Go to: => TOP Page;   ROAD MAP;   Search Page;   What's New? Page;   Emmaus Ministries Page


20-20 vs. Mannatech...
a Lesson in
Slanted & Abusive News Reporting
See also Law Suite against Mannatech & Mannatech Page

F. Earle Fox

See my experience with Ambrotose, and also K. C's piece below for more info and details
Angie Rhoads' response to 20-20's what looks like deliberately dishonest (i.e., evil) distortion of her story -- pdf document.
and Sam Caster's pointed response (pdf) to 20-20,   & Mannatech Page.

Tonight (6/1/07) I saw 20-20 on TV doing a piece on Mannatech and their flagship product, Ambrotose.  Not really "on" Mannatech and Ambrotose, but against them. 
 

20-20 interviewed Angie Rhoads, a young woman about 20 years old, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer.  Surgeons had been able to remove part if it, but some they could not get.  The doctors naturally recommended that she undergo chemical or radiation therapy to eradicate the rest. 

Along the way, however, someone had told her about Ambrotose, claiming that this little white pill would cure her cancer.  She decided to trust the pill rather than further medical intervention.  She (a Christian) thought that God had led her to this "little pill".  It was, she said, doing her some apparently serious good up to this point.  The extent of that was never made clear, though that would have been a logical point for 20-20 to pursue.  Clearly, from Angie's response, they never intended to follow up with valid evidence.  Deliberate, systematic subversion of truth is the first sign of spiritual warfare

The pressure was always a challenging one, never supportive.  20-20 showed the young woman going through much of her story, at every point pushing the question why she would reject respectable medical advice and listen to her friend about the little white pill.  20-20 showed little interest in trying to understand the woman's point of view, and her decision was never taken seriously.  They were consistently on the attack.  The not-so-subtle implication was that she was a religious nut who rejected rational science.   

So, 20-20 picked on a young, un-worldly-sophisticated woman who was struggling to make sense of her own life, to rescue it out of a terrible situation.  They did not choose Dr. Benjamin Carson, one of the world's leading physicians (director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore) to interview, who was not waiting for Ambrotose to save him.  He had already been healed of an aggressive prostate cancer, he thinks by taking Ambrotose which helped repair his immune system, and is telling the world about it.  They would have had a harder time badgering him about his common sense than the young woman. 

(Note:  After seeing Angie's response to 20-20, I conclude that she is not so unsophisticated...  E. Fox.

Do a search for Benjamin Carson on the www.glycotools.org website.  The Dallas Weekly has done an article on Carson, reporting, "Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr., one of the world's leading physicians, says that glyconutrients helped save his life and should become a complementary component of our healthcare system."  There are many, many such "anecdotal" healing stories in the Mannatech material.)

On the other hand, the young woman held her ground calmly and firmly.  Unsophisticated or not, she is a brave woman.  The story is on-going, and the final results of her cancer are yet to be told.  [Note: I wrote this last sentence before I had read Angie's own response to 20-20.]  
 

A researcher in glyconutrition was interviewed by 20-20, who, when asked his opinion of Ambrotose and Mannatech was unequivocally negative, implying either gross incompetence on the part of Mannatech, or dishonesty.  20-20 had ample opportunity to justify why this man's views were to be respected, what his research was about, what actual evidence he had for his views, etc., but never did so.  His being a researcher in the field was considered sufficient to give him intellectual and moral authority on the matter. 

After his negative responses, 20-20 rightly asked him why, if the nutrients were bogus, there were so many persons claiming to be healed.  He said something like, "Yes, that's true.  I wonder why."   Indeed.  The interview with him ended at that point rather than pursuing the point raised, suggesting that it was not worth pursuing because claims for Ambrotose were "obviously" not true. 

