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Be Wary of the Berry Scams

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Most of us have received an e-mail or seen an advertisement endorsing the Dr. Oz or Oprah diet using acai (ah-sigh-ee) or resveratrol. When I see their faces, I so want to believe that there is a magic juice to make me thinner, younger looking and more energetic. Now if it was that easy, it would be on my shelf already. I still want to believe.

Is there such thing as an Oprah or Dr. Oz diet or secret weapon?

No, Both Dr. Oz an Oprah are pursuing legal action against the companies that use their name and likeness to dupe people into ordering products that they do not specifically endorse. See Oprah: http://www.oprah.com/article/health/nutrition/20090105_orig_acai.

The companies seem to primarily originate in China and will often try to get your credit card so they can charge you on a monthly basis. Even if it says “free trial” and just pay for shipping. Don’t do it! It is all a scam to get your credit card, and they will continue to charge your card monthly.

What about other juices sold in the United States by individuals or in stores?

There are many products sold by individuals, most notoriously MonaVie, that are part of a multilevel marketing strategy. They rely on many distributors with only a very few at the top making lots of money, as these bottles are very expensive. Their product claims to contain acai and other juices, but they do not release in what amounts, as that is considered proprietary information. I am very wary of these products because there is so much financial incentive in their pyramid system. You can look at their income discloser statement:

Many people claim to get tremendous benefit, which could be from the juice or even placebo, but it is important to know how these things work financially. Please check with the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/) before buying any of these products from individual companies.

Add a Comment49 Comments

I would be far less suspicious of berrys and berry products than I would of supposed health food products containing amino sweet or aspartame. If you are going to feed me aspartame in any product I would just as soon rot my teeth right out of my skull with sugar. Do your own research, but Acai berrys and other trendy products like this are no where near as bad for you, nor are they as pervasive, being added into virtually every product on the grocery store shelves from yogurt to kids cereals.

April 5, 2012 - 9:27pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am stunned by the shear hate this guy keeps spewing. It is apparent that you have a lot of free time on your hands and that you are obsessed with tearing down MonaVie. You throw around the word "pyramid scam" quite a bit, but that would be incorrect as pyramid scams are illegal. If this was an illegal organization it would be shut down. I do not sell or use MonaVie, but some of my friends do, and they seem to really enjoy it and they have fun being a part of it.

I am a cynic and don't want to spend the big $$ on the drink, but I in no way insult people for wanting to. This is what makes America great, not spewing hate just because it didn't work for you or you are too broke to buy it yourself. I don't know what your reason is, but with the vitriolic hatred you are spewing it has to be something personal.

Just let people live their lives how they want without trying to insult and bully them. If someone believes it works than why try to beat them into believing it doesn't? After all the links you have provided, and all the research you have done it leads me to believe that my friends maybe on to something good. I have always noticed that when something is really good, it is attacked frequently and vehemently.

July 3, 2009 - 3:25pm
EmpowHER Guest

OK, after watching that annoying, pathetic, amateurish video, I now like this product even less.

June 24, 2009 - 3:57pm
EmpowHER Guest


June 24, 2009 - 11:05am
EmpowHER Guest

Hey there anonymous Monavie distributor. I see a clear pattern emerging here. You provide bad information and false claims about the product, I correct you, and then try to backpedal and provide more incorrect information.

1. Cost: You said that Monavie costs only $3 a day and is cheaper than a SBUX coffee. That’s wrong. Monavie retails for $39-$45 a bottle (25 ounces). The "recommended" daily amount is 4 ounces (their motto is “2 ounces in the morning and 2 ounces at night”). That works out to $6.25 to $7.20 per day. And that’s only for 4 measly ounces -- a cup of coffee is about 12 ounces. Monavie is in fact far more expensive than SBUX coffee. Also, SBUX, unlike Monavie, doesn’t charge 10 to 25 times more than its competitors (any other coffee outlet); they also provide chairs/couches, fast friendly service, wireless internet, cups and lids, condiments, napkins, music, heating/air-conditioning, outdoor patios, bathrooms, etc.

You also should stop implying that Monavie can substitute for fruit. Eight ounces of Monavie might count for about 1 serving at best, so those 4 ounces equate to about a half serving at most. You can get that from just about any other fruit juice for a fraction of the inflated cost of Monavie.

2. Patent: You said that Monavie was “a patented blend of fruit’. I pointed out that Monavie itself is not patented and no patent was ever applied for Monavie. That was correct. The patent application you referred to at WIPO is for the acai powder that is allegedly used as one of the 19 ingredients in Monavie – and the patent application was denied (and Monavie LLC was not even listed as one of the applicants). You provided the evidence that what you originally claimed about Monavie itself (not one of its ingredients) being patented (not patent pending) is blatantly false.

3. Pharmaceuticals: Have absolutely nothing to do with this discussion, despite your repeated attempts to derail the discussion in that direction. Stop it already – it’s ridiculous!

