mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Pimping Pseudo-Science”: Carson Denies Obvious Ties To Controversial Supplement Maker

At the CNBC debate, Ben Carson tried to argue that he never had anything to do with an extraordinarily shady supplement company.

That is nonsense. The truth is that Carson had a years-long relationship with Mannatech—a company that pimps pseudoscience and allegedly engaged in unethical marketing practices.

Jim Geraghty broke this story months ago at National Review. Mannatech is a supplement company that sells so-called glyconutrients. Its representatives have suggested the product can treat autism, cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. Spoiler: “Glyconutrients” do not cure cancer, and no credible researcher or doctor says they do.

In fact, if Carson had glanced at the company’s Wikipedia page, he would have seen that one top glycobologist said these “glyconutrients” have no identifiable impact on the human body besides making you pass more gas. Seriously.

The state of Texas sued the company, which settled in 2009 by paying $4 million to Texas customers, promising that its representatives would stop saying its products could “cure, treat, mitigate or prevent any disease.” The company didn’t admit to any wrongdoing.

When Geraghty reached out to Mannatech about their relationship with Carson, spokesman Mike Crouch said this: “We appreciate his support and value his positive feedback as a satisfied customer.”

But Mannatech doesn’t just sell bad medicine. At least one lawsuit alleged it uses astonishingly unethical marketing practices to do so. In 2004, a mother sued after trying to use the company’s products to help her 3-year-old son, who suffered from Tay-Sachs disease. The suit alleged that the company showed naked pictures of the boy—which his mother said she shared with representatives of the company in confidence—to suggest to hundreds of seminar attendees as evidence that its products worked. The worst part? The son died while using Mannatech supplements, according to the suit. The company confidentially settled that suit in 2005 for $750,000.

Anyway, Carson addressed at least three of the company’s annual conferences, according to National Review. His image appeared on its website’s homepage. He praised its fart-inducing glyconutrients on PBS. And as recently as last year, he suggested the company had tapped into God’s secrets for good health.

“The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel,” Carson said in a video touting the company’s products.

“Many of the natural things are not included in our diet,” he continued. “Basically what the company is doing is trying to find a way to restore natural diet as a medicine or as a mechanism for maintaining health.”

As part of his characteristically lackluster debate performance, Carson tried to distance himself from Mannatech on Wednesday night when a CNBC moderator pressed him on that relationship.

“I didn’t have an involvement with them, that’s total propaganda,” he said, betraying a total misunderstanding of what the word “propaganda” means. “What happens in our society, total propaganda. I did a couple of speeches for them, just for other people, they were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product.”

To be fair, it is a good product—if you like to fart.

By the way, this isn’t the first time Carson has touted pseudoscientific nonsense on the presidential debate stage. At the last debate, he touted the debunked idea that parents should disregard the Centers for Disease Control’s recommended vaccine schedule and “space out” their children’s vaccinations. As The Daily Beast detailed, that suggestion is a species of anti-vax trutherism. It’s less pernicious than full-on vaccines-cause-autism trutherism, but it is trutherism nonetheless. “Spacing out” your kids’ vaccines has one effect, and one effect only: increasing the amount of time your kids are vulnerable to the diseases from which those vaccines inoculate them.

 

By: Betsy Woodruff, The Daily Beast, October 28, 2015

November 1, 2015 Posted by | Ben Carson, Nutritional Supplements, Science | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Bald-Faced And Blatant Lies”: Debate Fallout; Even Conservatives Are Appalled By Republican Mendacity

For people who so often accuse Hillary Clinton of lying, the Republican presidential candidates seem to feel perfectly free to bend, twist, and shred the truth at will. Unsurprisingly, that is just what several of them were caught doing in their free-for-all CNBC debate. They prevaricated about themselves, their policies, and their opponents, without blinking an eye – and for the most part, they got away with it.

Do nice people tell self-serving lies? Perhaps they do, because it was terribly nice Ben Carson who uttered one of the most blatant whoppers of the evening.