Some would argue (wrongly) that Mannatech is relying on anecdotal evidence rather than science.  Science, of course, is nothing but organized anecdotes.  The bottom foundation of every scientific assertion is a pile of anecdotes, the personal testimonies of someone, or some group, to having witnessed some array of evidence.  In the vast majority of cases we, the people, have not seen the evidence ourselves, even where our own lives are at stake -- such as medications.  We trust the scientists only because we believe them to have earned their reputation to be honest truth-seekers -- at any cost to themselves.  We are often, of course, wrong.  The number of patients dying yearly in hospitals due to wrong medications, etc., is a medical disgrace.   (Ambrotose has never been guilty of killing anyone.  Perhaps 20-20 would do a documentary on how hospitals and doctors are killing people?) 

In other words, that is a trust often not earned in science -- as in politics, as in religion, and -- as in news reporting.  Charlatans and the power-hungry know a good thing when they see it, and will always gravitate toward something that is good and is succeeding.  They want to wrap their evil in the robe of the good thing happening.  Eternal vigilance is still the price of freedom. 
 

20-20 also interviewed Sam Caster, CEO of Mannatech, doing their best to put him on the spot.  Caster appeared on the defensive during the interview, which was unfortunate, as I think there are very good ways of answering the questions directed at him.  Caster should have taken the offensive and invited the questions.  He seemed to want to dodge the question as to whether the Food & Drug Administration's non-approval of Ambrotose was the only reason that he would not officially claim healing powers for it. 

Clearly that is indeed the case, believing and stating it is not a crime, and it should not be hidden. 

The FDA is under the same obligation to support and honor truth wherever it may be found as the rest of us.  Caster could have said, "We intend to obey the law even though we might disagree with aspects of it," (or something like that).  Mannatech has a strong and often repeated policy of not claiming healing powers for any of their products, other than that they strengthen the body so that it can fight its own battles. 

Those on the sales end find themselves in the same bind.  The evidence, both from scientific studies and from personal and anecdotal knowledge, shows that persons who take these products are blessed far above normal expectation with renewed health.  So it is difficult to speak the truth and at the same time honor the law.  There are gray areas where any human being will have to tread.  But it is the government which has created this foolish situation, not Mannatech. 

The FDA, in other words, has rules, the effect of which is to prevent the truth about Ambrotose and other such products from being spoken, and will come down hard on any company speaking a truth they do not want to hear, such as that Ambrotose does indeed often lead (yes, indirectly) to better health in matters of cancer, obesity, degenerative diseases, and a host of other diseases one could name. 

If that kind of claim sounds absurd, it is nevertheless exactly what one would scientifically expect and predict of a food which restored the immune system to fight its own battles.  None of Mannatech's foods attack any of those diseases directly, but they do have a powerful effect indirectly.  And that ought not be forbidden to say for the simple reason that it is demonstrably true. 

Vitamin C is a food, or food supplement, not a medicine.  But to say that it does not heal scurvy is silly and dishonest.  The same is true of glyconutrients. 

20-20 never addressed the issue of Ambrotose's effect on the immune system.  It cherry-picked its issues, focusing on the relation of Ambrotose to cancer, etc., trying to trap Mannatech in deceit and law-breaking. 

Caster was asked -- If the young woman had been his own daughter, whether he would have advised her to forgo the further (very invasive) chemical or radiation therapy.  He replied hesitatingly that he would probably advise her to take the therapy.  He might have avoided being put on the spot, saying, "That is a matter for the individual to decide, and is impossible to make such a decision in the abstract, without the particulars of the case.  We ought to pursue whatever works for the good of the patient." 

The woman's decision not to pursue further medical therapy is debatable, but it is not irrational -- unless you have already concluded that Ambrotose is bogus, or that God does not exist or is irrelevant, or that allopathic medical intervention is infallibly the right choice.  But the issue was not her rejecting medical advice, it was the effectiveness of Ambrotose.  Nevertheless, Ambrotose was made to look as though it was attractive only to gullible, irrational persons.   Angie's response shows that she was clearly in control of her mental faculties when she made what seems to have turned out to be a very good decision.  

