Saturday, January 27, 2007

Himalayan Goji Juice on CBC's Marketplace

On CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) show Marketplace this week, Himalayan Goji Juice was featured. This is a show that is there to help the consumer make informed decisions. Here’s a description of the show from

"designed to inform and protect the harrassed Canadian consumer in this age of spiralling prices, questionable sales practices and insidious small print on iron-clad contracts."
Goji’s most prominent advocate Dr. Earl Mindell was the focus for much of the episode, I’m guessing because he is Canadian born. Last time I checked the episode was available to watch on their web site so I won’t get too much into what they said. I felt that they did make some valid points though. They make entertaining television, which is what they are supposed to do so I wasn’t sure how fair everything was presented. I wondered how is Freelife (The Himalayan Goji Juice company) going to respond to this? In my inbox yesterday was an email with a response to the show from the CEO’s of the company. I’ll only copy some of it but if you’d like to read the whole thing just let me know in a comment and I can get it to you.

Last night, a Canadian television station ran a story on Dr. Earl Mindell, FreeLife, and Himalayan Goji Juice. While some portions of the program demonstrated the incredible impact FreeLife and Himalayan Goji Juice is having on people’s lives, other parts of this program were inaccurate and misleading. This surprised us since dozens of other media reports from much larger and more reputable media sources, such as TIME magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the TODAY show, have had nothing but extremely positive things to say about the impact goji is having on people’s lives.

If the television producer’s goal had been to find out the real story about FreeLife, Dr. Mindell, and Himalayan Goji Juice, they would have taken us up on our offer several weeks ago to bring their film crew to our Corporate Office in Phoenix, see our facilities and people, and do an “on-camera” interview with us. Indeed, in our communications with the television station, we reminded them that their own professional standards required them to interview the company and that we were requesting such an interview to ensure the accuracy of any statements about FreeLife, its product, or Dr. Mindell. Why they declined our written invitation, we may never know. We also find it unfortunate that a television program that claims to be an advocate for consumers would so mislead the public in an attempt to discredit a product that has helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world to enjoy better health. Had the television program taken us up on our offer to communicate directly with us, here is what they would have learned:

Dr. Mindell is a pioneer in the nutrition industry and is considered by many as the father of the nutritional revolution. As with many pioneers, he has been subjected to much scorn and ridicule throughout his professional career. For example, 30 years ago, he was mocked for suggesting that every person supplement their diet with vitamins. Today, the American Medical Association agrees with Dr. Mindell and recommends that all Americans supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin. That’s what a visionary does.

Dr. Mindell received his pharmacy degree from North Dakota State University in 1963. In his 30s while raising a family and working full-time, Dr. Mindell furthered his education and received a Ph.D. in nutrition taking part-time classes from Pacific Western University, a California Accredited Educational Institution and one of the only schools in the country that offered PhDs in nutrition at that time!

The media attention that FreeLife, Himalayan Goji Juice, and the goji berry have received over the past year has been incredible. This year, TIME magazine called the Himalayan Goji Berry the “Super Fruit of the Year” and a few days after that, Himalayan Goji Juice was positively featured on the TODAY show in the United States. This week, Woman’s World magazine featured the goji berry with a fantastic article:
“Chinese Miracle Berries for Perfect Health.” “Move Over Blueberries. The New Super Fruit? Goji berries, used by Chinese herbalists for over 6,000 years known as the ‘herb of longevity.’”
FreeLife’s Himalayan Goji Juice has experienced an unprecedented level of acceptance and passion throughout the world. We have hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers who benefit from Himalayan Goji Juice and purchase it month after month after month.

There is an extensive history of independent research on the goji berry proving its benefits. Consumers interested in educating themselves should log on to and type in “Lycium barbarum” the Latin name for the goji berry. This is a United States government sponsored website that provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date research regarding scientific studies. As of today, you will find 79 studies on the goji berry, including 12 new ones published this year alone. The 79th study was just posted this week.

The renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York has a page devoted to the goji berry which you can view at:

The vast majority of studies on goji, including the 79 peer reviewed scientific studies you will find on, relate to the research on goji’s unique polysaccharides named LBP-1, LBP-2, LBP-3 and LPB-4. These polysaccharides, not yet found in any other plant on earth, are what make goji unique and the biggest breakthrough in nutrition that Dr. Mindell has seen in 40 years. They are, by far, the most beneficial component of the goji berry. Knowing this, Dr. Mindell and his research team developed our trade secret, a proprietary manufacturing process that maximizes and standardizes the polysaccharide level in every bottle of Himalayan Goji Juice. That is why our customers get better results with Himalayan Goji Juice than with any other goji product on the market.

