Attacks on Herbalife Are Attacks on Businesses Like Mine

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Owning and operating a small business is hard work. It requires a tremendous amount of dedication and long hours. But if you believe in what you sell, work really hard and apply yourself, anyone can be successful. After all, that’s what makes this country so great and economically strong.

 

Unfortunately, my small business in Los Angeles and thousands more across this state and country, are currently under attack from a billionaire Wall Street hedge fund manager. If he succeeds, it will ruin thousands of people’s lives and livelihoods. It’s wrong and he should be stopped.

I am an Independent Member of the global nutrition company Herbalife, and through this company I have not only been able to improve my health but I have also achieved financial stability by selling the products the same way Mary Kay or Amway does. However, all of that is now at great risk as billionaire hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman, has spent more than $50 million to spread misinformation and lies about the company, including people like me. His goal is to drive down the stock price and if he succeeds he will make more than $1 billion.

 

His accusations are simply disgusting and personally insulting. Just recently, Ackman claimed I and my fellow Herbalife Independent Members couldn’t be blamed for joining a company like Herbalife because we clearly couldn’t assess the benefits and risks on our own. In short, he claims we are too stupid to know what’s best for us and only he knows what’s true. That’s an insult to me and the tens of thousands of people in the State of California who are providing for ourselves and our families by selling Herbalife products. Enough is enough, I cannot and will not stand by and listen quietly anymore.

 

Especially in today’s economic environment, I think it’s wrong that billionaires with microphones should be allowed to tear down a company like Herbalife that provides so much value for so many people.

Herbalife has changed my family’s life for the better. Herbalife is a company that’s been central to my life for more than 18 years. Herbalife has allowed my wife and I to live a good life and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s what has helped us retain our strong values and views on health, education and community.

 

I came to the United States more than 20 years ago and worked in several jobs, including a chemical company and the sales department at ‘Ingles sin Barreras.’ I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur, but the jobs I found were just not enough. I was familiar with Herbalife in my native Mexico and decided to try selling products part-time to pay my bills and try to keep up. With Herbalife, I found the support and encouragement I needed to become successful. Soon, I started working full-time as an Independent Member and have never looked back. I am proud to say that both my wife and I are now successful Herbalife entrepreneurs and now successfully administer our own community health club, providing guidance on a daily basis to more than 40 health club members.

Herbalife has allowed me to grow as a person through individual development programs and mentorship support. I love knowing that I’m helping other members of my community lead healthier lives, and thanks to Herbalife’s suite of products, I now know what it takes to live an active and healthy lifestyle. I sell these products because I believe in them and want to share them with others. I also benefit financially from the hard work I put into my business, just as other independent business owners do.

 

In a recent presentation, Ackman claimed to be speaking on behalf of “poor and uneducated people of color,” who were “victims” of Herbalife. I am no victim. Herbalife has empowered me and thousands of Herbalife Members in California and many more throughout the country.

I encourage lawmakers, the financial community and all Californians to do their own research and keep Wall Street opportunists from making hundreds of millions of dollars at the expense of small business owners who are the backbone of our economy.

 

Rafael Ballesta is a resident of Bell Gardens and a Los Angeles-based Independent Herbalife Member.

Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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4 Comments


  1. Here’s my take, although in fairness it’s the same as everyone else’s: By its failure to shut Herbalife down, the FTC has been aiding and abetting organized white collar crime for more than three decades.

    Beyond dismantling its own credibility as a consumer protection agency, the FTC’s criminal negligence and failure to enforce the law has established a well defined vacuum of authority from which organized crime currently defrauds the poorest and least educated tax payers. The specific type of pyramid scheme fraud operating outside the scope of US Federal authority, is called “MLM” or multilevel marketing.


  2. CrimeBustesNow – Herbalife and the MLM so-called “industry” are an abhorrent fraud” perpetrated on the likes of the unsophisticated, seniors, veterans, North American farm families; the physically handicapped, the deaf, the poor, struggling single moms, desperate dads, university, college, high school students, and until recently, BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION kids as young as 14 recruited into the abhorrent Vemma MLM scam,

    The lives of young children, babies and grandparents negatively affected because the children’s parents were defrauded…. Herbalife’s insidious fraud enslaves many of the poorest of the poor particularly in Latino communities, to high interest credit card debt having been led with misinformation and outright lies that Herbalife and MLM is the way out of poverty. The very mirror of the truth. we have no financial interest in Herbalife or any company.


  3. You mention bill Ackman but don’t mention the multiple Latno civil rights organizations like LULAC and MANA, both of which have called herbalife a pyramid scheme that targets Hispanics. You also don’t mention that several members of congress have public ally denounced herbalife as a predatory company. Also, you don’t mention that 4 federal fraud investigations have been opened on Herbalife by the FTC, SEC, DOJ and FBI. Multiple State attorney generals and law firms have opened investigations. It is easy to attack a “hedge fund billionaire” but MANY have highlighted really sad practices by this company. If it’s not a scam, then herbalife has nothing to worry about, but if it is, then Ackman did a great service to millions of Herbalifes victims.


  4. Herbalife is in compliance with all laws and regulations in the over 90 countries where it operates. Can anyone tell where Herbalife is doing something against the law or where Herbalife is doing something different than other MLM companies like Amway, Tupperware, Nu-Skin, Usana, Pampered Chef, etc?

    Why single out Herbalife? Only to allow a billionaire like Mr Ackman to make $1 billion by false accusations of Herbalife?

    Somethings to think about:

    1) Do you think the millions of people that buy HLF’s nutritional products are getting their moneys worth?
    About 57,752,777 formula 1 shakes are served daily http://bit.ly/1rQHueE

    2) “Herbalife benefits millions of people around the world and I am proud to join the team,” said Hoffman. “Herbalife has an enormously important mission of improving health and wellness around the globe and I look forward to ensuring that the public more clearly understands the critical role the company plays in advancing good nutrition. I also look forward to promoting the economic opportunities that this global nutrition company provides for hard-working people in communities everywhere.”

    3) The FTC does not even list MLM as a top 10 complaint problem. The top complaint problems with number of complains and percentage of complaints are:

    Identity Theft – 290,056 – 14%
    Debt Collection – 204,644 – 10%
    Banks and Lenders – 152,707 – 7%
    Impostor Scams – 121,720 – 6%
    Telephone and Mobile Services – 116,261 – 6%
    Prizes, Sweepstakes, and Lotteries – 89,944 – 4%
    Auto Related Complaints – 82,701 4%
    Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales – 66,024 – 3%
    Television and Electronic Media – 53,087 – 3%
    Advance Payment for Credit Services 50,422 – 2%

    4) Taxes paid by Herbalife last 4 years: ~600m.
    Net income: ~1.7 billion
    Tax rate as % of net income: 35%.
    commissions paid to distributors: ~5 billion
    Tax paid by distributors on that @ 15% = 750m.

    Total tax paid to governments last 4 years = ~1.35 billion.
    FTC ain’t gonna be…

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