Response from Marcelle du Plessis (BodyDetox/Miracle Magnesium)

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Posted 05 October 2013

We received the following response to our expose of Marcelle du Plessis of BodyDetox, the owner and seller of a range of products including Miracle Magnesium.

She contends that “[M]ost of the other allegations in your article are also factually incorrect and devoid of truth.”

Unfortunately for Marcelle her response made us dig deeper and reach further sources; our initial posting is not only supported by new sources, but a range of further claims have been made showing Marcelle du Plessis in a worse light.

We post her response below and intersperse these with our responses to her claims.

 

Response from Marcelle du Plessis to our posting:
Marcelle du Plessis / BodyDetox / Platinum Lifestyle / Miracle Magnesium

1 October 2013
20 Lynburn Avenue Lynnwood Manor 0081
PO Box 1221 Sliverton 0127

Dear Sirs,

We received your notice confirming that an “An investigative journalist has written a posting on Body Detox / Miracle Magnesium for CAMCheck” on Thursday the 26 instant.

Due to the fact that the writer was in Potchefstroom for business until the weekend, this notice came to my attention yesterday.

The allegations in your article are based on hearsay, are factually incorrect, and mostly devoid of any truth.

1. For the last 9 years all our tablets are manufactured by a pharmaceutical company (MJ laboratories) whom complies with all regulatory requirements and specifications. Please see the confirmatory letter of MJ Labs, attached hereto marked “Al”

We further attach hereto the following documents regarding the compliant status of this pharmaceutical company:

  • SABS and ISO Certificate of approval, attached hereto, marked “A2”
  • Regulation R1206 approval attached hereto, marked “A3”
  • Letter of approval Director of Health attached hereto, marked “A4”

[Click on Plus sign to read the responses]
[spoiler title=”Response” style=”fancy”]

There are a number of aspects to this response.

1. We did not state that ALL of BodyDetox’s products are manufactured in non-sterile premises and unhygienic.

I have received the following details from Ben who was her “warehouse manager” from September 2012 for three months before he resigned in disgust. He highlights some products in particular.

He points out that some of the products were manufactured in a “factory/warehouse/storeroom” whose address was not know to other staff members working at the main office and no-one was allowed to visit the premises. 

Energy water was produced here, a product that consumers ingest by mouth. No gloves or sterile process was used to manufacture the water. It was mixed in black garbage drums (although they were rinsed and cleaned). Once the sediment had settled, the bottles were filled by hand, wiped down and labels sticked on. No sterilisation of the equipment or bottles was conducted.

Cough syrup for children was manufactured in a kitchen where the staff also eat their lunch. The same pot used for cooking the staff’s food was cleaned and the cough syrup boiled in the same pot on a 2 plate stove. The bottles were filled by hand and labeled. 

See further on for further reliable information from Ben (who will testify to these facts)

2. The documents supplied by Marcelle in support of her claims that her products are made to stringent standards make fascinating reading, and are actually highly embarrassing to Marcelle. For although true, it is not what these documents tell us but what they do not tell us! MJ Labs only received their accreditation from the SABS on the 2nd May 2013 and it seems, officially, on the 12th July 2013. Where was Marcelle manufacturing these products before? Were these labs not accredited before?

MJ Labs is certified as “REGISTERED FORTIFICATION MIX MANUFACTURERS/SUPPLIERS/IMPORTERS” and “(Registered manufacturer/importer/supplier is responsible for the quality of the distributed product)”. In other words, not whether the claims are valid or whether the product “works” but simply the “quality” of the facility is accredited. In other words, a product like, e.g., Miracle Magnesium, is packaged in a sterile and accredited manufacturing plant – but the certificate does not guarantee nor tell us whether the claims for the product “that it heals or treats”, and other he nonsense claims made for the product, are true.

And most significantly, I was not sent any Certificate of Analysis (evidence) from an independent laboratory that will indicate that the products contain what they claim to contain (and nothing else), i.e., whether the products contain the correct ingredients at the correct dose, and nothing else. 