4. Red Bull: It’s pointless to compare the cost differential of Monavie relative to other fruit juices versus that of Red Bull versus its competitors. Red Bull sells for about 25 cents more per can than energy drinks like Monster and Rockstar. Monavie is 10 to 25 times more expensive than its competitors. That’s so that the revenue can be funneled through the idiotic pyramid system, and most it lands in the hands of a few people at the top. It’s a flagrant example of price gouging for a product that is mediocre at best.

If you like it, keep drinking it and keep wasting your money. But just stop using false information to coerce other people to buy it.

June 22, 2009 - 7:21am
EmpowHER Guest

"At retail price, the daily cost of Monavie is about $6.25 to $7.20 (4 ounces per day @ $39-$45 per 25-oz bottle bottle)

If you need 4 oz ( the company site http://www.monavie.com/Web/US/en/science.dhtml "says Designed for easy absorption in the body, just *2–4 ounces* of MonaVie per day provides you with the phytonutrients and antioxidants found in many of the world's most nutritious fruits—including açai". ) (You can read right? ) I digress, if you dont need 13 servings of fruit well half of 13 is 6.5 servings of fruit the Gov. says we need 5 servings! Now with that being said if you have been getting 1 servings a day, I would say that 6.5 is an improvement.

FYI..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MonaVie...A patent application for the freeze-dried açaí powder (Opti-Açaí) used in MonaVie was submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2004 by developers Alexander G. Schauss and Kenneth A. Murdock.[10] WIPO’s Preliminary Report on Patentability deemed that many of the claims in the patent application did not support the novelty, inventiveness, or industrial applicability of the process,[11] and as of 2008, the patent had not been approved. *This is what makes Monavies ACAI diffrent.

In America you can charge what ever you want for you product. Why does R. Bull charge more for their energy drink than all of the others? Because of the formala and because that's their right to do so.

Put up or shut up. What other pharmaceutical sites are you bloging on? The topic is if the consumer is being hurt by a product that " as you say makes claimes". It is a fair compairson since both deal with peoples health and cost money as well as maket to people for the services.

And yes i might spell somethings wrong! i might even say something's wrong, but it's better to say i IS RICH! Than I am POOR!

If I spelled something wrong or left out a letter use one of these fill in the blank or substitute one.

June 21, 2009 - 10:25pm
EmpowHER Guest

Here you have a product that is simply a patent pending blend of FRUIT! For about $3.00 a Day (less than a cup of coffee @ 5bucks aka starB's, starbucks)

1. There is no patent pending for Monavie; there has never even been a patent application filed for Monavie.

2. At retail price, the daily cost of Monavie is about $6.25 to $7.20 (4 ounces per day @ $39-$45 per 25-oz bottle bottle). That is not less than a SBUX coffee (which sells for about $2), nor should Monavie be compared to coffee because Monavie isn't coffee. Compared to fruit juice, it's about 10-25 times more expensive per ounce.

Your not on a blog to warn people about the PROVEN dangers of phamicutical companys! Why Not?

Why not? First of all, you don't have a clue what I do when I'm not posting here, so it serves no purpose to even speculate. Secondly, why would I (or anyone else for that matter) bother discussing pharmaceuticals (notice correct spelling...you weren't even close) in the comment section of an article on acai/Monavie? I have enough sense to stay on topic.

June 19, 2009 - 5:40pm
EmpowHER Guest

What I was showing you is that the phamicutical companys put out JUNK everyday! Things that has sooo many side effects you can say them is a 1 min commercial. (The cost puts most elderly people into poverty ) PEOPLE EVEN DIE!

Here you have a product that is simply a patent pending blend of FRUIT! For about $3.00 a Day (less than a cup of coffee @ 5bucks aka starB's, starbucks)

Your not on a blog to warn people about the PROVEN dangers of phamicutical companys !

Why Not?

Only one reason.. Someone in MONAVIE hurt your feelings so the whole company is a rip off!


June 19, 2009 - 3:20pm
EmpowHER Guest

Yea! How dare all of those phamicutical companys promoting that their products cure people!

"The Bayer Corporation will pay a $3.2 million civil penalty to settle FTC allegations that advertisements for One-A-Day WeightSmart multivitamins violated an earlier Commission order requiring all health claims for One-A-Day brand vitamins to be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence! Bayer is exploiting men's fear of prostate cancer just to sell more pills," said CSPI senior nutritionist David Schardt. "The largest prostate cancer prevention trial has found that selenium is no more effective than a placebo. Bayer is ripping people off when it suggests otherwise in these dishonest ads."


That anyone might be getting rich doing this is simply morally reprehensible.

Trust me if Monavie Was making claims about curing cancer The FTC would know about it!


June 18, 2009 - 11:30pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Now Why don't you go to a BAYER BLOG & COMPLAIN?

Seems that's a question you should have asked yourself before you posted that irelevant rant about One-A-Day. it's got nothing to do with Monavie's lack of nutritional value or the fact that Monavie is deceptively advertised.

Trust me if Monavie Was making claims about curing cancer The FTC would know about it!

Trusting you would be like trusting a fox in the hen house.

June 19, 2009 - 10:45am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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