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FTC Reportedly Meets with Latino Group to Discuss Herbalife

<p>The FTC confirmed that a meeting was held with the League of United Latin American Citizens but did not disclose the participants or the contents of the meeting.</p>

WASHINGTON The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday reportedly met with a Latino group to discuss complaints about Herbalife, Ltd.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has called for an investigation into Herbalife, alleging that the marketer of nutritional products lures Latinos with false promises of riches.

Citing LULAC, Bloomberg News reported the meeting between FTC Chairman Edith Ramirez and the group. The FTC confirmed with Natural Products INSIDER that a meeting was held with LULAC, but did not disclose the participants or the contents of the meeting.

We would welcome the opportunity to educate the group assembled by LULAC, in order to correct the misinformation and misperceptions they may have been given about Herbalife, and to review and understand the details of those who cite a bad experience with Herbalife," Herbalife spokesman Julian Cacchioli said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News.

For more than a year, thanks to allegations from hedge-fund manager William Ackman, who bet $1 billion that the company would collapse, Herbalife has faced accusations that its multi-level marketing model is nothing more than an illegal pyramid scheme.

Herbalife has adamantly denied the allegations and presented evidence to demonstrate that it is legitimate, including studies to rebut claims that its products are not sold to individuals outside its vast network of distributors.  

Some lawmakers including Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts have pushed for the FTC to investigate the 34-year-old company. The FTC doesn't comment on whether it is investigating a specific company.

The allegations against Herbalife have not arrested its growth.

On Monday, the company revealed that it anticipated net sales for the full year would rise 18.5% over 2012 ($4.1 billion). Herbalife also said it plans to begin repurchasing shares of its common stock after its board of directors increased an existing share repurchase authorization to $1.5 billion.

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