Apr 5, 2014


"Have you had your shake Today?" has been shaken today by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) investigation on its trade practices. Some individual has some eggs to grind against this highly popular nutrition movement that has captured the imagination of many people around the world that many of them have even left their full time jobs to focus on this. I know of many students of mine reaching the President Club and Millionaire Club and other sub clubs in gradations. Many of them carry with them 2 litre plastic container filled with Herbal Tea that they sip regularly, with a great display of loyalty and a profound sense of pride in promoting the Herbalife product and lifestyle. Even many of my relatives and family members are in this scheme of making money while you drink away the extra fats. Most of whom I met have become fully addicted to this brand that they will go all out to win more converts - a strong christian sense of evangelism. Whenever they gather for extravaganza loud music blazing and the crowds going berserk yelling and shrieking to prove their health.

I for one I am still studying the products but the system looks all the more like the MLM with one person recruiting a score of some more people to mark up his percentage to reach the various club position which means virtually one can live without buying the product. But the code of conduct demands that everyone must buy and keep the minimum monthly point to keep the membership alive. This makes it compulsory on everyone to consume the product they produce. I have no qualm in drinking it. But I wonder is this the right one. Why Soy at the expense of other cereals? It seems there is a deliberate attempt to control the way one consume the food and to monopolize it. Like the sugar monopoly that fattened half the Americans and created a score of sugar-related diseases that are taking their tolls on poor American lives and their wallets, I feel the soya-mafia is also doing something similar.

In this respect the work by the acclaimed Vandana Shiva on Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply is a must read for every discerning individual who is concerned with what goes down his/her throat. According to her Soybean foods, in both raw and processed form, contain a number of toxic substances at concentration levels that pose significant health risks to humans and animals. She lists down substances like trypsin (leading to pancreatic cancer), lectins (interfering with immune system), and phytic acid (affecting absorption of essential minerals). But I am amazed to see the list of internationally reknown and eminent MDs decorating the walls of Herbalife office in Kuala Lumpur (which I suppose is the same everywhere) vouching for the medical authenticity of the products. They ought to have carried out the rigorous investigation into all these substances cited by Vandana. I wonder why not a proper scientific evaluation is done by a neutral body that examines the impact of such food on people from various parts of the world. I do believe in the saying one man's food is another man's poison. Perhaps this may suit the people of temperate zone and not the tropical ones.

It is high time we take control of our foods and not to rely too much on imported genetically engineered American products that want to control the world stomach. Lamenting on the six "Merchants of Grain" control over the food supply former Representative James Weaver (D-OR) said:

  • These companies are giants. They control not only the buying and selling or grain but the shipment of it, the storage of it, and everything else. It's obscene. I have rallied against them again and again. I think food is the most - hell, whoever controls the food supply has really got the people by the scrotum. (emphasis added) And yet we allow six corporations to do this in secret. It's mind-boggling! [cited by Vandana quoting A.V. Kerbs, The Corporate Reapers: The Book of Agribusiness, (Washington, DC: Essential Books, 1992).
This sounds very much like the infamous Seven Sisters in reference to the Oil Conglomerates.It is high time the world is freed of such monopolistic demons. One may have to seriously examine the UN food program. Where they get their supplies? Even some criminal entities are burning the fertile grounds of Palestinians under the pretext of keeping the occupied territories safe from Palestinian intrusions. 

Anyway I am not so convinced about Herbalife and any other nutritious products that are on the increase day after day. I am still comfortable with my Dosai and Idly (made of ura dal and rice). I have seen people crossing their centuries by eating these simple foods only. So my advise to all those evangelists out there trying to convert the innocent and confused patrons of health foods be truthful to yourself. Do not make money at the misery of another. Control your greed.


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