[/spoiler]

Since 2012 all Magnesium products are manufactured by MJ Labs and it is currently manufactured by MJ Labs attached hereto marked “Al”. Prior to 2012 the product was manufactured for us by Marius Muller Medical Electronics CC t/a MMMedical

[spoiler title=”Response” style=”fancy”]

Marcelle states: “[P]rior to 2012 the product was manufactured for us by Marius Muller Medical Electronics CC t/a MMMedical”. By her own admission, this product was NOT produced by a pharmaceutical company. In fact, Marius Muller of “Medical Electronics CC t/a MMMedical” appears to have no food science, pharmacological or medicinal training at all. His company manufactures a range of dubious therapeutic products, including “THE BEST NATURAL MAGNESIUM OIL CRYSTALS FROM THE DEAD SEA”. Natural magnesium oil crystals from the Dead Sea? This is how it is manufactured: buy magnesium chloride crystals and mix in the ratio of 50/50 of half magnesium chloride to half boiled water; and allow magnesium chloride to dissolve. Once the mixture has cooled, pour into the container of your preference for use.

Yes, the product is not actually magnesium “oil” – it feels oily, hence the name. Want to read the science of why the claims for magnesium oil don’t hold up, read this post by Dr. Marcelo-Oswaldo. Extract: “Magnesium salts (be it mag “oil” or Epsom Salts ALWAYS dissolve in water to Mg ion + “other” ions, chloride and sulphate respectively, AND THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME IONS!!!”
[Epsom salts = magnesium sulphate; Magnesium oil = magnesium chloride]

[/spoiler]

2. We were however not satisfied with the quality of the product and decided to have it manufactured by a professional Pharmaceutical company.

[spoiler title=”Response” style=”fancy”]

MJ laboratories is NOT a “Pharmaceutical company”. They are listed as “a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemicals and botanical products”. Again, this is not proof of efficacy but a registration category.

[/spoiler]

3. We initially bought the colloidal silver from Marius Muller Medical Electronics CC t/a MMMedical. We were however not satisfied with the quality and then asked MJ laboratories to manufacture it. We decided that the quality was still not good enough and then engaged Biosil to manufacture it for us. All colloidal silver used by us, and which we currently sell, are manufactured by Biosil in sterile conditions. Since February 2013 we have been purchasing the product from them. In this respect please see the confirmatory letter of Biosil attached hereto as Annexure “A 6”. We have never sold any experimental colloidal silver to the public, (although my husband did experiment with the manufacturing thereof). Your statement “The mixture developed a yellow colour, and according to our sources, her clients complained that they felt ill from the product and that the taste was not as the original” is therefore false and devoid of all truth, because we never sold it to the public and no person has lodged any complaint with us that they became ill.

[spoiler title=”Response” style=”fancy”]

It may be that the complaints received by the company was not specifically associated to this product but it is true that consumers complained about products.

I have not been sent any evidence that Colloid Silver is “manufactured by Biosil in sterile conditions” or proof that this company is SABS/SANS or HACCP accredited. Therefore it may be true; it may not be.

According to Ben, the “warehouse manager” mentioned earlier, at one stage the “lab” producing the colloidal silver was unable to supply BodyDetox. Marcelle’s husband manufactured the product, as mentioned in the original posting, at home/office. Ben also tells that at a stage, the “lab” manufacturing the product would not have time to pack the product into bottles and Ben would collect the mixture, transport it to the “factory” where it would be hand-filled into bottles, a batch number stuck on, and an “expiry” date affixed, which he suggests may have been an arbitrary date (i.e., not determined by the lab).

Marcelle du Plessis needs to provide scientific backup for is how the expiry dates of the products is determined (i.e. what stability and/or other tests are done). Bet she cannot.

[/spoiler]

4. We did have a trademark application lodged at the CIPC to protect the name “magnesium oil” and was under the bona fide impression that Organix infringed our trademark. When it was discovered that the trade mark was not properly protected our attorneys conveyed to Organix that the trademark was not properly registered. Our attorneys subsequently registered another trademark on our behalf.

