Connection between Herbalife and UCLA School of Medicine Raises Questions

Herbalife, a Los Angeles based nutritional supplement company, has been accused of “exaggerat[ing] the scientific research behind its powders and pills.”  The company has a close relationship with the UCLA School of Medicine, which has caused some to question the nature and propriety of that relationship.  In particular, several UCLA Medical School faculty members are on Herbalife’s “Nutrition Advisory Board” and receive compensation for their membership.  Furthermore, Herbalife has contributed over $1 million to UCLA’s Cellular and Molecular Lab in the last ten years.  Although Herbalife contends that its relationships with UCLA Medical School faculty are “’not in their capacities as UCLA employees or representatives,’” as Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times points out, “[m]ost of them are on the Herbalife payroll because of their UCLA connection.”  Does this relationship diminish the medical school and the faculty affiliated with Herbalife as “source[s] of objective scientific knowledge?” Read more here.

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