To loud booing from the partisan audience, moderator Carl Quintanilla asked the soft-spoken neurosurgeon about his long and lucrative involvement with Mannatech, a nutritional supplement manufacturer that has been cited for false health claims for its “glyconutrients.” (How bad was Mannatech? Bad enough to provoke a fraud action brought by Greg Abbott, the former Texas attorney general who is now that state’s very conservative governor.)

“I didn’t have an involvement with [Mannatech],” retorted Carson. “That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda.”

What Carson’s noisy fans probably didn’t know is that this was no “liberal media” setup. The doctor’s decade-long relationship with Mannatech – which turns out to have included a written contract, paid speeches, and a video endorsement on the company’s website – was exposed last year by Jim Geraghty of National Review, the flagship publication of American conservatism. Following the debate, Geraghty slammed Carson for “bald-faced lies” and “blatantly lying” about his relationship with the supplement firm.

Equally mendacious about his own personal history was Marco Rubio, who “won” the debate according to many observers. When Becky Quick of CNBC asked a predictable question about his checked financial affairs, which have included foreclosures, liquidations, phony expense accounts, and other embarrassments, the senator from Florida shot back: “You just listed a litany of discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents, and I’m not gonna waste 60 seconds detailing them all.”

Discredited attacks? Actually, Quick’s question was premised on facts that are not in dispute – as even Rubio himself acknowledged in his own campaign book. So frontally deceptive was his response that an outraged Joe Scarborough, his fellow Florida Republican, called him out on MSNBC’s Morning Joe the next day.

“Marco just flat-out lied to the American people there,” Scarborough complained. “And I was stunned that the moderators didn’t stop there and go, ‘Wait a second, these are court records. What are you talking about?…Becky was telling the truth, Marco was lying. And yet everybody’s going, ‘Oh, Marco was great.’ No, Marco lied about his financials.” Not incidentally, Rubio also lied about the effects of his tax plan, claiming his tax cuts would mostly benefit lower-income families when in fact its biggest benefits would accrue to the top one percent, as Republican tax schemes almost always do.

Another brand of lie was pronounced by Carly Fiorina, who drew attention at the last GOP by insisting she had watched a grisly Planned Parenthood video that doesn’t exist. This time, she reached back to the 2012 Republican campaign to invent a factoid about women’s employment.

Fiorina tries to sell herself as the candidate tough enough to take down Clinton, and tries to prove it by making stuff up. At this debate, she huffed:

It is the height of hypocrisy for Mrs. Clinton to talk about being the first woman president, when every single policy she espouses and every single policy of President Obama has been demonstratively bad for women. Ninety-two percent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women.

But as PolitiFact quickly established, that statement was false in every particular. Not only did women not lose “92 percent” of the jobs in Obama’s first term, the number of women employed during the period from January 2009 to January 2013 grew by 416,000. Naturally, as she did with Planned Parenthood, Fiorina angrily repeated the lie when challenged.

Fiorina isn’t the only Republican who doesn’t like being exposed. Rubio ridiculously claimed that the “mainstream media” is really a Democratic SuperPAC. And now RNC chair Reince Priebus has reneged on the party’s debate agreement with NBC News. He and his candidates just couldn’t handle two hours of sharp but thoroughly polite questioning.

They constantly insult Clinton, but how would any of these slippery blowhards survive something like the 11-hour Benghazi grilling she breezed through on Capitol Hill? If you want to understand who they are, just listen to them whine.

 

By: Joe Conason, Editor in Chief, Editor’s Blog, Featured Post, The National Memo, October 30, 2015

October 31, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, GOP Primary Debates, Mainstream Media | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Inside Ben Carson’s Cancer Scam”: Glyconutrient Supplements Powerful Enough That He Didn’t Need Surgery For Prostate Cancer

Ben Carson credited a nutritional supplement for helping save his life from cancer, yet he never mentioned it during interviews about his illness until he started shilling for its manufacturer.

Carson was a spokesman for Mannatech, which claimed its “glyconutrients” could treat cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS. “The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel,” Carson said in a 2013 speech praising the company. On Wednesday, he denied any involvement with Mannatech.