[spoiler title=”Response” style=”fancy”]

As originally stated, Marcelle du Plessis “sent a letter to many of [Organix’s] clients claiming trade mark rights in the descriptive term “magnesium oil” and tried on the basis of such claims (which were false in all respects) to intimidate customers into removing our Lifematrix Magnesium Oil from the shelves, threatening confiscation of our products“.  Organix wrote ” . . . it did force us to take legal action to protect our integrity and challenge their malicious threats and false trade mark claims” which resulted in “. . . issued a retraction letter to us“. The correspondence can be read here.

Furthermore, in discussion with Alta Landman of Herbtron, Miracle Magnesium Oil was originally manufactured by Herbtron and supplied to Marcelle du Plessis who sold it further on. To Alta’s suprise, Marcelle started manufacturing the product herself and kept (“took over”) the name, as well as the product label “including the spelling mistakes“. Oh, the irony!

Correction (07 October 2013). Alta has pointed out that Miracle Magnesium Oil was originally manufactured by Willem in the Western Cape, and on his death, was manufactured by Marius and not Alta/Herbtron. The remainder of the tale is correct.

Update 11 October 2013: The following has been brought to my attention, that Herbron did not manufacture Body Detox’s Magnesium but the tinctures and creams which Marcelle copied, as well as the descriptors, product name and label info – with spelling mistakes and all. Herbtron points out that readers can view the Radiant Life website which advertises both Herbtron and Body Detox products. Herbtron points out that it appears that the formulas were obtained at  a price from Ems Swart who used to work at Herbtron, and then resigned (was induced?) to work at Body Detox. I am informed that Ems Swart no longer works for Body Detox.

[/spoiler]

5. We did not steal any formula from Herbtron. We never solicited the services of John from Herbtron. We were asked by Ems Swart, one of our employees, if we could offer John part time employment, due to the fact that John was struggling financially. We agreed to allow him to work for us on Saturdays. He was never employed on a full time basis by us. We have heard that Herbtron has fired him, and I am aware that there is a dispute regarding unfair dismissal pending. It is however a matter between Herbtron and John and we are not involved in his dismissal as reported and suggested in the article.

[spoiler title=”Response” style=”fancy”]

We stand by our claims after having verified the details from various sources.

Furthermore, in discussion with Alta Landman of Herbtron, Miracle Magnesium was originally manufactured by Herbtron and supplied to Marcelle du Plessis who sold it further on. To Alta’s suprise, Marcelle started manufacturing the product herself and kept (“took over”) the name, as well as the product label “including the spelling mistakes“.

[/spoiler]

Most of the other allegations in your article are also factually incorrect and devoid of truth.

[spoiler title=”Response” style=”fancy”]

We have asked Marcelle du Plessis to list these. See further correspondence (below).

[/spoiler]

We do not intend to deal with each and every allegation in your article and our failure to do so now, does not constitute an admission of the correctness of the contents thereof. We herewith reserve all our rights to deal with the allegations of the “investigative journalist” in the proper forum if required. All our rights are reserved hereto in its entirety.

We herewith record that should you fail to:

(1) rectify the contents of the allegations in your article with the factual evidence presented herein within 48 hours from the sending of this message and;

(ii) Issue us with a written apology,

we shall take such steps as may be necessary to protect our rights.

[spoiler title=”Response” style=”fancy”]

Marcelle writes: “we shall take such steps as may be necessary to protect our rights“.

Does this include scamming consumers with products that have zero evidence of efficacy and claims contrary to proven physiological principles, and ignoring/bypassing Advertising Standards Authority regulations and rulings? 

Surely CamCheck should take such steps as may be necessary to protect the rights of consumers from this nonsense?

[/spoiler]

Should we have to approach a court for relief it will be pointed out that you gave us virtually no time to respond to the allegations, and that it appears from your conduct that you have prejudged the circumstances and further that you had no intent to “hear the other side”, but was set to proceed with your attempted character assassination with total disregard whether the allegations are true or not.