Caster could also have noted that such decisions will rest largely on the growing evidence gleaned from the continued use of foods like Ambrotose, as to whether they interfere with (or support) such medical treatments, or whether they can adequately do the healing work themselves on the immune and other body systems so that the body can fight the cancer on its own. 

All these are items for scientific work.   But that work will only be hindered if food supplements are inhibited from honest deployment as needed, and, in effect, put under the control of the pharmaceutical companies who hope themselves to make the millions of dollars foreseen down the road by their sale -- and rescue themselves from being put out of a job if far fewer people get sick.  So, let them go find honest work. 

Caster could have said again that they would obey the law, but that the FDA administration of the law in these cases is faulty and needs to be changed.  (Of course, all my "Caster could have saids..." are irrelevant.  20-20 edited what he said to write their own story, not to report the facts.  See Caster's response.) 

20-20 might have discussed the legal meaning of 'medication' and how medications are to be distinguished from food supplements (i.e., from foods), which would have made the whole controversy more clear. 

A food does not cease to be a food and thereby become a medicine under FDA control just because it has healing properties.  If that were so, water (which heals dying of thirst) should be under FDA/Big Pharma control, along with milk, carrots, hamburgers, and everything else which heals dying from starvation.  If a food supplement can likewise heal a dying immune system, and thus indirectly a host of diseases, then let that be said out loud in front of God and everybody. 

If these comments seem to be over-reacting, consider the following: 

Plan to call fruit juice 'drug' delayed
Comment period extended to May 29 after plan publicized 

Posted: April 27, 2007   1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh     2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A public comment period on a Food and Drug Administration plan to classify vitamins, supplements, herbs and even fruit juice as "drugs" has been extended from April 30 to May 29 after the proposal was publicized in a report by WND.

The extension, which was confirmed in an FDA posting, will allow consumers additional time to comment on the plan, Docket No. 2006D-0480, that opponents say even could classify water as a drug when it is used to "treat" dehydration.

The American Association for Health Freedom, which had petitioned the FDA several weeks ago for an extension, noted that "During April 2007 the FDA came under tremendous pressure from AAHF supporters and many others to extend the CAM Draft Guidance comment period. On April 25, 2007, the FDA website announced the extension of the closing date for public comment from Monday, April 30 to Tuesday, May 29."

This is not legitimate government, this is underhanded tyranny at work.  These people do not want us healthy, they want us under their control.  Like everything else outside the Constitutional boundaries which Big Bureaucratic Government (governed by lobbyists, not by the people) wants to do, the free market will do it better, including make us healthy.  See also http://www.worldnetdaily.com:80/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55403
 

For 20-20 to fire charges at every positive comment to be made about Ambrotose gleaned from their cameras and recorders hidden in Mannatech training meetings, that Ambrotose might possibly do someone any good, as though that were violating a legal requirement, would be merely silly -- except that it was not-so-silly harassment.  Ambrotose is not, in the legal sense of the word, a medication.  It is a food, a very effective food supplement, enabling the body to fight its own battles.  So does every other healthy food.  That, however, may just be Ambrotose's undoing. 

One wants to ask, Who gave the order for the "investigation" of Ambrotose?  Who paid for it?  And most importantly, who stood to benefit by it?  (Follow the money....)

The only people I can think of who would benefit from the demise of Ambrotose would be the pharmaceutical companies, who have enormous investments in the healing industry.  If people do not get sick, they go out of business.  And, indeed, they have been waging a lobbying war for several years against the kinds of products which Mannatech produces.  There has been a movement to get government control of food supplements.  I used to think that an odd thing for government to want to do.  The motive now appears to be -- pressure from at least some Big Pharma companies which want to inhibit their food supplement competition.  

There is a crime called (if I remember correctly) "restraint of trade".   Perhaps 20-20 would want to do a piece on that.
 

