Now that Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has announced once again his aspiration to be the Leader of The Free World, it’s time to look back on his decision to lend his name to a cinnamon and chromium picolinate cure for diabetes.
Many politicians in the past have lent their name to…um…interesting commercial endeavors, but Huckabee’s efforts have been preserved for posterity thanks to the Internet. If you want to see the infomercial with the Guv, you can do so here:
According to a New York Times report on Huckabee’s unorthodox fundraising efforts, both the American Diabetes Association and the Canadian Diabetes Association warn that there is no real scientific evidence that a dietary supplement, like the one Huckabee is hawking, helps cure or control diabetes. In the article, a nutritionist with the Center for Science in Public Interest cast doubt in the power of the supplement Huckabee endorsed, saying, “When you look at good studies, cinnamon and chromium don’t have an effect. There are some crumby studies that show they have some effect.”
In the article, a Huckabee spokesperson confirmed that the former governor entered into an agreement to lend his name to this supposed-diabetes cure in 2014, but then backed off from working with the company as he prepped for his presidential run.
In a former (career) life, I was a criminal enforcement consumer protection lawyer. Old habits die hard, so I decided to do some digging into what we know about this endeavor that landed Governor Huckabee’s endorsement. The URL is maintained by Barton Publishing, Inc. of Brandon, South Dakota. Barton filed annual reports with the South Dakota Secretary of State through December, 2014 as a Minnesota corporation in good standing and qualified to do business in South Dakota, even though the company was dissolved in Minnesota on January 7, 2009. Complaints about Barton’s business practices are prolific on the Internet. 41 complaints against Barton have been lodged with the Better Business Bureau office in Sioux Falls alone, 24 of which involve advertising claims and ten involve disputed credit card charges.
Dr. Scott D. Saunders is listed as Chief Health Officer and Nutrition Advisor at Barton Publishing and founder of the Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara, California. His visage appears momentarily in the diabetes cure story, and will in perpetuity out in cyberspace on the Barton web site, unless some responsible individual takes it down. Dr. Saunders has a degree in medicine from UCLA. Although it is claimed on various Mantra-type web sites that he is board certified in family practice and integrative medicine, and information about him on a number of inter-linked internet medicine shows would lead one to believe he has some sort of exotic expertise, no such qualifications appear in the record of his California medical license, No. 78847, which he has held since May 11, 1994. His license will expire on September 30, 2015, unless renewed.
Huckabee appeared on Face the Nation and defended his endorsement, if not the product, on May 10th. He has publically said it was exercise and good nutrition, not the dietary supplement, that helped him put his diabetes in remission. Under questioning, he assured Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer he has put his infomercial endorsement business on hold as he runs for the highest office of the land.
“And, you know, I don’t have to defend everything that I have ever done,” he said. “I am not doing those infomercials, obviously, now as a candidate for president.”
It remains to be seen if voters will buy this line of thinking, or if this current run for president will do anything to boost Huckabee’s endorsement fees, should it fall short.
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