Yours sincerely,

Marcelle du Plessis Managing Member

 

Further Correspondence 

[1]

In response to the letter I received on 02 October 2013 (above), I responded today (04 October 2013):

Marcelle du Plessis,

Managing Member BodyDetox

Dear Ms du Plessis,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter in response to the posting on CamCheck. The response time you were allotted was longer than that usually given by print publishers. And in particular, the response was not solicited over a weekend but during the working week.

Regarding your stance “rectify the contents of the allegations in your article with the factual evidence presented herein within 48 hours from the sending of this message”, I would appreciate you pointing out which of our allegations are false for we do have evidence to support the substance of the article.

Subsequent to the article being posted, I have received further support and details for our claims from individuals associated with BodyDetox.

I am also requesting a delay in formally responding to your letter based my request for a list of content that requires rectifying for I am unaware which of these “allegations” are not factual.

Sincerely,

 

[2]

I subsequently received the following email some hours later:

Dr. Harris,

You are an educated man.

You are well aware that the overall impression that you have created through your article is that the products of our company, including our magnesium products are manufactured onsite in unhygienic circumstances.

“There products are cooked in large unsterile pots in the warehouse kitchen where food is also cooked on a normal kitchen stove.

These products are stored in large plastic buckets in the storeroom at the warehouse premises.”

You might have been able to hide behind the fact that you had hearsay evidence to this effect before you received our reply.

You have however subsequently received documentary evidence that this information is incorrect, yet you chose to ignore it, and thereby did not take steps to minimize the damages that you have caused through your false statements contained in your article, that you now know is utterly false, and devoid of any truth.

Since you have asked us, this is the apology that you need to print immediately:

“Marcelle du Plessis provided us with proof that her INFLAMA SPRAY, MIRACLE MAGNESIUM OIL and MIRACLE MAGNESIUM BLUE SPRAY are manufactured by a pharmaceutical company since February 2012. She also provided us with written proof that her tablets have been manufactured by a pharmaceutical company since 2004.

We apologize for the fact that our article incorrectly infers that these products are manufactured on site in unhygienic circumstances. It appears that we did not have the correct information.”

For ease of reference and to ensure that you are fully appraised of the facts we enclose a further letter from MJ Labs that was omitted from our previous reply.

If this apology is not printed by 14h00 today, we will accept that you persist, knowingly, with full intent to cause damages, knowing that your allegations are incorrect.

We will deal with the other allegations later on, and confirm that we have already placed the allegations in your article in dispute, and our attorneys will deal with this matter further.

Yours sincerely,

M du Plessis

 

[3]

My response [partially edited] was:

Ms Du Plessis, 

I know enough about you to ignore your threats.

The first point, which is absolutely true, is that your products have no physiological basis and have absolutely no proof of working.

Secondly, you have no pharmacological, food or any training or expertise in the products that you are making

Thirdly, in spite of the ASA rulings, you deliberately circumvent their rulings by continuing to find magazines that will run your adverts for products that can be shown scientifically no more than frauds and scams. 

Your letter will be published in full on CamCheck to give your side of the story. 

It appears your threats are not scaring ex-employees any more, they are prepared to testify in court to the following comments (among other) will be added: 

1. We did not state that ALL of BodyDetox’s products are manufactured in non-sterile premises and unhygienic. I have received the following details from Ben who was her “warehouse manager” for a period before he resigned in disgust. He highlights 3 products in particular. 

He points out that some of the products were manufactured in a “factory/warehouse/storeroom” whose address was not known to other staff members working at the main office and no-one was allowed to visit the premises. 

Energy water was produced here, a product that consumers ingest by mouth. No gloves or sterile process is used to manufacture the water. It is mixed in black garbage drums (although they are rinsed and cleaned). Once the sediment has settled, bottles are filled by hand, wiped down and labels stuck on. No sterilisation of the equipment or bottles occurs. 

Cough syrup for children were manufactured in a kitchen where the staff also eat their lunch. The same pot used for cooking their food was cleaned and the cough syrup boiled in the same pot on a 2 plate stove. The bottles were filled by hand and labelled by staff. 

