Nearly 600 independent distributors of the diet and nutrition sales brand Herbalife were disciplined last year for making medical claims when selling the company's weight-loss shakes and supplements, despite company policies to prevent such tactics, ABC News reported.
The internal numbers were revealed by Herbalife after an ABC News undercover investigation found numerous examples of distributors boasting to potential customers that the company's products helped treat maladies ranging from diabetes to heart disease.
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According to ABC News, a Staten Island, N.Y., Herbalife distributor told a potential customer -- who was an ABC News reporter wearing a hidden camera -- that a woman with a brain tumor became symptom free after starting on Herbalife products.
Herbalife executives told ABC News that the company had taken pains to prohibit such tactics.
"As noted in the ABC News report, Herbalife is explicit with its members that 'products are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or medical condition, and under no circumstances should there be any statements, advertising or implications to the contrary,'" Herbalife said in a statement. "Enforcement of the rules of conduct is a top priority at Herbalife."