I have been gritting my teeth of late as I have watched sales rep after sales rep claim that Juice Plus can help medical conditions, gain world peace, solve world hunger and stop natural disasters (ok the last few bits may be an exaggeration on my part but that’s what it feels like). I have watched time and time again as these Reps with no (or very little) medical knowledge claim this product is safe for those with epilepsy, that it can or is proven to help or decrease your seizures, safe for those who are pregnant and can help a number of other medical conditions. REALLY????
Before I start let me just say that this is in no way an attack on Juice Plus as a company or the product itself, they have been efficient in answering my questions and are clearly taking steps to deal with the sales reps and have treated my concerns seriously from the off. My issue is exactly that: with the bad sales reps the ones who give the company a bad name. There are some very good ones out there, ones I have come across who have product knowledge, are well aware of the benefits and limitations of Juice Plus and know exactly where the company stands on medical conditions, I have also highlighted the reps that do a good job to Juice Plus.
You will have to have been living under a stone or not have Facebook to have missed the rise of people working from home and promoting diets, cosmetics and detoxes, I suppose you can call it our generations Avon Reps or Tupperware parties. So what is Juice Plus? According to the Juice Plus website: “Juice Plus is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 30 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Juice Plus helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day. Not a multivitamin, medicine, treatment or cure for any disease” So straight away they make NO medical claim.
So after watching this advertisement of this product go on for a few weeks I was finally prompted to do something. This was after my sister was shot down by a sales rep for simply asking a question, she asked what proof they had to back up the claims that it helps epilepsy and also pointed out that I had been advised by specialists not to take it only to be met with a very sarcastic “Wow…just wow.” The rep also failed to present any evidence as to how it helped epilepsy. I am sorry at which point did selling this product mean you know better than my consultant of ten years? Secondly don’t treat my sister like an idiot, you don’t know the first thing about epilepsy, don’t question someone who has been around this all their life. So being tipped over the edge my ‘keppra rage’ went into full swing and my first port of call was to email the company directly. I then went through Facebook and screenshotted every single one of these reps who made a claim that it helps medical conditions or is proven to. As you can see from my email I asked the company to provide me with the research or studies which supported this. They did not and also made it very clear that they do not endorse the claims these sales reps are making; in fact as said above their website also states this very clearly. Juice Plus were very firm in saying they will not tolerate this kind of unprofessionalism. They asked me to provide evidence and they would pass it on to their legal department, so I dutifully handed over all evidence (see some examples at the end of the post). They have asked me to give them 48 hours to update me, and it is good to see that they are taking it seriously and have been prompt and courteous in their response. (UPDATE: They did get back to me – response below, again they have been efficient, polite and taken my concerns seriously. They have also kept their word in updating me and my work with them is ongoing)
What you will gather from this post is that I am not happy, in fact I was furious at the start of this week and have to thank those who calmed me down and stopped me posting my original post! Despite being unhappy I will do my best to balance the argument, most of my discussion will be based around pregnancy and epilepsy because that is obviously my field. I am not knocking anyone who sells these products, or the product itself, I have seen some brilliant weight loss results but the sales have to be done safely and responsibly and there are a handful of reps that are not doing this, at present what these reps are doing is irresponsible and dangerous!! Yet again I do have to say the Juice Plus team answered very swiftly and made it very clear they will not tolerate this.
I have also contacted untold reps on Facebook, some I won’t even waste my breath on, others were excellent at their job and being honest about it all. I have had reps share with me that more than a few of the bad reps are just in it for the money and have no idea at all what they are selling. One also told me the statuses you see below are not endorsed by the company and when asked why all their statuses looked the same she then replied “there is no originality amongst reps to be honest.” She did reiterate that the company has never made such claims, which again you can see below on their website, they specifically say to consult a doctor and that their products are not to be used as a therapeutic agent.
I have seen good Sales Reps challenge others who are making false claims, they have openly said they don’t like these claims because it makes it sound like these reps can cure these conditions or make life easier for those living with them. The good reps know this isn’t true and so call these reps making false claims out on it and yet again state the company never make these claims or tell them to say any of this. One rep stated her Mum had MS and whilst they are well aware that Juice Plus has benefits she knows it is not the cure for all these conditions as some reps claim, only prescribed medication can help conditions or prolong life. However, in all my digging and research very few of the reps making these claims put in their status that those with medical conditions should consult their doctors before using the product. They just generalise that people with medical conditions can use the product. During my research I have spoken to some very good reps who know what they are talking about and have been very helpful, so thank you.
