005 Herbalife had not incurred any material R&D costs.


[edit] Health Concerns
Some of the original Herbalife weight loss products contained the active ingredient Ma Huang or Sida cordifolia, two herbs containing ephedrine alkaloids. Adverse reactions involving the company's Thermojetics original green tablets were recorded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Herbalife subsequently stopped using ephedrine in its products in the face of rising insurance premiums.[9][10] The U.S. FDA banned supplements containing ephedra in 2004.[11]

Scientific studies in 2007 by doctors at the University Hospital of Bern in Switzerland and the Liver Unit of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel found an association between consumption of Herbalife products and hepatitis.[12][13] In response, the Spanish Ministry of Health issued an alert asking for caution in consuming Herbalife products.[14] Herbalife has stated they are cooperating fully with Spanish authorities.[15]

The Fraud Discovery Institute has reported that laboratory test results of Herbalife products show lead levels in excess of limits established by law in Herbalife's home state of California under Proposition 65.[16][17] Barry Minkow founded the Fraud Discovery Institute after serving a jail term for stock fraud.[18] He has disclosed that since the beginning of his group's investigation he has begun shorting Herbalife stocks to the tune of $50,000 to fund it.[19][20][21] Proposition 65 requires notification of consumers where a product "contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." Herbalife has responded, stating that its products meet federal FDA requirements.[22][23] The company states other independent lab tests it has commissioned show that Herbalife products do not exceed the Proposition 65 limits.[19][24]

On the 10th of May 2008 a suit was filed on behalf of a woman who developed lead-related liver complaints that she claims were a reaction to a combination of Herbalife products.[18][25] The suit was filed by lawyer Christopher Grell, cofounder of the Dietary Supplement Safety Committee and an ally of Minkow.[18] On the 17th of June 2008, the suit was expanded to add distributors who had supplied the woman with the Herbalife products, with Grell launching a website to offer persons who believe they were harmed by Herbalife products the chance of redress.[26] In August 2008, Minkow retracted all accusations against Herbalife and removed any mention of the company from his Web site.[27]


[edit] Business methods and controversy
Supporters and merchants involved with Herbalife contend that it is a genuine and profitable multi-level marketing business opportunity. Critics of Herbalife contend that it is a Pyramid scheme[28] and that the company has not made enough effort to curb abuses by individual distributors. Herbalife has consistently denied such allegations and stated that its business model is fully legal.[29] Herbalife is a member of the Direct Selling Association in most countries in which it operates.

In its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), company management specifically noted problems with inappropriate business practices many years ago, their subsequent long-lasting effects and the need to avoid any repetition. Herbalife's September 2006 quarterly report to the SEC describes a distributor network that is relatively easy to enter and exit, financially, by comparison with those of many other network marketing companies. The company tracks distributor retention by annually "re-qualifying" active distributors; most recently, 41.5% of distributors were still active after twelve months, up from 39.7% a year before. Company management considers the number and retention of distributors a key parameter and tracks it closely in financial reports. As of December 2008, Herbalife has 1.9 million independent distributors in 70 countries. It refers to supervisors who qualified in 69 countries under its traditional marketing plan plus China sales employees collectively as Sales Leaders.' The company had 456,858 supervisors worldwide and 48,236 sales employees in China, for a total of 505,094 sales leaders worldwide.

Herbalife's Scientific Advisory Board is chaired by David Heber, M.D. Ph.D, F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N., who is professor of medicine and public health and the founding director of the Center for Human Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at UCLA. According to a 2004 Forbes article, Dr. Heber joined the board at roughly the same time Herbalife made a $3 million donation to establish the Mark Hughes Cellular & Molecular Nutrition Laboratory at his Center for Human Nutrition, leading to criticism of Heber's actions as an inappropriate conflict of interest.

Louis J. Ignarro, Ph.D., a Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at the UCLA School of Medicine, is also a member of Herbalife's Scientific Advisory Board. Ignarro worked with Herbalife to develop Niteworks, a dietary supplement designed to boost the body's own production of nitric oxide, and later became a member of the company's Scientific Advisory Board. Ignarro endorsed this product in exchange for a royalty agreement reported to have earned his consulting firm over $1 million in the first 12 months. Ignarro also promoted Niteworks' ingredients in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, without disclosing his financial interest to the publication. After Ignarro's ties to Herbalife were revealed, the journal issued a correction to the article, citing Ignarro's undisclosed "conflict of interest". UCLA conducted its own investigation and determined that Ignarro did not act improperly as all the research was done in Italy and no research funds came from UCLA.[citation needed] Therefore, it was not legally necessary for him to disclose anything. Ignarro also stars as the primary speaker in a one-hour Herbalife promotional video for Niteworks.


[edit] Crazy Fox commercials
As of April 2008, a series of commercials featuring a large red animated fox advertising home-based business opportunities have been running on US television stations. The advertisements typically feature a series of testimonials from actors playing individuals who have made sums of money between $5,000 USD and $15,000 USD per month as a result of participating in an undescribed business program. The viewer is advised to visit a website of the format crazyfox(arbitrary number).com or (arbitrary number)crazyfox.com; all of these domains redirect to the same site at crazyfox.com. The site contains a form where the user can provide their personal information and pay a fee to receive a "success kit"; the kit is an hour-long video with no information as to how the individual will earn money. [30]


[edit] Litigation
A 2004 settlement resolved a class action suit on behalf of 8700 former and current distributors that accused the company and distributors of "essentially running a pyramid scheme."[31] A total of $6 million was to be paid out, with defendants not admitting guilt.

