An open letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez:
I am writing to urge the FTC to take a look into Herbalife. Herbalife has been accused of operating an abusive pyramid scheme that targets minority groups, especially Latinos, by falsely promising large profits. As a New York City Council member in a heavily Hispanic district in Queens, I am concerned about the impact this company is having on my constituents and the Latino community in New York.
Latinos in my district and across the country are falling prey to Herbalife’s targeted recruitment, which begins when victims are asked to join alleged nutrition and wellness clubs. In my district, there are dozens of such clubs.
Herbalife representatives use these clubs to take advantage of people with little or no business experience. By making false promises of profit and ignoring all associated risk, Herbalife representatives “recruit” club members into becoming distributors of Herbalife products. Since Herbalife’s success depends on this aggressive recruitment, new distributors are then pressured into recruiting additional members.
Latinos and other people in my district are being unnecessarily harmed by these aggressive recruitment techniques. By promising large profits and minimal work, Herbalife preys on vulnerable immigrant communities. Since the evidence of consumer harm is widespread in my district and across the country, it is critical for the FTC to conduct a thorough investigation and protect consumers from these malicious recruitment tactics and false promises.
If Herbalife is acting illegally by making false income claims to vulnerable Latinos in my community, then it needs to be held responsible.
I welcome the opportunity to speak with FTC officials about this matter and can have my office assist in recruiting those who have been financially harmed.