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The Corporate Buy-out of The Health Food Industry

by Dr. Richard Schulze


The growing trend over the last few decades seems to be the almost endless selling by owners of their small companies to huge international corporations. I wouldn't mind this trend, if I thought it was in the customers’ best interest, and furthermore, if what I experienced was that the products got better. Instead, what I almost always see is that the products get worse. This trend is usually NOT in the consumers’ best interest at all.

Usually, when small companies sell out, the founder’s passion, vision and purity gets lost, as the new parent company focuses on cost, bottom lines, larger distribution and even larger profits. This results in their quest to make the products cheaper, and results in inferior products that don’t work as well, don't last as long, and are more disposable.

Recycled has even become Recyclable, the new product buzzword, which doesn’t mean anything. Actually, it means that the company didn't do a damn thing in sourcing out their raw materials, didn't use anything recycled, and they're just asking you to take on what is their responsibility and dispose of the product in a conscious way, if this is even possible.

I still have my father's tools, and some of these tools were his father's tools. Steel, iron and wood, and with a little oil, the oldest tools still work like the day they were made. You can’t buy tools like this anymore. Half the screwdrivers I buy nowadays, strip just using them to screw in a screw, if the plastic handle doesn’t break first. They just don't make things like they used to. OK, I could bitch about this forever, and I’m starting to scare myself because I’m sounding like my father, so I’ll get to my point…

The Corporate Buyout of our Health
No, I’m not talking about HMO’s, but that’s another thing that didn’t improve medical care, but it did improve insurance companies’ profits. I am talking about the selling of health businesses and herbal medicine companies to big corporations.

Coca Cola bought out Odwalla juice. That was a nightmare. Their bad processes made people sick and caused pasteurization laws to be passed so now we can only buy cooked apple juice.

Pepsi Cola bought out Naked Juice, so now most of our fresh juices are being produced by Coke, Pepsi and other soda pop companies.

Kraft Foods, the people who make Velveeta imitation cheese, bought out Boca Burger, the veggie burger company, and that quality went down. (By the way, Kraft Foods is owned by tobacco giant Phillip Morris.)

Lipton, the huge black tea company, bought out Celestial Seasonings Herbal Teas, and we got prettier packaging, not better product!

Mars Incorporated, the huge candy bar company (M&M’s and Snickers), bought out what used to be an awesome Organic seed and food company, Seeds of Change.

Traditional Medicinal Teas – SOLD and is no longer owned by the great California herbalist Rosemary Gladstar anymore. In fact, I just searched for her name on their corporate website and nothing came back!

Janet Zand’s herbal products – SOLD and is no longer owned by Janet anymore. (By the way, I couldn’t find her name on the company website anymore, either.)

Burt’s Bees – SOLD to Clorox.

Get my point here? The Soda Pop, Candy Bar and Junk Food industries are taking over our Health Food Industry!

Am I Paranoid?
During the days of my clinic, I used to feel like the government was closing in on me—actually it did! Today, corporate giants have surrounded and are circling the health wagon train, and are picking off my friends, students and the health food industry in general, one by one.

(OK, in fairness let’s not blame corporate giants, they make health-destroying junk, but this is not their fault. It is actually the pure greed of my friends, students and the health food industry people, that are selling their companies, and their souls, for the almighty dollar! They are selling the natural foods and natural medicines we made to combat the damage caused by the health-destroying products of these big corporations, TO THE SAME CORPORATIONS!!!)

I would love to believe that this trend is the beginning of a new era, and awakening of American corporations, that Americans want health, and are willing to take more responsibility. My fear is that in this process, of all my students and other herbalists selling their businesses to drug companies and horrible corrupt earth and animal destroying companies, well, these once good products will become trendy names with good packaging, wider distribution, but the quality will degenerate to total garbage! Actually, it is more than a fear, it is happening!

Another One Bites the Dust!
In my life I have had the privilege to teach many great men and women who have gone on to become great herbal doctors and run great clinics. Other people I have trained have gone into the health food and herbal medicine industry. Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to teach two east coast friends, Paul Schulick and Rick Scalzo. Paul Schulick went on to create New Chapter, a natural vitamin supplement company, and Rick Scalzo founded Gaia Herbs, a very good herbal company.

In The News This Week:

Paul Schulick has just sold his natural vitamin supplement company to Proctor & Gamble!

Proctor & Gamble:

– The makers of Crisco, the original crystallized cottonseed oil supplying Americans with a daily dose of health-destroying trans-fatty acids for 100 years now.

– The makers of Pepto Bismol, basically liquid aspirin.

– The makers of Tide, its heavy duty earth polluting synthetic detergent.

– The makers of Crest, and the original fluoride toothpaste.

And let’s not forget Pringles and Prilosec! Yes, Proctor & Gamble makes “over the counter” pharmaceuticals too!

There have been many websites that have made great comments on this sell out by New Chapter to Proctor & Gamble.

