Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

The Great Vitamin Scam: How Orrin Hatch Hijacked Your Health


Buying the right politician can do more for a brand than any amount of marketing.

"We're going through a revolution in food," Thomas Pirko, president of Bevmark consulting, whose clients include Coke (KO), Kraft (KFT), and Nestlé, told Forbes. "It's a whole new consciousness -- every product has to be adding to your health or preventing you from getting sick." If you find the perfect additive, he said, "you get rich."

Lynda Resnick, who, with her husband Stewart, owns Pomegranate juice producers POM Wonderful, believe their product "adds to peoples' health" and "prevents them from getting sick."

In 2005, Lynda said, "Two years ago, nobody in America knew what a pomegranate was. Now, we're in Walmart (WMT) for God's sake, we're in Costco (COST), we're in 7-Eleven. I want POM Wonderful to be within arm's reach of everyone who wants it. That is the biggest service I can do."

The Federal Trade Commission disagrees.

A few weeks ago, the FTC issued an administrative complaint charging the Resnicks with "making false and unsubstantiated claims that their products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction."

As it turns out, POM hasn't been proven to do any of these things, which the Resnicks -- who also own Fiji Water -- of course, dispute.

Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, founder and president of the American Council on Science and Health, tells Minyanville that the makers of products like POM have been exploiting loopholes available to the health food industry that the mainstream food industry does not enjoy.

"What's we're seeing here is really a double standard," she says. "They are basically immune from FDA action because of the special protection given to supplements [and functional foods], which exist in a special non-food, non-drug space. If you can get people to view food as medicine, you've got a willing, vulnerable audience. Did you ever wonder why so much of the nutritional supplement industry is based in Utah? You can trace much of it back to Senator Orrin Hatch."

Utah? Orrin Hatch? Huh?

"He is by far our greatest advocate", says Loren Israelson, executive director of the Utah Natural Products Alliance (now called the United Natural Products Alliance), which is an association of dietary supplement and functional food companies that form an alliance to challenge the FDA's 'aggressive and inappropriate enforcement actions'... "No one rises to the issue the way Senator Hatch does. He's a true believer in natural health."

Hatch is, in fact, a true believer -- his belief in the Book of Mormon begets his belief in nutritional supplements.

Israelson says 70% of Utah residents are Mormons, and many Mormons believe Mormon scripture instructs followers to use "God's medicine" or herbs, for their well-being.

As such, many Utah supplement companies are owned or operated by Mormons. According to Time Magazine, "Early Mormon writings praised the 'plants and roots, which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases.' In the 1940s, Mormon herbalist John Christopher preached about natural healing. A few decades later, three Utah companies -- Nature's Herbs, Nature's Way and Nature's Sunshine -- began selling his formulas."
< Previous
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos