Monavie is not FDA-approved as a cure for treating cancer, inflammation, high cholesterol, and muscle and joint pain.
Critics of Monavie include physician Andrew Weil and nutritionist Jonny Bowden, who claim that evidence of Monavie’s nutritional and health benefits is lacking and that the product is exorbitantly priced relative to more cost-effective conventional antioxidant-rich foods, such as blueberries.
Bowden, Newsweek correspondent Tony Dokoupil, and Palm Beach Post reporter Carolyn Susman commented on the use of misleading promotional testimonials by Monavie distributors in which the product was said to prevent and treat a variety of medical conditions. Dokoupil noted that “the FDA warned MonaVie about medicinal claims on its Web site” in reference to the Food and Drug Administration's action against Monavie distributor Kevin Vokes in July 2007. According to the FDA's warning notice, Vokes had promoted Monavie as a drug in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 321(g)(1)] by claiming that it was effective for treating inflammation, high cholesterol, and muscle and joint pain.
Monavie CEO and founder Dallin Larson was previously a senior executive with an MLM company that sold a similar juice product prior to being shut down by the FDA for illegal business practices. According to Newsweek correspondent Dokupil, Larson, who was “a 20-year-veteran of the multi-level marketing industry", "left a senior post at another juice company in 2002, a year before the FDA destroyed the company's ‘bogus products’ that were being falsely promoted to treat ‘cancer, arthritis and attention deficit disorder’." The company in question, Dynamic Essentials, distributed an MLM juice product known as Royal Tongan Limu juice.
On March 18, 2008, Quixtar North America, an Amway sister company, filed a multi-count federal court complaint against the MonaVie company and several of its distributors for unfair competition. The complaint alleged that Monavie competed unfairly by making false claims about its products. On May 16, 2008, MonaVie was sued by Imagenetix, Inc. for $2.75 billion over trademark infringement concerning the ingredient Celadrin. The lawsuit was dropped on May 20, 2008.
FDA warning letter to MonaVie distributor Kevin A. VokesDEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service Food and Drug Administration
~~personal info snipped~
Dear Mr. Vokes:
This is to advise you that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed your web site and has determined that your products "MonaVie Original," "MonaVie Active," "MonaVie Combo," and "MonaVie Gel" are promoted for conditions that cause the products to be drugs under section 201(g)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. 321(g)(1)]. The therapeutic claims on your web site establish that the products are drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The marketing of these products with these claims violates the Act.
Examples of the claims observed on your web site include:
"Imagine a juice product that combines a variety of the most powerful fruits … with additional compounds that aid in the fight against inflammation, and you’ll find MonaVie …."
"Acai Berries [an ingredient in the MonaVie products] are high in essential fatty acids and omegas – 60% Oleic omega 9 – a monounsaturated essential fatty acid which helps to lower LDL (harmful cholesterol) while maintaining HDL (beneficial cholesterol). 12% Linoleic (omega 6) – a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid which has also been found to lower LDL while maintaining HDL."
"Acai also contains many valuable Phytosterols. Sterols are compounds of plant cell membranes providing numerous benefits to the Human body, namely the reduction of blood plasma cholesterol."
"MonaVie Active is MonaVie Original with two additional ingredients meant specifically to help relieve joint/muscle pain and inflammation …."
Furthermore, your MonaVie products are not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced conditions and therefore, they are also "new drugs" under section 201(p) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 321(p)]. New drugs may not be legally marketed in the U.S. without prior approval from FDA as described in section 505(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 355(a)]. FDA approves a new drug on the basis of scientific data submitted by a drug sponsor to demonstrate that the drug is safe and effective.
This letter is not intended to be an all-inclusive review of your web site and products your firm markets. It is your responsibility to ensure that all products marketed by your firm comply with the Act and its implementing regulations.
If you need additional information or have questions concerning any products distributed through your web site, please contact FDA. You may respond in writing to ~personal info snipped~, Compliance Officer, Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740. If you have any questions concerning this letter, please contact Ms. Moe at ~personal info snipped~.
Division of Enforcement
Center for Food Safety
And Applied Nutrition
Monavie Corporation Headquarters
New Rules: No More Claiming Mona Vie Cures Cancer!by Dr. J. Bowden June 11, 2008
Nor, for that matter, AIDS. Nor lupus, GERD, acne, age spots, arthritis, a balding scalp or sagging libido. Nope. Sorry.