Carson even credited the supplements as being powerful enough that he didn’t need surgery for advanced prostate cancer. Dallas Weekly reported in a 2004 interview that Carson “said his decision to have a medical procedure resulted from his concern for those people who might neglect traditional medical procedures because they had learned of his personal experience with supplements.”

The neurosurgeon told Dallas Weekly that he had his prostate removed to be a role model.

“I knew that other people with my condition might not have been as religious about taking the supplements as I had been,” Carson said.

A radical prostatectomy is a serious surgery that involves an incision either below the navel or between the scrotum and anus, as Johns Hopkins Hospital (where Carson had his) notes. Complications may include urinary incontinence, impotence, and sterility.

Dr. Carson was told that his recovery after the August 2002 surgery would be arduous and that he would not be able to return to work for six weeks. “Because of my experience with glyconutrients I was able to return to work in three weeks,” he said.

For the first two years after his surgery, though, Carson never mentioned glyconutrients.

In November 2002, Carson told the 700 Club that he was diagnosed with “one of the most aggressive types [of cancer.] I thought at one point that I was going to die.”

The interviewer asked Carson how he handled the situation and if he had any fear of the procedure. Carson said he was worried about the potential of the cancer spreading but that he was at peace with the thought of death.

Later, Carson discussed how eating better can help take care of one’s body and that preventative medicines could also help the immune system. This would appear to be the perfect opportunity to mention the glyconutrients he would later say helped him, but he did not. Mysteriously there is no mention of them whatsoever from Carson.

“Organic fruits and vegetables. Much less in the way of processed foods,” Carson said. “Snack foods are pretty much out. I don’t drink soda anymore.”

Carson also praised the surgery but did not mention glyconutrients that in 2004 he said helped him recover.

“Well, all of the cancer was contained within the gland that was removed,” Carson says. “He was able to spare my neurovascular bundles to preserve all my body functions, and the lymph nodes were negative. My status is cured!”

In another story about his recovery in Ebony magazine in January 2003, Carson also did not mention glyconutrients.

Carson said that there is a “dietary connection” to cancer and mentions pesticides and water contamination as possible causes. The doctor also scheduled the prostate surgery just six weeks after the initial diagnosis, suggesting that he thought the surgery—and not supplements alone—was necessary to save his life.

Carson also gave an address at the Niagara University commencement in May 2003 where he discussed his cancer as well. Yet there are no mentions of Mannatech or any of its products.

The next year though, Carson began telling a different story involving his cancer.

“I had a friend who was diagnosed with cancer who was given three months to live,” Carson told Dallas Weekly from his Johns Hopkins office. “He changed his diet and pursued proper nutrition. He was still around and doing well … As a result I started to look at nutritional supplements.”

Carson said the father of one of his patients told him about Mannatech and glyconutrients. After contacting the company, Carson said he was surprised by the amount of science they provided him.

“I was impressed that they did not make any wild medical claims,” he said. “The majority of their science pointed to how glyconutrients supported the body’s normal functions of regeneration and repair.

“The science made sense to me,” he continued. “God gave us [in plants] what we need to remain healthy. In today’s world our food chain is depleted of nutrients and our environment has helped destroy what God gave us.”

Carson said he then contacted Dr. Reg McDaniel, a supposed authority in glyconutrients and medical director of Manna Relief, Inc. Dallas Weekly called the group a charity that makes glyconutrients available to medically fragile children around the world. McDaniel was accused in 2006 of using his charity, the Fisher Institute for Medical Research, to fund and publish studies that were favorable to the supplements sold by Mannatech.

Mannatech was sued by the state of Texas in 2009 and forced to pay consumers $4 million and promise to prevent their representatives from alleging that products like glyconutrients cure any disease of any kind.

 

By: Gideon Resnick, The Daily Beast, October 29, 2015

October 30, 2015 Posted by | Ben Carson, Nutritional Supplements, Science | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

%d bloggers like this: