A Growing List of Coronavirus Scams
A master list of known and alleged scams.
Multi-level marketing company fails to censure head of scientific board.
UPDATE: It appears Dr. Abbas Qutab is out as the head of Kyani’s Scientific Advisory Board. His bio no longer appears alongside other members on the board’s webpage on Kyani’s website, which has rid itself of Qutab’s name. On his own website Qutab is pitching a free e-book titled “Nitric Oxide: The Molecule of Life,” claiming in a video posted on the site that “once nitric oxide is generated in the body it can maintain, defend, and repair every cell in your body.” The site is also selling supplements marketed for a variety of conditions under the “Dr Q Vitamins” brand name.
Dr. Abbas Qutab, the head of the scientific board for Kyani, a nutritional supplement Multilevel Marketing – a way of distributing products or services in which the distributors earn income from their own retail sales and from retail sales made by their direct and indirect recruits., has continued to repeatedly run afoul of laws regulating disease-treatment claims with the company’s endorsement instead of censure, a TINA.org investigation has found.
In the past few months, Qutab has spoken at Kyani conventions across the globe and posted claims on Facebook that Kyani products can help prevent heart attacks and cancer, promote “pain free living,” and treat osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis and psoriasis, among other diseases.
These claims come despite Kyani CEO Michael Breshears’ statement to TINA.org following its publication of an investigation and complaint to the FTC about the company’s deceptive health and income claims that “neither Dr. Qutab nor Kyani has ever advocated Kyani products as a replacement for medication.”
In fact, within weeks of Breshears’ statement, Qutab, who boasts that he is not only the head of Kyani’s Scientific Advisory Board but also the creator and formulator of Kyani’s Triangle of Health wellness products, delivered a 35-minute lecture at a Kyani Convention in Montreal, Canada, in which he told a room full of distributors that “the [Kyani] products that you take will dramatically put you in a different state of health.”
After explaining to the audience how out-of-balance pH, oxidative stress, and inflammation are the causes of diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, digestive disorders, heart disease, hormone problems, respiratory problems, circulation problems and psoriasis, Qutab claims that four scientific studies showed that Kyani products help balance pH in the body, reduce oxidative stress and “stop inflammation 100%.” In particular, the Kyani Noni blend, Qutab said, “100% inhibits growth of blood vessels in damaged tissue.”
As a result of these “scientific” findings, Qutab and Kyani make the bold assertion that its products “maintain, defend and repair every cell in the body.” What Qutab failed to tell his audience was that the studies he (and Kyani) are relying on to make these bold health claims have severe limitations, and would not be accepted in the scientific community as reliable and competent evidence to support the disease-treatment claims that are being made.
Days later Qutab was on the road again, this time in Adelaide, Australia, for another Kyani Convention where he, in sum and substance, provided the same misleading information to Kyani distributors there.
Since the beginning of 2016, Qutab has attended 10 different Kyani-sanctioned events around the world and is scheduled to attend four more, including the Idaho-based company’s North American Convention set to begin Thursday.
Social media scrutiny
In addition to the inappropriate disease-treatment claims that Qutab espouses in his Kyani presentations, his Facebook page is also replete with implied health claims that violate FTC and FDA law.
For example, last month Qutab published a post strongly suggesting that Kyani products can prevent heart attacks and cancer.
And two days later, Qutab published another Facebook post implying that consuming Kyani’s Sunset product would result in “pain free living” and prevent most chronic illnesses.
Who’s getting schooled?
According to Qutab, “One of my missions with Kyani has been to always educate our distributors and leaders about the uniqueness of our products.” But TINA.org has gathered a database of examples of illegal disease-treatment claims being made by Kyani distributors that shows this “education” is running afoul of the law.
Yet, while Breshears told TINA.org that “compliance is critical to Kyani” and that the company has “dedicated compliance teams in the US, Europe, and Asia that do their best to police the claims being made by Distributors on the Internet and elsewhere,” Kyani appears to be doing the exact opposite of censuring Qutab. Instead, the company is endorsing his inappropriate medical presentations about Kyani products and sending him all around the world to make scientific claims that have yet to be backed up by competent and reliable scientific data.
TINA.org has reached out to Breshears for comment but has not heard back. Meanwhile, TINA.org will continue to closely monitor Qutab’s health presentations to see if the company is really committed to following the law.
For more on TINA.org’s investigation of Kyani, click here.
This article was update 1/18/18.
A master list of known and alleged scams.
TINA.org investigation also finds sellers using the FDA’s logo in violation of the agency’s logo policy.
Cue the play-off music.