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
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]
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
2. We were however not satisfied with the quality of the product and decided to have it manufactured by a professional Pharmaceutical company.
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.
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.
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.
Most of the other allegations in your article are also factually incorrect and devoid of truth.
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.
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.
Marcelle du Plessis Managing Member
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.
I subsequently received the following email some hours later:
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.
M du Plessis
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.
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