Marcelle states: “[P]rior to 2012 the product was manufactured for us by Marius Muller Medical Electronics CC t/a MMMedical”. By her own admission, this product was NOT produced by a pharmaceutical company. This company was not SABS/SANS accredited. In fact, Marius Muller of “Medical Electronics CC t/a MMMedical” appears to have no food science, pharmacological or medicinal training at all. His company manufactures a range of dubious therapeutic products, including “THE BEST NATURAL MAGNESIUM OIL CRYSTALS FROM THE DEAD SEA”. There is no such thing as natural magnesium oil crystals. This is how it is manufactured: buy magnesium chloride crystals and mix in the ratio of 50/50 of half magnesium chloride to half boiled water; and allow magnesium chloride to dissolve. Once the mixture has cooled, pout into the container of your preference for use. 

It may be that the complaints received by the company was not specifically associated to this product but it is true that consumers complained about products. 

According to Ben, the “warehouse manager” mentioned earlier, at one stage the “lab” producing the colloidal silver was unable to supply BodyDetox. Marcelle’s husband manufactured the product, as mentioned in the original posting, at home/office. Ben also tells that at a stage, the “lab” manufacturing the product would not have time to pack the product into bottles and Ben would collect the mixture, transport it to the “factory” where it would be hand-filled into bottles, a batch number stuck on, and an “expiry” date affixed, which he suggests may have been an arbitrary date (i.e., not determined by the lab). 

So Ms du Plessis, you are welcome to take your case to your attorney. I have many employees that will testify to a range of facts that I have not even yet posted. And imagine us calling your present staff to testify truthfully in a court of law to support your or my arguments! 

Another very important point for you to consider is that when a person with no scientific knowledge produces a scam in a SANS accredited factory, it remains a scam although it is now manufactured according to stringent hygiene and SABS/SANS and/or HACCP standards. Another fact is that even if every one of your products was now produced in a SABS/SANS accredited factory, it does not negate how you previously produced some of your products – the facts persist. 

 

You point out that I am an educated man. I also base things I do on facts and common sense. I would like to believe that you also have common sense, I suggest you use it. 

Sincerely,

 CamCheck posts related to Miracle Magnesium 

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9 Responses to Response from Marcelle du Plessis (BodyDetox/Miracle Magnesium)

  1. Xena 9 October, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    After your article on Marcelle du Plessis, I’m just wondering what she’s going on about on Radio Pretoria ” pasop vir die goedkoop namaaksels” if she is the one that is selling “namaaksels” ALL her products are copied from someone else that originally supplied her. FACT!!!

  2. Dewald 28 October, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Dr. Harris, thank you for pointing this out to us the public. I saw the advertisement in the Sunday Rapport that takes up a whole page. I was going to buy it today but first thought that I would see what more I can find on the internet about it. I was shocked to read how this woman is misleading the public to enrich herself. The victims here are mostly old, sick and people in pain and she obvious do not have a conscience at all.

  3. Ann Langeveld 6 November, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    I purchased this product on Friday last week. My colleague in the office told me that she saw something in Die Beeld about the products. Well I have used the spray on various parts of my body which is racked with osteoporosis and live on tramacet tablets – well I dont know if its a figment of my imagination but I have to admit that I have found some relief. I have not taken any pain tablets in two days. I have not had any side effects excepts as they have stated if anything it makes your tummmy go. That has definately happened but I definately have relief. I even have swollen fingers when I get up in the mornings and have used the spray and today I could get my rings on my fingers again.
    It is a worrying factor as I have had breast cancer and recently was diagnosed by my oncologist with bone cancer then while on the radiation table my hip broke. The only way we found out that I dont have bone caner is when I had my hip replacement. I had 7 sessions of 25 minutes each on my hip and back. I now experience excuriating back pain and the spray for whatever reason has given me relief.
    Yes I would like to be kept up to date with the case.
    Regards
    Ann Langeveld

