Doctor claims Juice Plus supplement makes smoking safe
A doctor in Finland has made the remarkable claim that taking Juice Plus supplements makes smoking safe.
Veli-Pekka Valkonen, a physician in Finland, made the claim at a Juice Plus marketing event.
The event was filmed for training purposes but was never supposed to have been made public.
Juice Plus affiliates who attended the event were prohibited from recording or taking photos of speakers, but were encouraged to take notes.
As one of the speakers at the event, Valkonen (right) revealed he had been taking Juice Plus supplements for twelve years.
Valkonen promotes Juice Plus supplements over synthetic formulas. He claims continued use of synthetic supplements increases cancer and mortality rates over time.
As opposed to causing you to get cancer and die, Valkonen states Juice Plus supplements have a measurable effect on the body within a month.
He describes these effects as “the body being born again”.
Valkonen continues his presentation, next asserting that taking Juice Plus mitigates the effects of smoking.
Smoking damages DNA and these breakdown products can be measured in urine, Valkonen explains.
According to Valkonen, measurable damage decreases with a lot of vegetable consumption, and Juice Plus products have ‘shown the same effect’.
“Specifically smokers have been able to show that they can continue smoking and take Juice Plus, so you’re safe,” Valkonen claims.
Despite Valkonen being a doctor, it should be noted that DNA damage is not measurable in urine. Nor does taking Juice Plus prevent the harmful effects of smoking.
The final claim Valkonen makes is that taking Juice Plus supplements saw his gums recover through growth of new tissue.
The Juice Plus marketing video featuring Valkonen was purportedly shown in weekly training events.
According to one attendee at the original event, the video has over time been shown to hundreds of Juice Plus affiliates.
Another Juice Plus affiliate Seura spoke to claims
We were told that (Juice Plus) products cannot be sold using the name of Valkonen because he is a doctor. But we were instructed to use his health claims specifically in our sales efforts.
Doctor Valkonen is currently working for The Mehiläinen Group, who claim to be ‘a well-known and respected private provider of social and health services in Finland‘.
Seura reached out to The Mehiläinen Group, who stated they did not share or endorse Valkonen’s views on Juice Plus supplements.
Whether Valkonen has promoted Juice Plus supplements to patients in his capacity as a The Mehiläinen Group is unclear.
Outside of The Mehiläinen Group, Valkonen is also a well-known sports physician.
For their part, Juice Plus also disowned Valkonen’s comments.
Seura sought out Mattias Mildenborn, Juice Plus’ Regional Director for Northern Europe, who stated;
The lecture material seen by the Seura was neither produced nor approved by the company.
Mildenborn stated the company’s guidelines and ethical guidelines prohibit medical marketing.
“When the video came to our knowledge, we act immediately and no longer use the video,” Mildenborn said in an email.
Why Juice Plus was using a marketing video it didn’t produce or approve of is unclear.
Valkonen himself was approached by Seura for a telephone interview.
After initially agreeing to be interviewed, Valkonen went on to cancel via text message.
The food control authority has recently intervened in marketing Juice Plus products in Finland for illegal health claims.
Astonishingly, as per Finnish law Valkonen’s conduct doesn’t appear to be illegal.
States Marjo Misikangas, Chief Inspector of the Finland’s Food Agency;
The law only binds the company and the sellers of the products.
If your doctor is not a reseller or an employee of the company, they may not be subject to control measures under the Food Act.
Did Valkonen, in his capacity as a doctor, speak at a Juice Plus marketing event recorded for training purposes without compensation? Probably not, but I digress.
Meanwhile Finnish doctors can apparently make up completely unfounded medical claims without repercussion. Good to know.
A few months ago authorities in Italy also fined Juice Plus for deceptive marketing claims.
BehindMLM reviewed Juice Plus in mid 2018. As part of our review we documented multiple instances of Juice Plus affiliates making medical claims relating to cancer.