June 2005

Demanding Accountability



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Blindness and Death
with Impunity?
Master's Miracle New Formula

By Ron Lee
Investigative Reporter

Minneapolis, MN - Master's Miracle is a multi-level marketing company based out of Maple Grove, MN whose product slogan is, "Natural, Simple Solutions for a Healthier Body and Mind." According to their web site they produce, "safe, nontoxic, natural soaps, skin moisturizer, gel and deodorants" as well as a "Fortified Mineral Neutralizer, which provides essential minerals and helps balance your body's pH." These products were originally sold to Master's Miracle for distribution by Clayton Tedeton the creator of the products. In January, 2004 Master's Miracle decided to manufacturer their own similar product line, as it would be more profitable for the company. Unfortunately, they neglected to initially tell their distributors and those buying the products that they were doing this. It wasn't until April, 2004 that they announced they were making their own products.

Soon after the products' formulas changed in January, 2004 people started complaining of negative effects, as well as of products contaminated with what appeared to be black mold or fungus. While Master's Miracle responded by exchanging tainted products with new ones, they denied any change in formula and withheld the fact of the production change for several months from their own distributors.

One of their key products, The Master's Miracle Fortified Mineral Neutralizer, claims to be energized to make the minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium more readily available for cell storage. The Neutralizer is said to bolster the immune system and according to literature out on many distributors web sites, aid in fighting many illnesses including cancer. Prior to Master's Miracle manufacturing the Neutralizer in-house, the product was hailed as miraculous and many success stories poured in spurring the successful business opportunity and exploding growth of the company. When the formula was changed, those who were successfully fighting their ailments allegedly became more ill, and in some purported cases, died.

The allegations of death have not at this point been conclusively linked to the Master's Miracle products, as doctors have been unwilling to give up medical records and documents. The fact remains that these individuals who had been successfully fighting their personal disorders deteriorated rapidly once Master's Miracle changed their formula. As in the case of 79 year old Adie Wickers of Seattle who suffered from advanced arthritis and began using the Master's Miracle products prior to the change in formula. She recalled, “It took away the pain and then they changed it. The pain came back quickly, and it felt like I was going to be crippled.” She said she kept asking her up line why she hurt so badly. No one could respond. Shortly thereafter the distributors received notice of the formula change. She realized the degradation of her condition was a direct result of being on the new formula for a period of almost two months before she was told it was a different product. She then found a source for the original product and stopped using Master's Miracle altogether. She proudly exclaims that she is currently pain free and no longer limps.

With many complaints like Adie Wickers' being filed some of the main distributors became quite concerned and launched an investigation of their own. With an administrative insider they were given many fascinating facts of allegedly unethical behavior. For instance, while Master's Miracle purchased its products in 55 gallon drums from Clayton Tedeton and bottled it themselves, workers were ordered to add up to 10 gallons of water to each drum to further monetize the profitability of the products. When the formula was changed, the original product bottles and labels were still used with the new products.

The Distributors became uneasy and questioned Mike Schlegel, founder/CEO of Master's Miracle, and soon they found themselves summarily dismissed and stripped of their down-lines (distributors & retail clients in their organization from whom they make money) under the guise that they were cross-recruiting by telling people that the original product was no longer available, and there were serious issues with the current product line.

One such distributor was Dave Greer who had once been presented the coveted Top Sales Award from Master's Miracle. “I told them they needed to do a recall, or I'm out.” Schlegel refused and it cost Greer $40 thousand dollars to walk away from the business. At one point Greer was doing a television show in regard to the Master's Miracle products being reformulated and possibly tainted. Schlegel threatened to sue him. When that didn’t work, Schlegel offered him his downline (revenue stream) back. When Greer wouldn't accept the offer, Mike Schlegel asked, “How can you walk away from the money?”

What transpired after the distributors were excised from the company was a lengthy legal battle waged by Master's Miracle to keep the ex-distributors muzzled and from contacting any other existing distributors. With affidavits from many active distributors and product users the ex-distributors were victorious and defeated the Master's Miracle preliminary injunction.

But it didn't end there. Master's Miracle filed a new motion citing several inconsistencies in a law quoted by the defendants, as well as, taking evidence of a settlement agreement which according to the ex-distributors was "nothing like we had agreed to in our settlement hearing." On May 17, 2005, with this new "evidence" the Utah Northern Division US District Judge, Dale A. Kimball, reversed his previous decision awarding, "Plaintiff's (Master's Miracle) Motion for Order Enforcing Settlement and Granting Entry of Final Judgment for Permanent Injunction." In his written discussion of the case, Judge Kimball wrote, "...the court orders that the preliminary injunction entered in this case shall be considered and made a permanent injunction, and all pending motions to dismiss claims and counterclaims are denied as moot."

Since the injunction, took effect Master's Miracle has admitted that their own manufactured Neutralizer product line does indeed contain bacteria that could pose a possible risk. But, that risk is down-played in the company health alert. This admission was spurred by the Canadian Government’s stern warning to its public that Master's Miracle products are not to be sold in Canada. Health Canada warned:

"... Canadians not to use 'Master's Miracle Fortified Mineral Neutralizer.'

Health Canada's analysis of a sample of this product found that the 'Master's Miracle Fortified Mineral Neutralizer' was contaminated with harmful bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter cloacae.