Excerpts from a few other recent Blogs, Regarding the Sell Out…

Spread the word: New Chapter is now owned by Proctor & Gamble.

Proctor & Gamble, the global corporate conglomerate that sells a vast array of consumer products containing cancer-causing chemicals and petroleum derivatives, is now the proud owner of New Chapter, one of the more promising nutritional supplement companies we've seen in a while.

New Chapter co-founder Paul Schulick announced, "For us, this has been a dream come true. This is what we have been wanting to do since we started doing this 30 years ago. The world and the United States need this."

Really? The world needs global corporate giants to buy up all the natural product brands? This is one of the many companies we helped publicize and promote, only to see them sell out to corporate giants who routinely take over these companies, cheapen their product formulations, and exploit name recognition to intentionally mislead consumers into buying watered-down, reformulated products.

So now the same company that brings you Tide laundry detergent, Pringles potato chips, Dawn dishwashing soap, and Bounce dryer sheets (can you even think of a more offensive chemical laundry product?) will be bringing you New Chapter supplements, too.

I'm disappointed in New Chapter and Paul Schulick. Here's yet another case of someone who has sold out to the global power elite, apparently oblivious to where this will likely lead.

Paul Schulick has made a deal with that devil, it seems.

Of course, I'm sure Paul has justified it all to himself. The huge financial backing of P&G will allow New Chapter to "expand into more retail outlets," he's probably told himself. The deal will show P&G that natural products can be profitable! It will make nutrition mainstream! Yeah, right.

These stories always have the same ending: The products get watered down, consumers shift their demand to a smaller, trusted company, and the financials of the once-great small company collapse. The big corporation ends up either shuttering it or whoring it out using the same brand name but replacing all the quality ingredients with crap filler and toxic chemicals. The only "winner" in these deals is usually the CEO who sold it, and possibly a few board members who also walk away with millions of dollars while their customers who made them great get left with nothing.

— Natural

New Chapter, a vitamin and supplement company offering worthy products since 1982, has recently been bought out by mega-corporation Proctor & Gamble. Being the owner of chemical laden, toxic products such as Cascade dish-washing soap, Tide laundry detergent, Pringles potato chips, and Bounce dryer sheets, it is evident that Proctor & Gamble is less than a trustworthy and caring company.

Although Schulick’s stated goal of offering the world quality health supplements free of health-damaging substances is commendable, is seeking and accepting the involvement of a corrupt corporate giant really acceptable? The quality of New Chapter’s products will undoubtedly be compromised by such a corporate fuse, with P&G’s poor record of health-devastating products enough to raise the alarm. Truthfully, the teaming up of nutritional supplement companies and corporations like P&G is the last thing the world and United States needs.

— Natural

New Chapter's co-founder has this to say regarding their sell out,  "For us, this has been a dream come true. This is what we have been wanting to do since we started doing this 30 years ago. The world and the United States need this."

What exactly is Paul Schulick saying that we need? We fear that Proctor & Gamble may change the formulations and make them not so natural and organic anymore much like what happened recently with Kashi.

What is unnerving here is that New Chapter has handed off the reins to a global corporation steeped in chemical products and mass consumerism. Will P&G "adulterate" the products with harsh chemicals and preservatives?

We also noticed an excessive "push" from New Chapter before the end of the last calendar year to purchase more than normal in a "stock-up" fashion and now assume it was to boost their numbers before the end of the tax year.

— My Natural

Proctor & Gamble on Animal Torture
Proctor & Gamble, the corporate conglomerate which recently bought out organic supplement and vitamin company New Chapter, has a long and extensive history of engaging in cruel animal testing…. and has been lying for years about making efforts to switch to cruelty-free testing alternatives.

P&G continues to torture dogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other creatures by conducting experiments on them that include poisoning them with toxins, burning their eyes with chemicals, and eventually killing them, and P&G does not even provide basic care for these animals while they are still alive.

P&G ‘scientists’ do not sedate the animals or give them painkillers when they place the animals in restraining devices so they cannot struggle while the workers apply the chemicals, which burn into the animals' eyes and skin, where the animals sometimes break their necks or backs attempting to escape the pain.

P&G’s animal torture includes forcing dogs to eat large amounts of cleaning chemicals by pumping them directly into their stomachs.

— Natural


Street rumors say that the company was sold to pay off investors, and that was not what the owner wanted to do, but had no choice.

Officially, Paul Schulick is quoted as saying that he didn’t make this decision for the money. If not, then why would he sell his company? He is also quoted as saying, “this is a dream come true” and has been his goal for 30 years. His dream, our nightmare!

— Dr. Schulze

PS: I don’t play well with others. Therefore, I have no investors or stockholders in Dr. Schulze’s, nor my American Botanical Pharmacy. I have no financial pressure. I make all the decisions. I have one goal: YOU getting well and staying well, naturally. This keeps life the way I like it—simple.

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