And lest you think I'm picking on poor MonaVie, the same is true of Xango, Mangosteen, Xocai, Tahitian Noni, and all the other ridiculously overpriced and oversold juices promoted by scientifically illiterate multi-level marketing "distributors" who repeat these claims with the sincerity and earnestness of a Kucinich volunteer.
Much of the hype about this stuff is based on mysterious numbers that are purported to represent the product's ORAC value with the clear implication that the higher the ORAC value, the better the product (more on this in a moment). The argument between the various distributors about whose ORAC value is higher has more in common with a shouting match between slightly buzzed Lakers and Celtic fans than it does any real academic discussion. And of course, since no one participating in (or listening to) these silly arguments actually knows what they're talking about, a little pseudo science goes a long way towards convincing gullible potential "distributors" to come aboard and make a fortune, and can even sound pretty impressive in a Professor Irwin Corey kind of way.
So here's the deal:
Antioxidants are good. That's a given. I take a million of them myself and try to eat foods that are teeming with them. Though studies on specific isolated antioxidants have sometimes (though not always) been disappointing, the longest lived and healthiest folks in the world get tons of antioxidants (as well as all kinds of phytochemicals, phenols, flavonoids and other members of the botanical universe) in their daily diet.
ORAC (you don't even want to know what it stands for, trust me) is a scientifically valid test that measures how antioxidants work as a team. (Think: "Exit on Main Street" vs. any Mick Jagger solo album.) ORAC tests for commercial products are generally done by Brunswick Labs (or their licensees), and products that have been actually tested by Brunswick have a Brunswick Labs Certified Seal (none of the multi-levels except for a little known product called ViaViente actually have that seal). There's a ton of published studies in the National Institute of Medicine database on ORAC values for all kinds of fruits and vegetables, and the ones that tend to be the highest are the usual suspects- blueberries, raspberries, kale, spinach, prunes.
None of which cost $37 a pop, by the way.
But I digress.
Problem number one in the pseudo-comparison sweepstakes is that you can base an ORAC value on one fluid ounce, 100 grams, one liter, "per serving" or "per cup", resulting in ridiculous comparisons of apples to wheelbarrows. The companies rarely if ever tell you what quantity they used to get their measurement. One guy even hawks a home shopping network product claiming "A million ORAC Value!" without saying how much is needed to produce that value (by some estimates a warehouse the size of Waco Texas).
Problem number two is that there's no evidence that higher and higher values actually translate into any clinical benefits. High ORAC fruits and vegetables are great, but according to noted cancer investigator Ralph Moss, PhD, "there is an upper limit to the benefit that can be derived from antioxidants. Taking in 25,000 ORAC units at one time.... would be no more beneficial than taking in a fifth of that amount."
Problem number three: if you're eating a crummy diet and barely exercising- something I've noticed in an awful lot of the people promoting these juices- drinking one to two ounces of expensive juice isn't going to do much for you. These folks seem never to understand how to prioritize their health battles. They'll debate you endlessly on some esoteric and unproven "alkaline" water while scarfing down a Big Mac and apple pie.
Problem number four is that while many of these products base their ambiguous health claims on one of the "star" juices in the formula (mangosteen in Xango, for example), no one tells you how much of the product comes from the superstar fruit and how much is pure filler. Investigative health reporter Mike Adams recently did a piece on the expensive, Deepak Chopra approved Zrri (another multi-level overpriced juice albeit in gorgeous new age packaging). Zrri doesn't list its contents in a "nutrition facts" label, and contains regular old apple juice, pear juice and pomegranate juice. It's priced north of $30 a bottle, largely on the strength of it's own superstar ingredient amalaki (a well known Ayruvedic remedy).
"But are we talking 99% apple and pear juice and 1% of the botanicals?" Adams asks.
Answer: No one knows, thank you very much.
Hey, these juices and blends aren't bad for you. (Full disclosure: I had some nice things to say about Noni juice in my book, "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth", and there is some promising science behind the fruit it's made from.) But cure cancer? Grow hair? Change your life? Melt pounds from your middle?
Bottom line- go to Trader Joe's and buy yourself a nice little assortment of some unsweetened, pure juices like blueberry, cranberry, pomegranate, black cherry and the like. Or better yet, make your own juice, or just eat a bunch of vegetables. For about 1/10 the price (and no annoying talk of Diamond Distributorships and Up With People narratives) you'll get all the antioxidant power you need.
Pls note I removed some personal infos and phone numbers in this guide in compliance with ebay policies. You can easily google the articles.