20-20 showed a picture of Caster's large mansion, and suggested that Mannatech was profiteering from targeting people with cancer to exploit them.  They also referred to an allegation of deception by Caster, and to a conviction of one of his former associates.  Whether these are in any way relevant to the matter of Ambrotose was not explained, only implied. 

I am not happy about Christians spending large sums on luxuries when the world is awash with pain and loneliness.  And I would hope, if Caster has any tendency toward being deceptive (and I have no knowledge that he does), that (as with any of us) his family and staff which would see to it that everyone was living in the light.  One of the major plagues of communities and corporations is people with great talent rising to the point where no one will any longer hold them accountable. 

And, I am not comfortable with the apparent reliance of Caster and/or Mannatech on certain teachings about the "purpose driven" life, and the "purpose driven" church.  We ought, of course, to be purpose driven, that is the nature of persons, but the purpose ought to be God's purpose for our lives.  Some of the promotional material for prospective sales people, for example, builds on the "good life" seen through comfort-oriented eyes.  The omni-present consumer life-style. 

I would like also to see corporations run by Christians being open about their religious commitments.  We in the West have a lot to learn on that.  Christians must learn how to talk about their faith in the context of work, commerce, politics, and everything else to do with our lives.  Jesus is Lord over everything.  At times, Sam Caster and his wife, Linda, do just that. 

But all of that is irrelevant to the issue ostensibly raised by 20-20  --  the effectiveness of Mannatech's products. 
 

The whole event was, I think, a carefully staged hatchet-job by 20-20, with BIG STENTORIAN VOICES letting you know that they were TELLING YOU THE FACTS.  Some facts.  They picked a non-professional person for their primary subject and aggressively grilled those they suspected of stupidity, if not outright criminal behavior, but let the other side off with no serious questioning for their motives or assertions.  Not once did they make an effort to show the mountain of evidence which Mannatech and others have gathered (see especially www.glycoscience.org and www.glycotools.com ).  That is cowardly, manipulative, and dishonest.  It is abusive reporting. 

If Mannatech is being dishonest, they deserve to be shut down.  By the same token, if 20-20 cannot do an honest job of reporting, they deserve to be shut down.  But the government is much laxer about media deceit than it is with FDA concerns.  Yet media distortion of truth is far, far more lethal to civilization than anything Mannatech could perpetrate.  Without honest information, there is no possibility of sustaining a free republic.  And we are losing ours. 

Nevertheless, God will use it, and it may all backfire on the perpetrators.  Even bad advertising can be better than none at all.  So I hope many people as a result will visit the Mannatech websites and begin to learn the truth of the matter. 
 

See Earle Fox's experience with Mannatech products
and... See Angie Rhoads' response to 20-20's what looks like deliberately dishonest (i.e.,, evil) distortion of her story -- pdf document.
See also Sam Caster's pointed response to 20-20
(pdf), and the Mannatech Page.

 

Email from K. C. --

Earle,

Well, I watched the 20/20 segment and as usual, the reporters and doctors interviewing gave only partial facts.  They slanted every aspect, from Sam's  personal interview which, for as long as I've known him,  I am certain they butchered since I've heard him on MANY occasions.  A 20/20 reporter attended an Austin TX meeting with a hidden camera.  No one ever said anything illegal or beyond FDA compliance, though 20/20 implies otherwise.

If they had let Sam have several uninterrupted moments, and unedited ones, he would have finished the sentences they cut him short of saying.  No, Ambrotose does NOT cure anything. He stated that emphatically. What it does do is provide the body  with the sugars it may need to cure itself.  However, doctors aren't shy or hesitant to say their drugs "cure" disease, which they don't. So why aren't THEY raked over the coals and taken to court???  Esp.  when over 300,000 people EVERY YEAR DIE from IMPROPERLY PRESCRIBED MEDS FROM THEIR OWN DOCTORS!!!!!!!!!  Are THEY grilled on 20/20???  AMBROTOSE IS NON-TOXIC and WON'T/HASN'T EVER+ HURT ANYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   THAT is a  researchable FACT!   One doctor said out of the hundreds of thousands of articles written about the benefits, zero showed Ambrotose as curing  anything. He's right. Ambrotose does not and never will cure  anything, just as Sam and the Company have said since Day One.