In a routine financial report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in mid-2006, Herbalife management identified two pending lawsuits significant enough to warrant notifiying their investors:

In a California class action suit, Minton v. Herbalife International, et al., the plaintiff is "challenging the marketing practices of certain Herbalife International independent distributors and Herbalife International under various state laws prohibiting "endless chain schemes", insufficient disclosure in assisted marketing plans, unfair and deceptive business practices, and fraud and deceit".
In a West Virginia class action suit, Mey v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al., the plaintiffs allege that some "telemarketing practices of certain Herbalife International distributors violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, and seeks to hold Herbalife International vicariously liable for the practices of these distributors. More specifically, the plaintiffs' complaint alleges that several of Herbalife International's distributors used pre-recorded telephone messages and autodialers to contact prospective customers in violation of the TCPA's prohibition of such practices".
Herbalife managements insisted they have meritorious defences in both cases and that in the West Virginia case, any such distributor actions also went against Herbalife's own policies. Management also contends that any adverse legal outcomes Herbalife might suffer would not significantly affect their financial condition, particularly since they have already set aside an amount that they "believe represents the likely outcome of the resolution of these disputes".

Mey v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $7 million into a fund for class members part of the suit.[32] Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.

Bunnpoff v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $13 million dollars to members of the class action suit. Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.

Swoboda v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $24 million dollars to members of the class action suit. Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.


[edit] Clinical studies
Three clinical studies have been completed that show the effectiveness of Formula 1.

The studies, conducted at University of California, Los Angeles; University of Ulm, Germany; and Seoul University National Hospital, Korea, showed that using Formula 1 meal replacements twice a day led to effective weight loss. Individuals in the studies who had certain weight-related conditions showed improvement in those conditions as a result of using Formula 1 shakes for weight loss.

The studies in Germany and Korea were conducted by members of Herbalife's Nutrition Advisory Board, Drs. Marion Flechtner-Mors and Belong Cho, respectively. The results of the UCLA study were published in Nutrition Journal (August 2008); while the Korea results appeared in The International Journal of Clinical Practice (February 2009). Dr. Flechtner-Mors presented in October 2008 at the annual meeting of The Obesity Society in Phoenix, Arizona and at the European Congress of Obesity in Geneva, Switzerland.


[edit] Sponsorships
Herbalife sponsors a variety of fitness and sporting events around the world. In 2009, it sponsored IndyCar Drivers Townsend Bell and E. J. Viso in the Indy 500[33]. [34] Bell took fourth place in the race[35]


[edit] Nutrition Advisory Board
Herbalife states that its Nutrition Advisory Board consists of "leading experts in the fields of nutrition and health who help educate and train our independent Distributors on the principles of nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle."[36]

David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N. Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA.[37]
Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.
Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H.
Alexey Borisov, M.D.
Joaquim Caetano, M.D.
Marco DeAngelis, M.D.
Jorge Dominguez, M.D.
Marion Flechtner-Mors, Ph.D.
Julian Alvarez Garcia, M.D.
Lazlo Halmy, M.D., Ph.D., DMSci
Shih-Yi Huang, Ph.D.
Linong Ji, M.D.
Patricio Kenny, M.D.
Rocio Medina, M.D.
Anoop Misra, M.D.
Alla Pogozheva, M.D.
Ralph Rogers, M.D.
Nikolaos Sitaras, M.D.
Jean de la Tullaye, M.D.
Nataniel Viuniski, M.D.
Yoshio Yoshimoto, M.D.

