A con artist/pseudoscience peddler just received a prime-time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention scheduled for this Wednesday night.
According to The Daily Beast, Michelle Van Etten was introduced by the RNC in a Sunday evening press release as a “small business owner” who “employs over 100,000 people,” a number 1.5 times higher than the number of employees Apple has in the United States, which, as The Daily Beast points out, is probably a fabricated claim.
Van Etten sells several products that claim to improve health and even fight cancer. Etten’s brand, Youngevity, is a multi-level marketing system (aka pyramid scheme) focused on selling nutritional supplements and other products.
“The company certainly appears to be a pyramid scheme, advertising unique opportunities through a ‘world class marketing system.’ Rather, it seems like a world-class scam to me,” said Britt Hermes, a former naturopathic doctor and author of The Naturopathic Diaries, who has disavowed her former practice.
Avid Trump supporter and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones reportedly loves the Youngevity brand, and he even features Etten’s products on his InfoWars website and sells a package of Youngevity known as ‘The Alex Pack.’
“I want to stomp people… I like it,” Jones said in one video endorsing the product, claiming that the “Tangy Tangerine” made him more “crazed” and aggressive.
“The only problem is that I’m 22 [years-old] again…The only side effect is that I’m crazed now. Now I can jog 8 miles instead of 4 miles…My testosterone is up.”
From The Daily Beast:
Youngevity was founded by a naturopath, not a medical doctor. Naturopathy is based on the concept that the body can heal itself through the use of various herbs and vitamins, and is dismissed by many medical professionals as pseudoscientific. But these types of supplements are only loosely regulated: The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 outlines that vitamins and supplements don’t require approval from the Federal Drug Administration.
“The whole basis of the products and the claims are pseudoscience,” said Janet Helm, a nutritionist and registered dietitian.
“Don’t get your health advice from someone to sell you products. These are unproven and potentially dangerous, and they’re very expensive.”
Featured image: Michelle Van Etten’s Facebook