Interestingly, we had learned that the Canadian television station was testing our Himalayan Goji Juice for several ingredients like protein and beta carotene. We showed them that we never claimed or advertised high protein or beta carotene content in Himalayan Goji Juice. While there are trace amounts of numerous other ingredients, we informed the television program that they were misguided and should be testing for goji’s unique polysaccharides. As with much of their story, their report on the test results of our product was 100% misleading. It would be like testing an orange for its iron content and then concluding that an orange has no nutritional value because it has little to no iron. We all know that nobody consumes oranges because of their iron content—people eat oranges because they are loaded with vitamin C.
We have developed a Spectral Signature to ensure that every bottle of Himalayan Goji Juice is packed with goji’s unique health-promoting polysaccharides. It is your guarantee of potency, purity, and authenticity in every bottle. If the Canadian television station had tested our product for polysaccharides, they would have identified an abundance of the most important health-promoting ingredient in the goji berry. For customers looking for high protein or lots of beta carotene, we recommend saving some money and eating a lean piece of chicken with a carrot.

FreeLife offers a 90-day, no-questions-asked, 100% unconditional money-back guarantee to all of its customers, even if the entire bottle has been completely finished.

Obviously Freelife is about making money, which explains why there is so much hype. I am happy with the response given by Freelife and because of how I feel Goji Juice has affected me and other people, be it placebo or the real thing. I will continue to drink it, learn more about it and tell people about it.



Anonymous,  1/27/2007 6:46 PM  

This response from Freelife is completely ridiculous. He trots out the PubMed nonsense, when that was shown that NONE of those PubMed articles is referring to actual health effects in humans. NONE. Freelife is deceiving people by their statements.

The "university" Mindell "went" to was SHUT-DOWN for being a diploma mill, which granted bogus degrees by mail. Notice how he leaves that out!

These Freelife people are extremely manipulative and deceptive and tricky in their wordings. Mindell got busted for his false claims, and Freelife is being deceptive. They have NO PROOF that their "secret" brew does anything for people. If they did, they would get a double-blind placebo controlled study carried out.

Its just another MLM con-game, one of hundreds, or ever thousands these days.

Anonymous,  1/27/2007 7:28 PM  

by the way, if you look into the 2 business guys behind Freelife, and some of their activities, a person needs to think more than twice. They have simply linked up with Mindell, so when you have Freelife defending Mindell, that is the fox telling you the henhouse is just fine with them guarding it. Freelife is in a total conflict of interest with Mindell, so whatever they say carries no weight.

If you want the basic truth about Goji juice, this website has a nice summary.

But folks, watch your wallets when dealing with these Freelife people. From what was said by Freelife here, it sounds like they were trying to trick CBC Marketplace into some type of legalistic trap, so the CBC lawyers just told them to take a hike. A NEWS program does not have to do what Freelife tells them to do! Freelife is just used to the stupid local news people, who have no clue about anything. They can't handle a proper journalist.

Freelife is all HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE. No science or facts, AT ALL. ZERO. This is why the Freelife CEO tells people to "search PubMed".
First, he knows 99% of people don't know how to do that.
Second, this clears him of legal liabilites for lying about what is written there.

Its all a bunch of word-tricks with these Freelife people.

International Snake-Oil Salesmen.

Kathryn 1/28/2007 12:54 AM  

hmmmm. . some sobering comments here. Just reading the FreeLife response made me think : "wow, this guy is really on the defense -- people with nothing to prove don't usually go on so much." I'd like to see a Mayo Clinic report, perhaps Journal of American Medicine article, World Health Organization findings. . reputable institutions -- though Sloan-Kettering is renowned and will certainly give FreeLife some cachet. However, even the experts publish findings, then reverse their position years down the road. No wonder the public gets so easily confused with health matters. I wonder about a product that is prohibitively expensive. If its so darned good for everyone, why can't it be made available for everyone? Most especially those who need it the most -- the poor, the malnourished, those who can't afford even the fresh produce that many of us take for granted. I love CBC's news shows. I wish i'd seen that broadcast.

Anonymous,  1/28/2007 1:26 PM  

Kathyrn, you can watch the entire video for free right here.

What is unbelievable, is that Sloan-Kettering has demanded that Freelife STOP mis-using their data and name. They say so in the TV show above. But Freelife just keeps saying the same stuff, they don't care.