[edit] See also
Direct selling
Multi-level marketing

[edit] References
^ Herbalife 2008 Annual Report
^ Aegon in Missouri Provokes Regulators Finding Sales Deceptions By Seth Lubove (2008/5/28) Bloomberg.com
^ a b c "Nobel Prize Winner Didn't Disclose Herbalife Contract" Bloomberg News report
^ Herbalife acquisition completed. (Industry News).(Whitney and Co. and Golden Gate Capital acquire Herbalife International)(Brief Article) | Nutraceuticals World | Find Article...
^ Ethical flap forces exit of president: Herbalife executive Probert credited with company's growth.(HEALTH CARE)(Gregory Probert) | Article from Los Angeles Business Journal | ...
^ Herbalife calls buyout bids too low
^ About Herbalife: Herbalife
^ SEC Filing Form 10-K, annual report 2006 Herbalife
^ Herbalife Ltd. (2005-03-14), "Form 10-K", United States Securities and Exchange Commission: page 15, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1180262/000104746905006359/a2153305z10-k.htm#05WLA1071_1
^ Evans, D. (2002-04-11). "Herbalife, Other Ephedra Marketers Face Soaring Insurance Rates". Bloomberg L.P..
^ "Sales of Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids (Ephedra) Prohibited". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/ephedra/february2004/.
^ Association between consumption of Herbalife nutritional supplements and acute hepatotoxicity.
^ Herbal does not mean innocuous: ten cases of severe hepatotoxicity associated with dietary supplements from Herbalife products.
^ Spanish Ministry of Health issues precaution on Herbalife brand
^ Herbalife Responds to Spain's Ministry of Health Alert
^ Herbalife lead levels draw attention - Regulation - NutraIngredientsUSA - Food, Beverage & Nutrition - Publications - Decision News Media
^ Second, FDA Registered, Independent Lab affirms Higher Lead Levels in Herbalife Product, reports Fraud Discovery Institute, Children's Herbalife Products contain Materially Excessive Lead Levels affirmed in New Lab Results, Expert reports to Fraud Discovery Institute, New Tests reveal 904 Percent More Lead in Herbalife, NuSkin Nutritional Shakes than Competitors, reports Fraud Discovery Institute
^ a b c Los Angeles Business Journal Online - business news and information for Los Angeles California
^ a b Herbalife rebuffs lead allegations
^ ref.doc
^ UPDATE 1-Herbalife rebuts lead claims, says no safety issues | Markets | Markets News | Reuters
^ FOXNews.com - Group Says 6 Dietary Supplements Contain Dangerous Levels of Lead - Health News | Current Health News | Medical News
^ Herbalife Tangles with Prop 65, Testing Company
^ More lead testing confirms product safety, says Herbalife - Industry - NutraIngredientsUSA - Food, Beverage & Nutrition - Publications - Decision News Media
^ Herbalife Sued for Negligence and Fraud by Victim
^ http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/200806171030PR_NEWS_USPR_____AQTU079.htm
^ http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINBNG1688320080822?rpc=44
^ "Herbalife Sets More Layoffs". The New York Times. 1985-05-30. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405E2D91739F933A05756C0A963948260.
^ Statement from Nordic Herbalife Director denying toxicity of Herbalife products, pyramid marketing scheme
^ Work At Home: The Real Deal - NewsChannel 9 WSYR
^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m5072/is_25_26/ai_n6100846
^ HERBALIFE LTD. - HLF Annual Report (10-K) Item 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
^ http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009905170404
^ http://www.hvmracing.com
^ http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-indy-notes25-2009may25,0,4127594.story
^ Advisory Boards - Science: Herbalife
^ http://research.mednet.ucla.edu/institution/personnel?personnel_id=8464
Notes
"Nutritional Supplement Seller Feeling Much More Fit These Days". Investor's Business Daily. http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=7&issue=20060616. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
"NYSE Group, Inc. Herbalife Ltd". NYSE Group, Inc. http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/hlf.html. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
"Sales of Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids (Ephedra) Prohibited". Food and Drug Administration Home Page. http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/ephedra/february2004/. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
Herbalife (2006-01-09). AEG and Herbalife Announce Amgen Tour of California Sponsorship; Agreement Extends Herbalife Partnership as the Official Nutrition Company for Professional Bicycle Race. Press release. http://ir.herbalife.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=183568&PrevSect=PR. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
Gunn, Eileen (February 27, 2006). "Racing to the top? Try the triathlon". U.S. News & World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060227/27eetriathlon.htm. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.

[edit] External links
Official website
Herbalife Family Foundations site
Company profile by MarketWatch
Herbalife Ltd.'s financial reports - Corporate disclosure and financial reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington Post article "Nitric Oxide Now -- Ask Me How: Some Find Nobel Laureate's Alliance With Supplement Marketer Hard to Swallow", Washington Post, October 7, 2003
Slate.com article "Make money now, ask me how! :Was Herbalife founder Mark Hughes a showy swindler or a dot-com deity?"
Brain, Child article "Seller Beware", Brain, Child, Summer 2008
Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) company's profile - Yahoo Finance
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbalife"
Categories: Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange | Multi-level marketing | Companies based in Los Angeles, California | Companies established in 1980 | Nutrition
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#21 Consumer Suggestion

Before I became a victim of your scam my intelligence and research protected me.

AUTHOR: Daniel - (U.S.A.)

Unless you can give me your bank account statements from a verifiable banking institution any statement that you will make copies of your checks and mail them out is BS. I can go to Office Max and purchase a computer program and write checks that look real. So tell that BS to the Marines. Henry in South Carolina almost had m believing you and Premier Team International were true work from home offers. However, after learning what you state you sell it turns out to be total BS lies. Herblife products are highly dangerous. I now offer everyone else the rst of the story LADY! I hope to GOD you don't lose anymore children. Read and learn.

Herbalife
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Herbalife, Ltd.
Type Public (NYSE: HLF)
Founded Los Angeles, CA (1980)
Headquarters Los Angeles, CA
Key people Michael O. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer

Brett R. Chapman, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Richard P. Goudis, Chief Financial Officer


Y. Steve Henig, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer

Industry Nutrition & Skin Care products
Products Weight management, nutritional supplements, personal care
Revenue USD$2.4billion (2008)[1]
Website www.herbalife.com [1]
Herbalife International (NYSE: HLF), founded in 1980, is a company that sells weight-loss, nutrition and skin-care products by multi-level marketing[2], also known as network marketing. It has been the subject of controversy and lawsuits.

