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Name: Moshe Feingold
Gender: Male
Hometown: NY, NY
Home country: Poland
Current location: Ruidoso, NM
Member since: Sat Mar 22, 2014, 04:43 PM
Number of posts: 3,051

Journal Archives

Donald Trump and the vitamin company that went bust (Once a snake oil salesman, always one)

Donald Trump was ready to make some money on vitamins.

On a Friday night in November 2009, Trump stood before a crowd of thousands at the Hyatt Regency in Miami to launch a new enterprise, The Trump Network. Behind him was a gigantic image of his family crest and an enormous photograph of himself.

“We’re gonna come out with new and different products,” Trump told the crowd. “They’re gonna be wonderful products.”

For about two years, a STAT investigation has found, The Trump Network sold customized vitamins and scientific testing kits, claiming they would yield health benefits. But according to many outside experts, the network was selling bad science.

Among other claims, The Trump Network asserted that it could use a urine test to recommend customized nutritional supplements, its signature products. It also offered products that purportedly tested for allergies and bone health. But scientists said such claims were never backed up by modern medicine.

“They make an outrageous statement, which is that this testing and supplement regimen, this process, are a necessity for anyone who wants to stay healthy,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance and an expert on dietary supplement safety who reviewed some of The Trump Network’s marketing materials at the request of STAT. “That’s quite insane.”

Consumers had been taking nutritional supplements based on results of similar tests well before Trump came along. The Trump Network itself was not completely new, either. An existing company, Ideal Health, had been selling the products for years but created the network and licensed Trump’s name to spur growth.

The story of The Trump Network — which was sold in 2012 — is a largely overlooked chapter in the life of the real estate developer turned presidential candidate. An extensive review by STAT — based on interviews with former members of The Trump Network, scientists, and others — shows how the real estate mogul associated himself with a business that has come under scientific scrutiny.

Other Republican presidential candidates have found themselves in similar positions and have come under greater criticism than Trump.

Dr. Ben Carson, another GOP presidential candidate and a former neurosurgeon, has come under fire for giving a series of paid speeches to Mannatech, a Texas-based nutritional supplement company whose claims of medical effectiveness have drawn scrutiny. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, starred in infomercials promoting a “diabetes solution kit,” for which some endocrinologists say there is no scientific support.

In the case of The Trump Network, Trump had no role in the development or manufacturing of the products. But he put his personal brand behind them — speaking at conferences in Miami and Las Vegas, allowing his name and family crest to be used in promotional materials, and appearing in at least one online video to promote the business.

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Posted by MosheFeingold | Mon Feb 29, 2016, 12:03 PM (0 replies)
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