Health Canada has been working with the company, which is unable to provide Health Canada with evidence to support the safety of their other health products. As a result, Health Canada cannot be sure that other products by The Master's Miracle do not contain these harmful bacteria.

Using products that contain these harmful bacteria may result in serious adverse reactions or death. Adverse health reactions can include infection of cuts and scrapes, a body rash from topical exposure or respiratory infections if consumed, particularly in people with a weakened immune system from other diseases. Children may be more sensitive to these effects than adults."

To understand the implications of the company's admission to producing tainted products you have to understand the bacteria itself. In Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology:

"Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen, meaning that it exploits some break in the host defenses to initiate an infection. It causes urinary tract infections, respiratory system infections, dermatitis, soft tissue infections, bacteremia, bone and joint infections, gastrointestinal infections and a variety of systemic infections, particularly in patients with severe burns and in cancer and AIDS patients who are immunosuppressed. Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection is a serious problem in patients hospitalized with cancer, cystic fibrosis, and burns. The case fatality rate in these patients is 50 percent."

While Health Canada has stepped up and issued a broad alert, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not. The US~Observer has obtained information that the FDA has indeed tested the Master's Miracle product and has come to the same conclusion; it does contain the harmful Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. But the FDA's only warning has come on their web site in the form of reprinting the Master's Miracle Health Alert:

"The Master's Miracle Issues Nationwide Health Alert Against Applying Their Products to the Eyes

Contact: Steve Manske (763) 493-3200

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Minneapolis, MN -- May 18, 2005 -- The Master's Miracle (TMM) company of Minneapolis, Minn., is alerting the public against applying the company's TMM brand Fortified Mineral Neutralizer and Ultra Fortified Mineral Neutralizer to the eyes because these products may be contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas flourescens/putida and Enterobacter cloacae -- bacteria that, if applied to the eyes, might lead to serious injury, including possible blindness. The products are labeled as a Dietary Supplement and distributed nationwide in 8 oz., 20 oz. and one-gallon size containers.

It has come to FDA's attention that certain TMM distributors are actively promoting these products for ophthalmic use (in the eyes), including treatment for cataracts and allergy symptoms. FDA requires that all ophthalmic products be sterile. TMM products are not sterile and should not be applied to the eyes. TMM has agreed with FDA that, in the future, its distributors must use only company-approved marketing materials and claims for product use for its family of products. In addition, TMM will require its distributors to cease distribution or use of, and destroy any and all marketing materials that make claims for ophthalmic use of the Fortified Mineral Neutralizer and Ultra Fortified Mineral Neutralizer products.

TMM's mission is to offer natural, synthetic-free products, and the company's foremost concern is the well-being of its consumers. TMM is working with a well-known, independent laboratory and an expert from the University of Minnesota to identify the source of these bacteria and eliminate them.

Consumers with questions are asked to call The Master's Miracle at (763) 493-3200 for information."

According to the announcement the company claims that, "certain TMM distributors are actively promoting these products for ophthalmic use," but according to evidence gathered by the US~Observer, Master's Miracle's own company marketing literature made those claims and distributors were just passing on the information they were given by the company. In an internal Master's Miracle announcement, "This is to inform you that marketing materials containing eye application usage are being recalled. We are alerting our distributors to not use The Master's Miracle Fortified Mineral Neutralizer and Ultra Fortified Mineral Neutralizer in the eyes since these products may be contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas flourescens/putida and Enterobacter cloacae bacteria, which if applied to the eyes may lead to serious injury including possible blindness. And, we are requiring our distributors to destroy any inventory of marketing materials that contain statements or any reference to the use of the Neutralizer products in the eyes."

The recall list of the company approved marketing materials is quite extensive and directly invalidates their claim that it was a few certain distributors promoting ophthalmic use.

One of the Master's Miracle Triple Diamond distributors during a live conference call on June 7, 2005 offered the following overview of events for the call-in audience:

“To give you the history of what has happened, about six months ago a top distributor in our company was terminated for misconduct. There were some things done that were against the company by-laws, and he didn't take this very well. We take the position that what was done was done in all fairness to protect the other distributors in this company. We could not go on like that. So he made the comment at the time that he would do anything he could to bring this company down and he's doing a pretty good job. There have been letters sent to the FDA, to Canada Health and the remarks are not truthful, but I can tell you that for the last four months the FDA has watched the Master's Miracle with a magnifying glass because of some accusations and all they are is an accusation … One thing we want on our calls is factual information that is coming from the company and from real sources and that is why we wanted to bring this information to you tonight.”

With various labs all testing the products and coming to the same conclusions, and the company itself alerting people to a potential health risk because it knows of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa risk, it sure doesn't lend credence to the company's promotion of a lone, renegade, disgruntled, ex-distributor making waves through accusation. The evidence is there and obvious. There are health risks with Master's Miracle products.

As one MLMer commented, "One thing is for sure, as with all money-making home-based business opportunities it is important to completely do your due-diligence in researching the products you will be representing, especially when the company is issuing its own health alerts for its products and there are claims of illness and death as a result of their use. To me, it sounds like a bad business investment."

Editor's Note: This is an on-going investigation which will turn its focus on the owners of Master's Miracle, their past business dealings and criminal records, further documentation of FDA tests, and medical documentation backing claims that these products should not be marketed to the public. We ask that anyone who may have information to please contact the US~Observer by calling 541-474-7885.

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