During Wednesday's Republican debate hosted by CNBC, questions arose over GOP frontrunner Ben Carson's links to supplement maker Mannatech that has been embroiled in legal actions over claims of false advertising. Carson denied that he had a relationship with Mannatech, calling the suggestion, "total propaganda." Videos of Carson endorsing Mannatech products remained on the Mannatech website until very recently. Carson has also stated that he was paid to speak at Mannatech conventions, which the company does not deny, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Today at 2:00pm, Mannatech Global Communications sent an email to Mannatech associates clarifying Carson's involvement with the company. Spectrum obtained a copy of the email from a long-time Mannatech associate. The pertinent portion of the letter follows:
Dear Mannatech Associate,
At the Republican Presidential Debate on Oct. 28, Dr. Ben Carson was asked about his involvement with Mannatech. He said that he had been paid to speak at Mannatech events and that he was a customer. That is a true statement and clearly defines the limits of his relationship with the company.
He also made a statement about Mannatech products, which is completely compliant, and is a good example of a positive testimonial. Carson said: “Do I take the product, yes. I think it’s a good product.”
Regardless of the interpretation put on his comments about his relationship with Mannatech, the fact is Dr. Carson’s only involvement with the company has been to be paid to give speeches at corporate events and as a customer. He has never been a paid endorser or spokesman for Mannatech or its products.
Dr. Carson is a long-term customer and has spoken about his personal and professional experiences at Mannatech events. Dr. Carson chose to participate in videos while attending corporate events, where he gave his personal perspective and testimony. He was not compensated for his participation in these videos. While Dr. Carson has talked positively about Mannatech and its products, again, he is not a spokesman or a paid endorser.
As a reminder, we are participating with Dr. Carson’s campaign to comply with Federal campaign finance regulations, so please do not post or share material about Dr. Carson or this topic on social media or on any public venue.
This has created unprecedented media coverage, so if a member of the media approaches you, in any way, do not respond to them. Immediately refer the inquiry to Mannatech’s Communications team by emailing [email protected].
Mannatech’s Commitment to Compliance
Mannatech is committed to a culture of compliance with technology and products that are backed by science and clinical trials, and the challenges Mannatech faced are now in the past. Mannatech’s more than 100 patents establishes the company as a leading global developer of unique, high-value, quality health and wellness technology. Its products, which are backed by scientific validation, clinical studies and the highest standards of quality, have created a platform from which hundreds of thousands of its entrepreneurial business Associates can confidently operate and build successful businesses that are safe and compliant.
Our focus is to ensure that Mannatech sales Associates can build long-term business based on a culture of compliance and science-backed technology and products.
Sincerely, Al Bala
President & CEO
The following outlines Mannatech’s history with Dr. Ben Carson:
Dr. Carson has spoken at four Mannatech events
His appearances were included in videos that were made available on Mannatech’s website and other channels
Dr. Carson has stated that he has used Mannatech products for several years
Dr. Carson continues to purchase Mannatech products
Dr. Carson has shared that he is a satisfied Mannatech customer
Dr. Carson has never been a paid endorser or spokesman for Mannatech or its products
All references to Dr. Carson were removed from Mannatech and Associate digital sites in participation with Dr. Carson’s campaign team
The following are Questions and Answers regarding Mannatech’s relationship with Dr. Carson, the company and its commitment to excellence:
Q: How many times has Dr. Ben Carson spoken at Mannatech events?
A: Dr. Ben Carson has spoken at four Mannatech events.
Q: Was Dr. Carson paid to participate in Mannatech videos?
A: No. Dr. Carson chose to participate in videos while attending corporate events, where he gave his personal perspective and testimony. He was not compensated for his participation in these videos. While Dr. Carson has talked positively about Mannatech and its products, he is not a spokesman or a paid endorser.
Q: What is Dr. Carson’s current involvement with the company?
A: Dr. Carson has no direct association with Mannatech. He was never a paid endorser or spokesman for Mannatech. However, he is a current customer and has purchased Mannatech products on a regular basis for a number of years.
Q: Is Dr. Carson a company spokesperson or paid endorser?
A: No. He is not and has never been a paid or official endorser or spokesman for the company. Suggesting otherwise is simply not accurate.
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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