Contents [hide]
1 Company history
2 Product overview
2.1 Health Concerns
3 Business methods and controversy
3.1 Crazy Fox commercials
3.2 Litigation
4 Clinical studies
5 Sponsorships
6 Nutrition Advisory Board
7 See also
8 References
9 External links



[edit] Company history
In February 1980, Mark Hughes began selling the original Herbalife weight loss product from the trunk of his car. Hughes often stated that the genesis of his product and program stemmed from the weight loss concerns of his mother, whose death he attributed to an eating disorder and an unhealthy approach to weight loss. The company's slogan -- "Lose weight now. Ask me how?" became a burgeoning call sign for its distributors, who often wore buttons or otherwise adorned their vehicles with the slogan, or posted signs and distributed flyers with the slogan, and a distributor's telephone number. Adopting the multi-level marketing system for distribution and growth, the company attracted thousands of would-be entrepreneurs who sold its products on a door-to-door or word-of-mouth campaign, shunning mainstream commercial distribution in commercial stores. The company promised riches to distributors who remained loyal to its selling and dietary proselytizing. Early efforts to bring in distributors involved conventions, where Hughes would give a keynote address, preceded by testimonials from persons claiming to have realized significant health improvements for significant maladies after embarking on the Herbalife program.

By 1982, Herbalife had reached $2,000,000 in sales and opened a distributorship in Canada, its first outside of the United States. In 1985, the California Attorney General sued the company for allegedly making false claims about the efficacy of its products. The company settled the suit the following year for $850,000 without admitting wrongdoing.[3] In 1986 Herbalife became a publicly traded company via NASDAQ. Independent distributors' personal vehicles could be seen on the street, decorated by decals bearing the mysterious slogan "Make money now, ask me how!". In 1994 Mark Hughes started the Herbalife Family Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping children. The organization receives donations from Herbalife itself as well as individuals within and outside the company. The Herbalife Family Foundation has donated more than $6.5 million to children's causes worldwide. In 1996 Herbalife reached $1,000,000,000 in annual sales.

In 2000, Hughes died at the age of 44 from a drug overdose. The company has continued to grow after his death.

In 2002, Whitney and Co. LLC and Golden Gate Capital acquired Herbalife for $685 million and took the company private.[4]

In April 2003, Michael O. Johnson joined Herbalife as CEO following a 17-year career with The Walt Disney Company, most recently as president of Walt Disney International.[3] On December 16, 2004, the company had an initial public offering on the NYSE of 14,500,000 common shares at $14/share. 2004 net sales were reported as $1.3 billion. In April 2005, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary with a four-day event attended by 35,000 Herbalife Independent Distributors from around the world. In August 2005, Dr. Steve Henig joined the company as Chief Scientific Officer, responsible for product research and development. In 2008, President and COO Greg Probert resigned after it was reported that he had not completed the degree requirements for the MBA he claimed on his resume.[5]

Herbalife Ltd is incorporated in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in Los Angeles, California[6] and employs 3500 worldwide. Products are distributed worldwide through a network that Herbalife claims contains 1.9 million independent distributors in 70 countries.[7]

Herbalife spends less than $2 million per year on research and development.[3]


[edit] Product overview
Herbalife's product offering includes weight-management products such as Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, a soy-based meal-replacement shake and one of the first products introduced by the company. Other categories include targeted nutrition such as heart health, energy and fitness, and skin care.

Proponents claim that the Herbalife strategy is aligned with health industry recommendations for safe weight control, eating a balanced diet, low-energy food with regular exercises, and that their nutritional and weight management line of products facilitate this through macronutrient and micronutrient food formulas.


Herbalife provides testimonials from health professionals as part of their marketing campaign. Some of the products are vegetarian, some are even kosher or halal.

In its annual report (SEC Form 10-K) Herbalife declares that all of its products are manufactured by outside companies, except for a small amount of products manufactured in its own manufacturing facility in China. The major suppliers include NBTY (Nature's Bounty), Fine Foods (Italy), PharmaChem Labs and JB Labs which together account for more than 40% of its product purchases in 2006. [8] In addition Herbalife declared in its annual report 2005 that the Company's research and development is primarily performed by outside consultants and that 2005 Herbalife had not incurred any material R&D costs.


[edit] Health Concerns
Some of the original Herbalife weight loss products contained the active ingredient Ma Huang or Sida cordifolia, two herbs containing ephedrine alkaloids. Adverse reactions involving the company's Thermojetics original green tablets were recorded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Herbalife subsequently stopped using ephedrine in its products in the face of rising insurance premiums.[9][10] The U.S. FDA banned supplements containing ephedra in 2004.[11]

Scientific studies in 2007 by doctors at the University Hospital of Bern in Switzerland and the Liver Unit of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel found an association between consumption of Herbalife products and hepatitis.[12][13] In response, the Spanish Ministry of Health issued an alert asking for caution in consuming Herbalife products.[14] Herbalife has stated they are cooperating fully with Spanish authorities.[15]

