From Borre Gjersvik, Nordic Director, Herbalife:
Herbalife products have been sold in Iceland for the past seven years with the full approval of all the appropriate regulatory authorities and we have ongoing dialogue with the State Drug Inspectorate (SDI).
Consumer confidence in the safety and efficacy of our products is our number one priority. The reports to which Ms. Erlingsdóttir refers in her opinion piece were based on information provided by Professor Magnús Jóhannsson M.D. Ph.D.of the Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Iceland.
An Herbalife representative met with Professor Jóhannsson in April 2006. Professor Jóhannsson expressed the view that some products may have contained one or more of nine herbal ingredients he viewed as a concern.
Herbalife confirmed in writing to Professor Jóhannsson that the Herbalife products licensed for sale in Iceland never contained any of those herbs, with the exception of ginseng which can be found in one of our supplements.
We have since met again with Professor Jóhannsson and as a result he has amended some previously incorrect information that he was inadvertently posting on his website.
Of the few liver-related inquires the company has received in the last 27 years, most have been found to be related to significant underlying medical issues such as viral infection alcohol consumption, diabetes, obesity, hepatitis, fatty liver disease, other medical causes or medication issues.
The few cases that have come to our attention have been reviewed by our own Nutrition Advisory Board as well as independent medical liver specialists, who have all concluded that there is no direct or intrinsic toxicity of Herbalife products or their ingredients.
The botanical ingredients used in Herbalife products are all very well-known and used in wide global consumption. Their safety has been proven over many years. They are safe to consume as directed.
Finally we would like to clarify that Herbalife does not operate a “pyramid sales scheme.” Herbalife operates a multi level marketing business model that is in compliance with all applicable laws and that is widely accepted around the world.
Presently we operate in 63 countries. Herbalife was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2004 and has been in business for 27 years.