Also, the Sloan-Kettering info has NOTHING to do with the Mindell Goji "brew" as Mindell and Freelife say that they have created a "special" brew. (which is a lie...sorry guys...its the oldest trick in the book to try and be "exclusive").

I could say a lot more about Freelife right now, and its founders. The bottom line is that those guys are businessmen, and use extremely deceptive and tricky words, in order to make a Big Claim, which allows them to charge a lot of money.

Sorry for Distributors who read this...but listen...WATCH IT with these Freelife dudes. They are setting up another Amway type of situation, and they are being very deceptive and manipulative.

If they wanted to prove their Goji works, they have to set up a number of double-blind controlled studies...50 people get Goji...50 people get regular juice, and then measure the results, with the patients and experimenters not knowing who gets which.

But Freelife will never do this, as they know damn well its just juice, and has no specific health benefits. Sorry guys, they know this, which is why they do all of the trickery.

Anonymous,  1/28/2007 1:31 PM  

The link to the CBC MArketplace show got broken, here it is again...also a Tinyurl as well.

Anonymous,  1/29/2007 8:45 PM  

Hard to believe some people will not take the time to learn the science behind polysaccharides such as the one found in Goji Juice. Most people do not know that before there was drugs and radition therapy to treat cancer, people used essential sugars from dark berries such as Black Berries and Blue Berries to help heal the human body. Why do people believe that if the body is not healthy and efforts are made to restore the health of the body, the body can not actually beat the cancer without drug therapy and radiation (depends on how much damage has been done).

Radiation therapy in the beginning killed so many people that they really had to refine the therapy and many laws were passed on radiation therapies to stop doctors from killing there patients with radiation.

People owe it to themselves to get educated by reading about the Eight Essential Sugars. We all know have heard about the Amino Acids (protein buliding blocks) that build up tissue, but what about the amino sugars that create build connective tissue in the joints, heart, lungs, etc.

What Goji (Lycium Barbarum) has going for it is that it has all eight essential sugars in balance. Think back to when sailors had scurvy and rickets because they had basic vitamin deffincies. So because the science is young, does it mean it can not be accurate. The problem is that it is not a drug and therefore the drug companies only want to isolate the healing qualities of the plant and put it in a pill and sell it to sick people at a few hundred dollars each month. Take the time and learn what the truth is, not what is being written by people who really have no credentials.

Sweetwater,  2/09/2007 9:29 AM  

What? Freelife’s "Dr." Earl Mindell is not even a REAL medical doctor?!

Does anyone else feel a little (or a LOT) deceived?...

Found at it says has some quotes from the CBC video:


CBC's Wendy Mesley: "Aren't you misleading people by telling them all this science that is suspect?"

Freelife’s Earl Mindell: "I'm not misleading people. I'm a registered pharmacist I have a PHD in Nutrition..."

CBC's Wendy Mesley: "But it's an unaccredited university."

Freelife’s Earl Mindell: “It's, it’s accredited in every state in the Union."

NOTE: The Washington Post reports that Pacific Western University is unaccredited institution in "Public Paid for Bogus Degrees"

NOTE: A news report including Pacific Western University: "Degrees for Sale" KVOA TV - NEWS 4


(btw: has several other great quotes from the CBC report)

Anonymous,  4/25/2007 1:56 PM  

Here are the quotes talked about:

Is Freelife in Trouble?

to see the story go to

on Freelife's Earl Mindell and Goji Juice.

Investigative reporter Wendy Mesley from the well known and award winning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has just released an expose on well-known Freelife promoter Earl Mindell and the purported benefits of Himalayan Goji Juice.

Quotes from the above CBC video report:

CBC’s Wendy Mesley to Freelife’s Earl Mindell: "You’re misleading people."
CBC’s Wendy Mesley to Freelife’s Earl Mindell: "People aren't told that you could drink a glass of grape juice and get the same benefit."

Dr Steven Seiger (researcher of natural health products for cancer treatment at McMaster University): "Modern science has not anywhere NEAR proven that the Goji berry has any effect on practically any of the ailments that they are claiming it has an effect on."

Dr. Steven Seiger: "If you are gong to market something and say it does something and you haven't done the research to show that, it is basically deceit. And it is also very expensive deceit for those people who are actually buying it for that particular purpose."

Freelife’s Earl Mindell: "My goal is to close half the hospitals!"

CBC's Wendy Mesley: "And at every presentation we witnessed, Mindell touts that breast cancer study he told us about earlier."
Freelife’s Earl Mindell: (from stage at a Freelife meeting) "A researcher from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which, by the way, is probably one of the most prestigious cancer research center in the Untied states, here's what they said, and you've got to listen to every word here. 'lyceum barbarum – inhibits – growth - of hormone - responsive – human – breast – cancer - cells.'"