The Fraud Discovery Institute has reported that laboratory test results of Herbalife products show lead levels in excess of limits established by law in Herbalife's home state of California under Proposition 65.[16][17] Barry Minkow founded the Fraud Discovery Institute after serving a jail term for stock fraud.[18] He has disclosed that since the beginning of his group's investigation he has begun shorting Herbalife stocks to the tune of $50,000 to fund it.[19][20][21] Proposition 65 requires notification of consumers where a product "contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." Herbalife has responded, stating that its products meet federal FDA requirements.[22][23] The company states other independent lab tests it has commissioned show that Herbalife products do not exceed the Proposition 65 limits.[19][24]

On the 10th of May 2008 a suit was filed on behalf of a woman who developed lead-related liver complaints that she claims were a reaction to a combination of Herbalife products.[18][25] The suit was filed by lawyer Christopher Grell, cofounder of the Dietary Supplement Safety Committee and an ally of Minkow.[18] On the 17th of June 2008, the suit was expanded to add distributors who had supplied the woman with the Herbalife products, with Grell launching a website to offer persons who believe they were harmed by Herbalife products the chance of redress.[26] In August 2008, Minkow retracted all accusations against Herbalife and removed any mention of the company from his Web site.[27]


[edit] Business methods and controversy
Supporters and merchants involved with Herbalife contend that it is a genuine and profitable multi-level marketing business opportunity. Critics of Herbalife contend that it is a Pyramid scheme[28] and that the company has not made enough effort to curb abuses by individual distributors. Herbalife has consistently denied such allegations and stated that its business model is fully legal.[29] Herbalife is a member of the Direct Selling Association in most countries in which it operates.

In its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), company management specifically noted problems with inappropriate business practices many years ago, their subsequent long-lasting effects and the need to avoid any repetition. Herbalife's September 2006 quarterly report to the SEC describes a distributor network that is relatively easy to enter and exit, financially, by comparison with those of many other network marketing companies. The company tracks distributor retention by annually "re-qualifying" active distributors; most recently, 41.5% of distributors were still active after twelve months, up from 39.7% a year before. Company management considers the number and retention of distributors a key parameter and tracks it closely in financial reports. As of December 2008, Herbalife has 1.9 million independent distributors in 70 countries. It refers to supervisors who qualified in 69 countries under its traditional marketing plan plus China sales employees collectively as Sales Leaders.' The company had 456,858 supervisors worldwide and 48,236 sales employees in China, for a total of 505,094 sales leaders worldwide.

Herbalife's Scientific Advisory Board is chaired by David Heber, M.D. Ph.D, F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N., who is professor of medicine and public health and the founding director of the Center for Human Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at UCLA. According to a 2004 Forbes article, Dr. Heber joined the board at roughly the same time Herbalife made a $3 million donation to establish the Mark Hughes Cellular & Molecular Nutrition Laboratory at his Center for Human Nutrition, leading to criticism of Heber's actions as an inappropriate conflict of interest.

Louis J. Ignarro, Ph.D., a Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at the UCLA School of Medicine, is also a member of Herbalife's Scientific Advisory Board. Ignarro worked with Herbalife to develop Niteworks, a dietary supplement designed to boost the body's own production of nitric oxide, and later became a member of the company's Scientific Advisory Board. Ignarro endorsed this product in exchange for a royalty agreement reported to have earned his consulting firm over $1 million in the first 12 months. Ignarro also promoted Niteworks' ingredients in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, without disclosing his financial interest to the publication. After Ignarro's ties to Herbalife were revealed, the journal issued a correction to the article, citing Ignarro's undisclosed "conflict of interest". UCLA conducted its own investigation and determined that Ignarro did not act improperly as all the research was done in Italy and no research funds came from UCLA.[citation needed] Therefore, it was not legally necessary for him to disclose anything. Ignarro also stars as the primary speaker in a one-hour Herbalife promotional video for Niteworks.


[edit] Crazy Fox commercials
As of April 2008, a series of commercials featuring a large red animated fox advertising home-based business opportunities have been running on US television stations. The advertisements typically feature a series of testimonials from actors playing individuals who have made sums of money between $5,000 USD and $15,000 USD per month as a result of participating in an undescribed business program. The viewer is advised to visit a website of the format crazyfox(arbitrary number).com or (arbitrary number)crazyfox.com; all of these domains redirect to the same site at crazyfox.com. The site contains a form where the user can provide their personal information and pay a fee to receive a "success kit"; the kit is an hour-long video with no information as to how the individual will earn money. [30]


[edit] Litigation
A 2004 settlement resolved a class action suit on behalf of 8700 former and current distributors that accused the company and distributors of "essentially running a pyramid scheme."[31] A total of $6 million was to be paid out, with defendants not admitting guilt.