One of the reasons I am angry about this is because these sales people have been using my blog to target women, women who don’t want seizures, who will do almost anything not to have to take medication in pregnancy, I will not have my integrity called in to question and I’ll be damned if people think I have endorsed this! These people are nothing more than bad sales reps, they know nothing about the conditions people live with or the effect it has on their lives. They are preying on the vulnerable, those who live with chronic conditions and that is deplorable. The individual reps make outrageous claims which are often dangerous and when confronted they have no evidence to back up their claims and again are NOT supported by the company itself who have never claimed their products help or cure illness or medical conditions.
I have been contacted by a large number of people who have been approached and similar claims made about it helping ongoing medical conditions, or that they could take them to a place that they would no longer need medication ie insulin. Some reps are claiming it is safe in pregnancy but one medical professional has told me this isn’t the case, stating that he couldn’t see it being safe in pregnancy as it has a supramaximum doses of Vitamin A which may be teratogenic which causes birth defects to developing babies. He also said without studies you can’t be sure that it would or wouldn’t have adverse effects on Anti-Epileptic Drugs. Whilst other midwives have supported this by saying there is not enough known about the product to confirm if it is safe in pregnancy. I am still waiting on further feedback from health professionals and I shall update accordingly.
The company points to 16 clinical studies that found the pill supported the immune system, boosted heart health and effectively increased antioxidant nutrients in the body. However, although the research was published in peer-review journals, most of it was funded by the manufacturer. The company say such sponsored projects are normal practice in the industry.
Scientists at the University of California Berkeley have also shed doubt on the glowing testimonials for the product. They said it was” impossible to deliver' nutrients of five servings of fruits in several capsules weighing 850mg.They added in their Wellness Guide to Dietary Supplements: 'No capsules can substitute for fruits and vegetables, which contain the best balance of nutrients and phytochemicals. ''You cannot "concentrate" significant amounts of them in a capsule.” In fact, each of the studies paid for by Juice Plus confirms that it only contains 4 vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E and Folate).
The sales reps that make these claims are not medical professionals they are exactly that: sales reps. One rep who made such claims one day said there were 30 different fruit and vegs in the capsule and the following day the same rep said there were 26, they aren’t even consistent. In each case, the salesperson relies only on anecdotes to push the product, in addition, several of the selling points are flimsy and misleading.
The advertised benefits are officially that you will receive “nutritional benefits”, on top of that, it’s safe because it’s not made with pesticides or contaminants. To be clear: the Juice Plus website itself (specifically, the page to purchase the product) does not advertise any specific benefit that you will receive from taking Juice Plus. There are vague references to nutrients found in fruit, there are references to safety, there are references to antioxidants but there are no references to the health benefits of powdered fruits and vegetables on the sales page itself.
These reps tout we should live a healthier lifestyle which the can provide in their products, this is just damn right insulting! Living with epilepsy I do everything I can to keep as healthy as I can, I run, I eat well most of the time, I try and sleep enough yet the reps insist on saying this ‘wonder pill’ is the solution to it all. I have to reiterate that at no point does the company Juice Plus make these claims and it is a handful of individual sales reps.
Let me tell you something, if Juice Plus did what these handful of Reps claimed and helped or reduced epilepsy Juice Plus would not need all these sales reps. I would be re-mortgaging my house, selling my limbs, organs and anything else I could lay my hands on to not to have to live with epilepsy, however 23 years with this condition has taught me there is no miracle solution…not even Juice Plus.
The messages that started it all
My conversations with Juice Plus
It CAN and has been PROVEN to help/cure medical conditions : The miracle claims (Just afew of the ones I have found)
My names Faye, mostly known for being a tea addict and keen runner. I'm 31, married and I had my 1st child in June 2015, oh and I also happen to have epilepsy. This is my story of Pregnancy, Motherhood & Epilepsy.