You may or may not have heard USANA, but it's okay, it's not that important. They sell pills, lotions, and baby formulas. Yes, one of these items does not fit.
Any way, their high pressure tactics in China means they NEVER received a direct sales license in China, even though other companies like NuSkin and Amway have them.
So what do they do? They basically bought one... By buying out a company called BabyCare in China in 2010, and that company did get a direct sales license in China in 2011.
So by merging the product line a bit, USANA now sells baby formula... and gets a backdoor into China, mainly by making Chinese sellers pretending to be in Hong Kong.
Previously MLMSkeptic have pointed out that Hong Kong is often used by flaunt Mainland Chinese laws. Chinese citizens are encouraged to travel to Hong Kong to sign up for various pyramid selling schemes for outrageous promises of IPO riches. One such, Interush, was busted in Hong Kong last year.
Citron Research, which previously pointed out problems with NuSkin and China, has just dropped another bombshell... USANA may be next on the chopping block.
In the article referred to, USANA affiliates in China have been citing some very odd references... USANA founder Dr. Wentz's "Einstein Prize", and a "North American Nutritional Supplement Guide" by "MacWilliams.
Let us examine each one in a bit more detail.
The Truth Behind "Albert Einstein Award" won by Dr. Wentz
When searching for "Wentz Einstein" on Google, there is a PR PDF from USANA that popped up. Which lead to this picture. So he did received... SOMETHING.
But what exactly is this prize? It's awarded by "Global Capital Associates", not anyone related to sciences or Albert Einstein himself. The only link to Einstein seem to be that GCA is apparently a Jewish Organization, as their other awards include "King David Award" and "Friend of Zion Award". Searching the GCA website revealed NO LISTING for Einstein Award after 2006.
There are several "Albert Einstein" related awards, but those are generally given to actual physicists, not to a doctor hawking nutritional supplements. The primary "Albert Einstein Award", once given out by Einstein himself, was considered equivalent to Nobel Prize.
It's pretty obvious this particular "Albert Einstein Award" (from GCA) is nowhere close to that prestigious, and thus, sounds far more impressive than it is.
The Truth Behind Nutritional Supplement Guide by MacWilliams
According to the Chinese article, apparently USANA's products are highest rated in some sort of a nutritional supplement guide by MacWilliams.
Searching Amazon.com revealed only one likely candidate:
No, I'm not asking you to buy it. I'm just showing you that this book really does exist, and it's also available in Chinese.
Author is Lyle MacWilliams. Who is this guy? He was once elected to Parliament in Canada.
He had apparently been compiling nutritional research for many years. The Nutrisearch website can be found here: http://www.comparativeguide.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=32&Itemid=20
However, a bit further search revealed that Mr. MacWilliams was apparently on USANA's board of medical advisors during 2003-2006, and his various nutritional experts who help him with the book may have spouses making 100K+ a year as USANA distributor. And folks who wrote nice things about his guide? USANA distributors. (I have not had a chance to verify these claims, so take them with a bit of salt) He was allegedly spotted at USANA events as a speaker (year unknown).
So perhaps this guide isn't as... reliable as you may think it is.
Given that NuSkin was merely fined, USANA may get away with just a fine... Unless they screw up and invite a crackdown.
But their credibility will be shot, and their stock prices may take a dive and not recover for a LONG while.