The Controversy Surrounding Herbalife: An In-Depth Investigation

The Herbalife Controversy

Herbalife, a company that sells diet products through a vast network of distributors, has recently become the subject of federal investigations and a heated battle between Wall Street billionaires. ABC's chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, conducted an undercover investigation to uncover the truth behind Herbalife's business practices. In this article, we will delve into the controversy surrounding Herbalife, its impact on distributors, and the allegations of it being an illegal pyramid scheme.

The Business Model

Herbalife, founded 34 years ago, offers a range of diet powders and nutrition products that are exclusively sold by more than 3 million independent distributors across 90 countries. The company boasts high-profile supporters and showcases the extravagant lifestyles of its top earners. However, the reality is that only a fraction of distributors will ever achieve such financial success.

The Allegations

Herbalife's success has not come without criticism. The company is currently under investigation by the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission following allegations that it operates as an illegal pyramid scheme. Critics argue that Herbalife's business model relies heavily on recruiting new distributors rather than selling actual products. This has raised concerns about misrepresentation and false hope.

Deceptive Income Claims

During ABC's undercover investigation, it was revealed that Herbalife distributors were making substantial income claims, enticing potential recruits with promises of financial success. However, official company documents show that only a fraction of distributors earn significant incomes from their downlines. This raises questions about the transparency and honesty of Herbalife's marketing practices.

Medical Claims and Ethical Concerns

In addition to the income claims, ABC's investigation uncovered distributors making medical claims about Herbalife products. Despite the company's strict guidelines against making such claims, instances of distributors promoting Herbalife as a cure for various ailments were captured on camera. Herbalife's president, Des Walsh, expressed his distress over these violations and emphasized the company's commitment to integrity.

The Whistleblower Controversy

A potentially crucial whistleblower, Giovanni Boraquez, came forward to expose what he believed were ethical shortcomings within Herbalife. However, it was later revealed that Boraquez had a secret deal with Bill Ackman, a prominent critic of Herbalife. This raised questions about the credibility of Boraquez's claims and his financial motives.

The Future of Herbalife

The controversy surrounding Herbalife continues to unfold, with federal investigations and intense scrutiny from Wall Street investors. The outcome of these investigations will determine the future of the company and its impact on distributors and consumers.


The Herbalife controversy highlights the importance of transparency and ethical business practices. As consumers, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with multi-level marketing companies and to thoroughly research any business opportunity before getting involved. Only through informed decision-making can we protect ourselves and ensure a healthier marketplace.

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