CBC's Wendy Mesley: "We call Sloan-Kettering, and they're angry their name is being used to promote Goji"

Memorial Sloan Kettering: "They are making false claims."

Memorial Sloan Kettering: "No one here has ever done any research on Goji juice or lyceum barbarum."

CBC’s Wendy Mesley: "and it turns out it is not even their scientist that did the study that Mindell keeps flaunting."

(NOTE: Dr Bradlow from Hackensack University Medical Center is the lead scientist on the Goji study)
CBC’s Wendy Mesley asking Dr. Bradlow about the study: "So there's no proof that [Goji] would [prevent cancer] in a human?"
Dr. Bradlow: "Absolutely not. I don't have proof that it would have that effect in a tumor in a MOUSE, let alone a person."

Dr Bradlow: "It's Unbelievable how many unscrupulous souls that are out there trying to peddle an unproven product."

CBC’s Wendy Mesley: "They talk about Mindell like he’s a medical doctor. But he’s not. His claim to Dr. is his PHD in nutrition. We see “doctor” everywhere. Well, we find out Mindell’s PHD is from Pacific Western, and unaccredited university."

CBC's Wendy Mesley: "Aren't you misleading people by telling them all this science that is suspect?"
Freelife’s Earl Mindell: "I'm not misleading people. I'm a registered pharmacist I have a PHD in Nutrition..."
CBC's Wendy Mesley: "But it's an unaccredited university."
Freelife’s Earl Mindell: “It's, it’s accredited in every state in the Union."

NOTE: The Washington Post reports that Pacific Western University is unaccredited institution in "Public Paid for Bogus Degrees"

NOTE: A news report including Pacific Western University: "Degrees for Sale" KVOA TV - NEWS 4

Anonymous,  5/24/2007 1:45 PM  

It looks like this information is also available at

Anonymous,  9/26/2008 4:43 PM  

I use herbal medicine and haven't gotten around to the goji berry...but I tend to assume there's something to it, on account of lots of Asians eat/drink them every day and have for generations. Most herbs used in this way turn out to be healthy when they are studied.

People do seem to feel better using them. And anything that protects or enhances the liver and immune system, traditional uses of the goji berry in Chinese medicine, would be good against cancer.

Regardless of the merit of FreeLife and Mindell's products and advertising...much of traditional herbal medicine HAS been clinically proven to improve health. It works for all kinds of reasons, and if practiced in an informed way is often safer, healthier, and less expensive than conventional medicine.

Last but not least, herbal medicine is in constant danger of being outlawed in the United States and Canada. Why? Could it partly be big pharmaceutical companies who fund politicians' campaigns and don't like competition from something that works? And requiring licensed practitioners is one thing in a country with national healthcare, quite another in the U.S. where the average person can't afford to go to the doctor.

Anyway, if everything being said is true, it sounds like Mindell and FreeLife are a little off, and so is CBC.

The PubMed studies that I am able to find do not refer to actual improved health in humans but they do seem to refer to things that would be likely to contribute to it.

The good old Wiki page cites various studies to back up information about Goji berries:

Good health...

Ken,  9/19/2009 7:57 PM  

Well Anonymous,I don,t know where you get your opinions but obviously not from those of us that use Goji with very good results.I have used Goji with excellect results for about 3 years and have gone from not being able to pick up a cup of milk to pain free in about 6 weeks.Had doudts as to whether it was the Goji affecting me and stopped using it after about 3 months.In 4 weeks the pain and lack of mobility were back.Started using Goji again and in about 5 weeks the pain was gone,will not stop again.Previous to this I had been on prescription drugs on the advice of a medical doctor and that totaly messed up my system,the side effects were worse than the arthritis,never again will I use the prescription drugs for arthritis.The Goji is also used by 5 of my family and friends with good results so when I saw the CBC report I was amazed at their conclusions,but did notice that they went out of their way NOT to interview anyone that did have positive results which makes me suspect the program was very biased.Perhaps the drug companys ad money had some influence.

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Cleo Pascal 2/22/2011 4:10 AM  

Personally, I believe in herbology. I mean, it's just common sense. The earliest of medicines came from plants, so why doubt their healing properties? Even some of the drugs that we take today are made of plants. Calling them alternative health medicine does not make them any less effective and safe than the drugs that have names we can't even pronounce (and spell). So cheers to the Goji berry and to the other plants that do wonders to our health!

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