The same doctor said our bodies CAN make these sugars on their own. He is correct and we tell everyone that is true.  That's the way they were designed by the Creator.  The facts they did not allow Sam to bring to the fore are that the toxic environment we have brought to ourselves disrupts that process and the cellular communication (which you noticed was never allowed to be mentioned) cannot take place  without them.  We CAN get these sugars from our food IF we can  grow and eat from our own gardens. But with the modern high levels of environmental toxicity, there is no way humanly possible to eat ENOUGH of them, even if we grew them ourselves.

If at any time the toxins we take in break down that sugar-making  process the body is capable of, those 8 necessary sugars to make the cell-to-cell communication happen will never be created.  The only thing that makes sense is to provide them from a high quality source. There are few, if any, on the market. Mannatech is the only one I know  of with the science to support it.  But it's an undeniable fact that we MUST get and ingest these essential carbohydrates from SOMEWHERE!

They also brought up shady past business dealings of Sam.  He freely  and publicly volunteered this information at the birth of Mannatech. If memory serves me correctly, nothing was ever illegal or convictions made,  only implied accusations.  Bill Fioretti was indeed a thief and a felon and  almost brought Mannatech to destruction before the company could see him fired unapologetically. He made a fortune through stock manipulations and nearly ruined many of us, including Sam (and myself on a much lesser scale).  But 20/20 failed to mention that...  Go figure.

The doctors I saw interviewed flat out lied by denying the scientific evidence existed. One of the doctors was from John Hopkins. So is Dr. Ben Carson,  whose CD I sent you testifying of his OWN victory over an aggressive prostate cancer with glyconutrients.

These people either have a personal vendetta, have not done their homework, have their own agenda, or are simply ignorant.  www.glycoscience.org and many other sites with scores of papers/studies written on glyconutrient research (even the N.I.H.) have plenty to say about their effects on disease.  I'll just go on using these "worthless" sugar pills and continue getting my "imagined" health improvement  for the rest of my life, thank you very much, because I've stopped using them before (when I ran out a few times) and guess what came back???  My health is dramatically changed for the better with my daily ingestion of glyconutrients.  As long as they exist,  I refuse to be without them, no matter how that rearranges my budget.  To me, they are more important and beneficial to my health than today's food.

Anyway, do your own due diligent research and believe the science available, not  what 2 doctors with questionable motives are saying when in the limelight.  One  more interesting piece that was missing, since the young girl had little change in her MRI, was to tell us what she was using, how much, and how often.  If you are  "starving" in the true sense of the word, a half a meal once a day won't get you well again.  We can only guess it may have been too little to bring little to no result.  I can say this because of what I HAVE seen and DO know from my past  decade of association with glyconutrients. 

All I can say is...it's really a shame reports like this are allowed to air. I have been both a TV and a newspaper reporter, so I know their tactics.  It's similar to what  the media does to Christianity...and it's wrong there as well.  Inaccurate and nonfactual on several fronts, but they never seem to apologize for the damage they do either. This was one reason I left reporting.  I believe news should be above all a reporting of  FACTS, not one person or station or network's opinion or agenda, no matter their obvious political persuasion.

Blessings to you,
K. C.   

See Earle Fox's experience with Mannatech products
and... Angie Rhoads' response to 20-20's what looks like deliberately dishonest (i.e.,, evil) distortion of her story --
See also Sam Caster's pointed response to 20-20 (to read pdf), and
Law Suite against Mannatech

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Go to: => TOP Page;   Mannatech Page;   ROAD MAP