Salesmen ignore rebuke over cancer cure claims

Salesmen for a company accused of peddling sugar pills as a cancer cure are continuing to make the claims despite warnings of prosecutions.

The family of a seriously ill woman said they were approached by a salesperson who said $1600 worth of the pills would cure her.

“If you have got someone close to you possibly dying, you grasp at any straws,” said a family member.

The pills are made by an American company, Mannatech, which uses an Amway-style direct marketing sales technique.

The family, who approached the Herald, were told that while the price was high, if they signed up six other people, they would get the three months’ supply for free, and would start earning money.

After stories about Mannatech in the Herald last year, the Ministry of Health warned the company and some of its salespeople that they could be breaching the Medicines Act.

Ministry adviser Dr Stewart Jessamine said that Mannatech had said it had written to distributors warning them not to make therapeutic claims.

He said the ministry continued to monitor the situation and would take further action if necessary.

The Commerce Commission said it had received complaints about Mannatech’s selling methods, including some calls made in the past few months.

A spokeswoman said investigators had decided it was not a pyramid-selling scheme.

Mannatech’s main product is abrotose, a combination of sugar, aloe vera and vegetable extract.

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