In a routine financial report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in mid-2006, Herbalife management identified two pending lawsuits significant enough to warrant notifiying their investors:

In a California class action suit, Minton v. Herbalife International, et al., the plaintiff is "challenging the marketing practices of certain Herbalife International independent distributors and Herbalife International under various state laws prohibiting "endless chain schemes", insufficient disclosure in assisted marketing plans, unfair and deceptive business practices, and fraud and deceit".
In a West Virginia class action suit, Mey v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al., the plaintiffs allege that some "telemarketing practices of certain Herbalife International distributors violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, and seeks to hold Herbalife International vicariously liable for the practices of these distributors. More specifically, the plaintiffs' complaint alleges that several of Herbalife International's distributors used pre-recorded telephone messages and autodialers to contact prospective customers in violation of the TCPA's prohibition of such practices".
Herbalife managements insisted they have meritorious defences in both cases and that in the West Virginia case, any such distributor actions also went against Herbalife's own policies. Management also contends that any adverse legal outcomes Herbalife might suffer would not significantly affect their financial condition, particularly since they have already set aside an amount that they "believe represents the likely outcome of the resolution of these disputes".

Mey v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $7 million into a fund for class members part of the suit.[32] Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.

Bunnpoff v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $13 million dollars to members of the class action suit. Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.

Swoboda v. Herbalife International, Inc., et al. was resolved with Herbalife and its distributors paying $24 million dollars to members of the class action suit. Herbalife International did not acknowledge wrongdoing, or admit culpability for the actions of its distributors.


[edit] Clinical studies
Three clinical studies have been completed that show the effectiveness of Formula 1.

The studies, conducted at University of California, Los Angeles; University of Ulm, Germany; and Seoul University National Hospital, Korea, showed that using Formula 1 meal replacements twice a day led to effective weight loss. Individuals in the studies who had certain weight-related conditions showed improvement in those conditions as a result of using Formula 1 shakes for weight loss.

The studies in Germany and Korea were conducted by members of Herbalife's Nutrition Advisory Board, Drs. Marion Flechtner-Mors and Belong Cho, respectively. The results of the UCLA study were published in Nutrition Journal (August 2008); while the Korea results appeared in The International Journal of Clinical Practice (February 2009). Dr. Flechtner-Mors presented in October 2008 at the annual meeting of The Obesity Society in Phoenix, Arizona and at the European Congress of Obesity in Geneva, Switzerland.


[edit] Sponsorships
Herbalife sponsors a variety of fitness and sporting events around the world. In 2009, it sponsored IndyCar Drivers Townsend Bell and E. J. Viso in the Indy 500[33]. [34] Bell took fourth place in the race[35]


[edit] Nutrition Advisory Board
Herbalife states that its Nutrition Advisory Board consists of "leading experts in the fields of nutrition and health who help educate and train our independent Distributors on the principles of nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle."[36]

David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N. Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA.[37]
Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.
Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H.
Alexey Borisov, M.D.
Joaquim Caetano, M.D.
Marco DeAngelis, M.D.
Jorge Dominguez, M.D.
Marion Flechtner-Mors, Ph.D.
Julian Alvarez Garcia, M.D.
Lazlo Halmy, M.D., Ph.D., DMSci
Shih-Yi Huang, Ph.D.
Linong Ji, M.D.
Patricio Kenny, M.D.
Rocio Medina, M.D.
Anoop Misra, M.D.
Alla Pogozheva, M.D.
Ralph Rogers, M.D.
Nikolaos Sitaras, M.D.
Jean de la Tullaye, M.D.
Nataniel Viuniski, M.D.
Yoshio Yoshimoto, M.D.

