The death of a Mexican women stroke Herbalife Shake hard in 2014. However, local doctors came to the conclusion that the death was caused by an existed serious illness in response to the accusations lead by the Mexican and UK media.
In 2014, best Herbalife Shake was accused of causing the death of 28-year-old Mexican Woman Lorena Peralta Baltazar by some Mexican media and publications. Reports pointed out that Herbalife Shake was the source of the lead found in the deceased’s blood.
The deceased, Lrena Peralta Baltazar was said to have been “addicted” to the company’s soft drink Herbalife Weight Loss Shake and died after being sent to the hospital due to kidney pains. Local doctors found out that her blood contained high levels of lead. The contamination was the reason behind her kidney failure, which might have also affected other important organs such as pancreas and liver.
It was not a surprise that Herbalife Shakes received unfair accusations. Since 2013, harsh criticism has been directed towards Herbalife Shake because of their sales structure. In addition, the accusation on weight-loss products being chemically contaminated was nothing new to the public. However, the company’s global corporate communications VP Julian Cacchioli pointed out that over 750,000 Herbalife Shake were consumed everyday alone in Mexican, yet not a single notice of any adverse effect was received prior to the incident in 2014. In addition, Herbalife had a strict quality with different herbalife ingredients control system provided by a third party as well as in-house regulations to make sure products are tested from raw materials to final stage outcome. Herbalife also paid much attention on after-sales, implementing a global surveillance on post-market safety which collected and assessed any report on adverse incidents. According to Steve Heinig, the company’s chief scientific officer, Herbalife Shake, just like any other natural or processed food in the market, would contain a small amount of lead that occurred naturally. However, the amount posed absolutely no significant risk to the consumers.
Soon after, things were turned one-eighty around as doctors made the conclusion that the death was not related to Herbalife products. Director of the General Hospital of Huixtla in Chiapas wrote in his letter that there was no evidence to connect the women’s death with Herbalife Shakes. According to Dr. Jairo Trejo Perea, Herbalife was not to be held responsible for the woman’s death. The hospital had been investigating the medical evidence in the case weeks before the release of this letter. Also, Herbalife released an official statement reassuring the consumers that the drink had been enjoyed by customers in different countries, supporting with scientific studies that proved the product to be nutritious and free of harm.
Herbalife Shake had been around for over 35 years and had always strictly followed the FDA guidelines as well as the strict Californian Proposition. The company reassured the consumers that Herbalife product did not violate any contamination laws. Weight loss company shakes was a trending product even in today’s market. As an effort to leave the negative effect caused by the false accusations behind, Herbalife Shakes received endorsement from football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who later commented that employees of the Herbalife Company were nothing but honest professionals.
It was almost inevitable for large food and beverage companies to fall under accusation when events such as the death of Baltazar happened. In fact, the company also faced a protest from black and Hispanic groups in 2013. The coalition claimed that Herbalife was exploiting the minority groups why had low-income by offering unrealistic prospect of profit when recruiting members of these groups into the sales force. Yet later that year, Herbalife received a Belgian court ruling which cleansed the company of pyramid-scheme accusation and stated their compensation opportunity system was within European laws.
Nonetheless, ever since these incidents, Herbalife Shake had been severely affected. In 2016, the Federal Trade Commission demanded the company to change ways regarding their strategies in trading with the US after concluding a two-year investigation in the company. In response to the demand, the Los Angeles Company implemented many of the terms required by the FTC.
By the end of 2017, Herbalife’s stock was up 46%. The company’s board went under a discussion about possibly going private. The discussion did not reach a deal yet the talks would possibly resume in the future. At the beginning of this year, William A. Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management, ended his five-year battle against Herbalife Company with a conspicuous defeat. Though once claiming Herbalife to be a mere fraud, Ackman’s firm suffered severe monetary losses upon making unprofitable bets made on Herbalife and other stocks. Instead of sinking, Herbalife Shake had gone mostly up and closed with a $92 on Wednesday, February 28th. Clearly, Herbalife Shake has made through its worst struggle and is now heading back to the best.