Amid ongoing scrutiny from regulators and the press regarding its business practices, Herbalife is taking every opportunity to tell its own story to the public and policymakers.
This week, a dozen Herbalife members traveled from five states to Washington, D.C. Their mission: to meet with representatives in Congress and personally communicate their experiences with the nutrition company—the kind of legislative relationship building promoted by the Direct Selling Assocation. To learn more about Herbalife’s meetings with Congress, DSN reached out to Eric Rosen, Vice President of U.S. Government Relations at Herbalife.
DSN: What was the main takeaway these members hoped to communicate to their representatives?
ER: Our members visited their elected officials to talk about the real way Herbalife is helping them live healthier, more active lifestyles and supporting them to own their own business.
Each Herbalife member around the country works hard to have a healthier lifestyle, and in some cases, have their own businesses. Being in Washington, D.C., gives our members the opportunity to share their stories with elected officials and educate those in Washington about the important role Herbalife plays in their lives.
DSN: What was a highlight of the day?
ER: There were a lot of beautiful moments from our fly-in, but the conversation between Andres Gaspar, an Herbalife member from Alabama, and staff in the Office of Representative Palmer (R-AL) was particularly memorable. Andres was very emotional when he talked about his previous work doing manual labor to support his family, including seven children. It was hard work and never enough, but through Herbalife, dedication and discipline, he now has the means to provide a good home and education for his family while promoting a product that is helping his community live a healthier life. He went on to say that for an immigrant like himself, this was more than he could ever dream. It was clear that the congressional staffer understood the deep impact Herbalife has had on the entire Gaspar family and the high regard they have for the quality of the product.
DSN: Does Herbalife plan to coordinate these meetings on a regular basis?
ER: Our fly-in program has allowed people from around the country to come to Washington, D.C., and represent their fellow 550,000 Herbalife members in meetings with elected officials. Through our fly-ins, we have empowered our members by helping them speak directly to their congressional representatives. We plan on continuing this program going forth.
DSN: What else is Herbalife doing right now to educate lawmakers about its business model?
ER: Herbalife’s efforts to explain its role as a global nutrition leader to policymakers in Washington and around the world are ongoing. We visit with elected officials in their districts, in the halls of Congress, and at events around the country to make them aware of the opportunities Herbalife products offer people who are interested in living healthier lives and working towards personal financial goals. We will continue to seek creative ways to give lawmakers a chance to interact with our products and learn more about Herbalife.