[edit] See also
Direct selling
Multi-level marketing

[edit] References
^ Herbalife 2008 Annual Report
^ Aegon in Missouri Provokes Regulators Finding Sales Deceptions By Seth Lubove (2008/5/28) Bloomberg.com
^ a b c "Nobel Prize Winner Didn't Disclose Herbalife Contract" Bloomberg News report
^ Herbalife acquisition completed. (Industry News).(Whitney and Co. and Golden Gate Capital acquire Herbalife International)(Brief Article) | Nutraceuticals World | Find Article...
^ Ethical flap forces exit of president: Herbalife executive Probert credited with company's growth.(HEALTH CARE)(Gregory Probert) | Article from Los Angeles Business Journal | ...
^ Herbalife calls buyout bids too low
^ About Herbalife: Herbalife
^ SEC Filing Form 10-K, annual report 2006 Herbalife
^ Herbalife Ltd. (2005-03-14), "Form 10-K", United States Securities and Exchange Commission: page 15, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1180262/000104746905006359/a2153305z10-k.htm#05WLA1071_1
^ Evans, D. (2002-04-11). "Herbalife, Other Ephedra Marketers Face Soaring Insurance Rates". Bloomberg L.P..
^ "Sales of Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids (Ephedra) Prohibited". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/ephedra/february2004/.
^ Association between consumption of Herbalife nutritional supplements and acute hepatotoxicity.
^ Herbal does not mean innocuous: ten cases of severe hepatotoxicity associated with dietary supplements from Herbalife products.
^ Spanish Ministry of Health issues precaution on Herbalife brand
^ Herbalife Responds to Spain's Ministry of Health Alert
^ Herbalife lead levels draw attention - Regulation - NutraIngredientsUSA - Food, Beverage & Nutrition - Publications - Decision News Media
^ Second, FDA Registered, Independent Lab affirms Higher Lead Levels in Herbalife Product, reports Fraud Discovery Institute, Children's Herbalife Products contain Materially Excessive Lead Levels affirmed in New Lab Results, Expert reports to Fraud Discovery Institute, New Tests reveal 904 Percent More Lead in Herbalife, NuSkin Nutritional Shakes than Competitors, reports Fraud Discovery Institute
^ a b c Los Angeles Business Journal Online - business news and information for Los Angeles California
^ a b Herbalife rebuffs lead allegations
^ ref.doc
^ UPDATE 1-Herbalife rebuts lead claims, says no safety issues | Markets | Markets News | Reuters
^ FOXNews.com - Group Says 6 Dietary Supplements Contain Dangerous Levels of Lead - Health News | Current Health News | Medical News
^ Herbalife Tangles with Prop 65, Testing Company
^ More lead testing confirms product safety, says Herbalife - Industry - NutraIngredientsUSA - Food, Beverage & Nutrition - Publications - Decision News Media
^ Herbalife Sued for Negligence and Fraud by Victim
^ http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/200806171030PR_NEWS_USPR_____AQTU079.htm
^ http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINBNG1688320080822?rpc=44
^ "Herbalife Sets More Layoffs". The New York Times. 1985-05-30. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405E2D91739F933A05756C0A963948260.
^ Statement from Nordic Herbalife Director denying toxicity of Herbalife products, pyramid marketing scheme
^ Work At Home: The Real Deal - NewsChannel 9 WSYR
^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m5072/is_25_26/ai_n6100846
^ HERBALIFE LTD. - HLF Annual Report (10-K) Item 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
^ http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009905170404
^ http://www.hvmracing.com
^ http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-indy-notes25-2009may25,0,4127594.story
^ Advisory Boards - Science: Herbalife
^ http://research.mednet.ucla.edu/institution/personnel?personnel_id=8464
Notes
"Nutritional Supplement Seller Feeling Much More Fit These Days". Investor's Business Daily. http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=7&issue=20060616. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
"NYSE Group, Inc. Herbalife Ltd". NYSE Group, Inc. http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/hlf.html. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
"Sales of Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids (Ephedra) Prohibited". Food and Drug Administration Home Page. http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/ephedra/february2004/. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
Herbalife (2006-01-09). AEG and Herbalife Announce Amgen Tour of California Sponsorship; Agreement Extends Herbalife Partnership as the Official Nutrition Company for Professional Bicycle Race. Press release. http://ir.herbalife.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=183568&PrevSect=PR. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.
Gunn, Eileen (February 27, 2006). "Racing to the top? Try the triathlon". U.S. News & World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060227/27eetriathlon.htm. Retrieved on 2006-03-14.

[edit] External links
Official website
Herbalife Family Foundations site
Company profile by MarketWatch
Herbalife Ltd.'s financial reports - Corporate disclosure and financial reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington Post article "Nitric Oxide Now -- Ask Me How: Some Find Nobel Laureate's Alliance With Supplement Marketer Hard to Swallow", Washington Post, October 7, 2003
Slate.com article "Make money now, ask me how! :Was Herbalife founder Mark Hughes a showy swindler or a dot-com deity?"
Brain, Child article "Seller Beware", Brain, Child, Summer 2008
Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) company's profile - Yahoo Finance
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbalife"
Categories: Companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange | Multi-level marketing | Companies based in Los Angeles, California | Companies established in 1980 | Nutrition
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#22 UPDATE Employee

In Response to your Post

AUTHOR: Leading Income - (U.S.A.)

Obviously you have spent a great deal of time with your research even though finding an IP Address or WHO IS info is cake. That's nothing new.

You are obviously doing whatever you can to personally discredit me as well as PTI and Herbalife.

If you spent your time more wisely you would be making money and not looking for a computer job...

BTW, I haven't fudged the #'s. Send me your address and I'll make copies of my paychecks and mail them to you.

I wish you luck with your job search. Hopefully you'll find something that keeps you productive and making some money.
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#23 UPDATE Employee

In Response to your Post

AUTHOR: Leading Income - (U.S.A.)

Obviously you have spent a great deal of time with your research even though finding an IP Address or WHO IS info is cake. That's nothing new.

You are obviously doing whatever you can to personally discredit me as well as PTI and Herbalife.

If you spent your time more wisely you would be making money and not looking for a computer job...

BTW, I haven't fudged the #'s. Send me your address and I'll make copies of my paychecks and mail them to you.

I wish you luck with your job search. Hopefully you'll find something that keeps you productive and making some money.
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#24 UPDATE Employee

In Response to your Post

AUTHOR: Leading Income - (U.S.A.)

Obviously you have spent a great deal of time with your research even though finding an IP Address or WHO IS info is cake. That's nothing new.

You are obviously doing whatever you can to personally discredit me as well as PTI and Herbalife.

If you spent your time more wisely you would be making money and not looking for a computer job...

BTW, I haven't fudged the #'s. Send me your address and I'll make copies of my paychecks and mail them to you.

I wish you luck with your job search. Hopefully you'll find something that keeps you productive and making some money.
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#25 UPDATE Employee

In Response to your Post

AUTHOR: Leading Income - (U.S.A.)

Obviously you have spent a great deal of time with your research even though finding an IP Address or WHO IS info is cake. That's nothing new.