  4. Ronald Kurtz 27 December, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    I have read a lot of claims and counterclaims as to the workings of Manesium Oil/Spray products.
    It seems to me that at this stage there is no scientific basis to support the claims being made by the maufacturers of these products. I found it however strange that the regulatory authorities have not taken this matter up through legal means for the sake of public interest and through that at least get interim interdictory relief until the claims or counterclaims are proven. I say so, because if the claims made by the makers of the products are not true in the scientific sense, the public is not only duped out of money but are more importantly at huge risks as to their health. What if these products at worse case could be poisonous to the body?
    Also, what basis does pharmacies use to sell products which have so much public controversy.
    This product is really causing my stomach to run. Is this because of the laxative effects or could it be to do with the unhygienic production methods?
    The authorities must do something on an urgent basis to demystify this case.

  5. Rebekka 30 March, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    lol …. you people are hilarious! just because BEELD published something, you believe it! I use the products from time to time and they DO in fact have some beneficial effects. EVERY time you use a product for your health, there are claims on the packaging. why on earth are you people only focusing on one product. Obviously Dr Harris has tried to discredit this company by saying they cook their mixtures in unhygenic conditions. It is not necessary to say it about ALL the products if he could just create enough doubt about something small… its infectious enough. The irony about this is that you’ll all be taking the Guardacil vaccine that has actually killed nearly 200 people (well, the number is very conservative since it has to be ratified by the very companis that sells the stuff) and destroyed the lives of thousands of people, some of whom are paralyzed or hospitalized indefinitely, others who became STERILE and yet others who lost the use of the limbs where the injection site was. hahahahaha… suck up the rot, the lot of you, and when you wake up due to the horrors in your life directly as a result of over medication and blind trust in an industry hell bent on creating turnover and rebound business, you will at least have each other to lean on, but don’t be expecting any sympathy from Dr Harris here, he’s not really into tackling the real medical crime because they have better lawyers. check out the VAERS website – co managed by the CDC – so even the worst skeptics can relate.

    • Harris 30 March, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      @Rebekka
      You do make a number of unsubstantiated claims. Without proof, they may be true, they may be false.
      CAM producers, like Big Pharma, are in the business of making money. Both have members who are guilty of cheating consumers and selling unsafe products. My claims for this company is specific to this company based on people who work/worked for the company. I am tackling the real crime, but I focus on this side of medicines for others focus on the other side. And real medical crime is as much a problem of some Big Pharma medicines as it is with CAM medicines – I do not favour one over the other, I favour proof over no proof.

  6. Hettie 31 March, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    To those believing in Miracle Magnesium the following research facts called the “Placebo Effect”. An imaginary feeling of well being: A placebo (/pləˈsiboʊ/ plə-see-boh; Latin placēbō, “I shall please”[2] from placeō, “I please”)[3][4] is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the placebo effect.

  7. Paul 16 September, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    Dit wil voorkom asof niks die vervaardigers van die Miracle Magnesium en aanverwante produkte sal/sou/kan stop nie. Verder is ek ook bekommerd oor die feit dat die navorsing oor die produkte ook nie na alle apteke versprei word nie of, alternatiewelik, dat die aptekersvereniging nie die navorsing onder sy lede versprei nie of dat aptekers gewoon net nie die navorsing tot hulle beskikking lees nie. Ek is, tydens my laaste besoek aan “my” apteek om my voorskrifmedisyne te kry, verras met ‘n gratis botteltjie olie. Indien apteke en aptekers sulke ongetoetste, selfs gevaarlike, produkte nou namens die vervaardigers begin versprei watter waarborg het die publiek dat anders produkte wat gebruik word om voorskrifmedisyne te vervang (generiese medisyne), toelaatbaar en veilig is en nie ‘n gesondheidsgevaar inhou nie!

  8. Edwina Lawer 21 January, 2018 at 10:02 am #

    I have been using the blue spray for years and it is wonderful. It brought my osteo from bad to normal on my bone density tests. I need her contact nr to order, since there is no stock on Dischem or any other shelves. I can feel the decline since I had to stop using it due to this.

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