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Linda Sánchez Calls for Investigation of Herbalife (June 5, 2013)

June 5, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-38) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to examine allegations regarding the business practices of Herbalife, Ltd. In recent months, several organizations have suggested that Herbalife, Ltd. has engaged in marketing practices that take advantage of vulnerable populations such as Hispanic, African-American and low income consumers.

The full text of the letter is below.
Click here to see the letter sent to the FTC.

Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
June 5, 2013

Dear Chairwoman Ramirez:

I am writing to express my concern about the marketing and business practices of Herbalife, Ltd. In particular, I am troubled by allegations that this company may be harming consumers – especially those from our country’s most vulnerable populations.

There have been extensive media reports and allegations about Herbalife’s business practices.  On March 12, 2013, the National Consumers League wrote a letter urging the FTC to conduct an investigation into the possibility that Herbalife is a complex pyramid scheme . More recently, on May 17, 2013, the Hispanic Federation also wrote a letter urging an FTC investigation . Both groups have voiced concerns over whether Herbalife’s distributors are primarily incentivized by recruiting others, or by selling the Herbalife product. Additionally, as the National Consumers League letter states, “Low-income consumers, as well as African-Americans and Hispanics, were found to be especially vulnerable to pyramid-schemes masquerading as legitimate home-based business opportunities.”  

As I have learned more about this issue from my constituents and from outside groups, I believe it is the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) responsibility to examine these allegations.  Given the FTC’s mission to investigate claims of fraud and potential pyramid schemes, I encourage you to investigate this matter.  I have confidence that such an investigation will provide clarity to consumers and I expect you will aggressively pursue it in a timely manner.  

If I can be of additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Mike McGourty of my staff at 202-225-6676 or

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez

Member of Congress (CA-38)