You are obviously doing whatever you can to personally discredit me as well as PTI and Herbalife.

If you spent your time more wisely you would be making money and not looking for a computer job...

BTW, I haven't fudged the #'s. Send me your address and I'll make copies of my paychecks and mail them to you.

I wish you luck with your job search. Hopefully you'll find something that keeps you productive and making some money.
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#26 Consumer Comment

Obviously you didn't read as to why this was reported

AUTHOR: Josh - (U.S.A.)

I'm glad the system works for you (although I am sure you're fudging your numbers a bit in order to make it seem like you have a valid reason for rebutting in the first place), but that isn't why this report was filed. Its the deceptive recruitment processes that caused this consumer to file the report. She responded to an ad for computer work. Not for nothing, but this is as far from computer work as it gets.

Sure, you send emails, coordinate your business, setup web sites, and track the progress of your potential distributors' application process via an internet-connected computer, but that does not equate computer work.

I also almost fell for one of these scams as I was looking for some side work and saw a yellow sign stating "Computer Work PT/FT $25-$75/hr" and I immediately assumed it was anything from independent PC repair to HTML programming. Calling the number gave me a voice recording directing me to a web site that was severely vague on details (nothing but testimonials and all about being my own boss...hardly computer-related information) and just had a form to fill out and a credit card processing page. I knew right away this was some MLM BS, but I was curious as to which company was behind this stream of lies. Primerica Financial usually sticks to careerbuilder.com for their phony claims of "financial independence", and Amway actually brands their literature, so I knew this had to be something different.

So I did my cyber-sleuthing...basically I obtained the IP address for the web site and ran a WHOIS query and found out it was a site setup by PTI on behalf of Herbalife. Nice. I am not here to slam the efforts of the company to recruit (because that's not what I take offense to in this case). Its the blatant disregard for which this original report was filed in the first place. I know you're wanting to paint your business in a good light and you're obviously doing what you've been told to do (I have family that have been involved in MLM's before and they were specifically instructed by their "sponsors"/"upstream partners" to visit this site and offer "blind" rebuttals on any and all reports involving their company's name), but this has nothing to do with the product, it has all to do with the recruitment process, which is deceptive and untrustworthy.

Oh, and to offer a rebuttal on a report over 3-years old and to scold the reporter as if this was an active complaint is just short-sighted and sad.
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#27 UPDATE Employee

PTI

AUTHOR: Leading Income - (U.S.A.)

You are clearly some one who is very negative and posting lies. I do not own nor am I employed by PTI. However, I use the system on a daily basis and I help people on a daily basis.

Just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work for others. Find something more constructive to do with your time you'll be able to enjoy a better life.
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#28 Consumer Comment

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AUTHOR: Cre8ive1970 - (U.S.A.)

"I have been using the Premier Team International work from home program for over 5 months now. I made approx $2600 my first month in the business. Last month I profited $6800!"

This is just more advertising from PTI. Their system is a lie. At every point along their so called 'training' program, you are expected to pony up more cash.

"It does work and it works well if you are willing to work! For people like you that expect money to just fall in their laps, well that isn't reality and that's not how this planet works!"

It only works if you are prepared to lie about what the products can achieve and what your personal experience happens to have been.

"I have personally met hundreds of people that consistently make over $5000 a month using this system. My in laws make over $100,000 per month and my 72 year old grandmother makes over $40,000 per month."

More BS marketing from some-one who is obviously hired to scan the internet for any bad PR.

"The people that say it's a scam are people that aren't willing to work and expect money to just rain on them."

No, the people who say it is a scam are the people who have been scammed by the 'system' and are willing to inform others about the scam. I personally worked my ass off for two months and invested $4000 in an attempt to make it work. I was not able to sell one unit of the product despite following the so called 'proven system' to the letter. The only way anyone is going to make money from this system is to con other people into believing it will work. This is not about selling a product, it is about convincing desperate people that a product can be sold. It is an absolute scam, unless you have no scruples, no soul and are willing to lie through your teeth in order to make some money. You can't make any money selling the product because the product doesn't sell. The only way you can make money doing this is to recruit others to try and sell a product that doesn't sell. I still have $3000 worth of product in my basement tha no body is interested in buying. I can't even get my money back, let alone make a profit. But, then again, I'm not willing to lie to people to get them to buy the product nor am I willing to lie to people to convince them that this is a 'business' worth investing in.

The trick with this 'business': those who recruit you make money off of what you buy to sell on. They make money off of what you sell on. The incentive of the recruiters is that if they can con you into spending money, they make half of what you spend, whether or not you make any money.
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#29 UPDATE Employee

In Response to your Post

AUTHOR: Leading Income - (U.S.A.)

I have been using the Premier Team International work from home program for over 5 months now. I made approx $2600 my first month in the business. Last month I profited $6800!

It does work and it works well if you are willing to work! For people like you that expect money to just fall in their laps, well that isn't reality and that's not how this planet works!

I have personally met hundreds of people that consistently make over $5000 a month using this system. My in laws make over $100,000 per month and my 72 year old grandmother makes over $40,000 per month.

The people that say it's a scam are people that aren't willing to work and expect money to just rain on them.
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