Nu Skin Taiwan execs charged under Drug Regulation Act
A search for “body spa” on the Nu Skin website brings up a result for an “ageLOC Galvanic Body Spa” device.
On their website, Nu Skin claim the device
- minimizes and smooth the appearance of body fat and cellulite for a slimmer looking body
- provides the body with a smooth, contoured appearance
- improves appearance of skin firmness
- improves overall condition of skin
- helps energize and purify skin
- hydrates the skin
- smoothes the appearance of cellulite for a firmer, more toned body with Body Shaping Gel and
- locks in moisture with Dermatic Effects
The ageLoc unit is advertised stand-alone on the Nu Skin website, however no price is given. A separate listing for a “Body Spa Package”, which contains the ageLoc unit, is advertised for $525.
In Taiwan the ageLoc body spa unit is classified as a medical device. Nu Skin Taiwan however failed to seek the appropriate regulatory licenses for the device however, with charges now filed against several Nu Skin executives.
In 2012 a Nu Skin affiliate surnamed Lin advertised the ageLoc body spa devices (right) online, touting its ability to ‘tighten muscle tone‘.
A subsequent investigation by Taiwan’s FDA found the devices were ‘not legally permitted for sale without Taiwan FDA approval‘.
Lin cooperated fully with investigating officers and told them he’d obtained the ageLoc devices from Nu Skin Taiwan.
In 2013 the FDA formally prohibited Nu Skin Taiwan from importing the devices. Among other reasons, the FDA cited a lack of included safety documentation.
Purportedly Nu Skin Taiwan CEO Huilin Chiang ignored the ban, and gave permission for top Taiwanese Nu Skin affiliates to sell the ageLOC body spa kits.
Chiang’s ruse saw top Taiwanese Nu Skin affiliates pay Hong Kong based affiliates for the kits. Purchased stock was then collected and imported into Taiwan following Nu Skin’s annual convention in Hong Kong.
This went on for some time, with ongoing investigations by Taiwanese authorities seeing Chiang’s import ring busted just over a week ago.
The bust revealed that since 2012, Chiang and Taiwanese Nu Skin affiliates had imported over 10,000 body spa kits from Hong Kong.
The units were then sold to newly recruited Taiwanese affiliates for $914 each, with almost half a million dollars USD generated in profit.
Taiwanese police have charged thirty-one people for importing the ageLOC body spa device, among them Huilin Chiang herself.
Chiang has been CEO of Nu Skin Taiwan since 2007.
In her defense, Chiang (right) claimed
she did not know Body Spa is considered (a) medical device (and that) the members were merely helping out fellow sellers in Hong Kong.
Nu Skin Taiwan’s PR department also issued the following statement:
We are compliant with all applicable laws in Taiwan, and we did not sell such machines in Taiwan.
Nu Skin affiliates in Taiwan however claim that the
Body Spa (product is) definitely promoted directly by Nu Skin Taiwan (and) there is commission for selling them.
Purportedly Nu Skin Taiwan
sent out internal e-Memos reminding sellers (affiliates) to “please be careful when demo’ing the product (and) don’t let Ministry of Health officers film the demonstrations”.
This, Taiwanese public prosecutors claim, is evidence high-level Nu Skin
executives and members not only knew the devices were unapproved but also deliberately sold them.
I did try to find out what the penalty was for being found guilty of selling unapproved medical devices in Taiwan, but was unsuccessful (language barriers).
What effect(s) the charges might have on Nu Skin Taiwan’s broader business operations remains to be seen.