Trump Has Also Hawked Bogus Vitamins

Another day, another failed and sleazy Trump venture. To the pile of shady businesses that Trump has engaged in, you can add what the Daily Beast has called a “pseudo-scientific vitamin scheme”.


Yep, that’s right. Along with crummy steaks, a litigious university, and a crashed airline, we can now add to that list The Trump Network, a telemarketing company that preyed on people’s lack of scientific understanding by selling them exorbitantly priced ($140) urine-tests, “which would then be used to personally “tailor” a pricey monthly concoction of vitamins,” the Daily Beast reported.

For the article, authors Abby Haglage and Tim Mak interviewed a former “top doctor” from The Trump Network who offered a compelling tale of how the venture came about (unsurprisingly, said doctor asked to remain anonymous).

As the good doc recalled, it all began—like so many consumer schemes—at a marketing company rally. Naturally, Trump was there as a speaker, presumably rattling off his marketing wisdom by way of vainglorious demonstration. Alongside Trump at the rally was Ideal Health, a “multi-level marketing company” selling “naturopathic” remedies — medicine that claims to heal patients through therapeutic means such as herbs and vitamins. Included among the products Ideal Health proudly boasted about at the rally was the aforementioned urine test come tailored vitamin supplement pyramid scheme regimen. Trump was sold.

Fast forward a couple months to November 2009 and Trump, emboldened by his attorney's praise of the “extraordinary growth” potential of Ideal Health, began peddling his own version of the urine test through The Trump Network. As for the scientific soundness of the product, as the doctor recalled, the fact that the biotech company responsible for the tests, MetaMatrix, and the company that manufactured it, Douglas Laboratories, legally operated on “behalf of tens of thousands of physicians” was apparently enough for Trump and co.

In an insight into Trump management style, the doctor explained that Trump held little personal interest into whether the product he was peddling actually stood up to science. “He just looks to the people who are involved and what people did with this business,” said the doctor, “[He] looked at the people who were participating and said ‘this is good.’”

For a disturbing thought exercise, extrapolate that telling tidbit to some of Trump’s more recent recruits.

Here’s the man himself talking about how great it all is, sounds sort of like some other promises he’s made of late.

The Trump Network’s motto was “Discover the Difference between Opportunity and Success.” In this instance, the opportunity being the PrivaTest and follow up supply of vitamins at $139.95, with an additional month’s supply at $69.95 and a recommended $100 nine month follow-up test, all purportedly aimed at keeping “individual nutritional support” up to date. As for “success”? In 2012 The Trump Network sold off all its assets.

There is one difference between this failure and some of Trump’s former ones. According to the Daily Beast article, Trump apparently “never purchased any part of The Trump Network. Instead, he merely licensed his name and brand to Ideal Health.”

One telling factor about this tragic Trump chapter is what it says about the empty promises that epitomize his name/brand. Apart from endorsing a product, that required no actual FDA approval, Trump’s interest in this failed product demonstrably highlights Trump’s true passion in life: himself.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.