Mannatech Inc. has sued a former UC Irvine professor, alleging that research he published promoting the company’s nutritional supplements contained false claims.
The study by Dr. Darryl See, a former associate clinical professor at UCI’s College of Medicine and a $10,000-a-month consultant for Mannatech, which is based in Coppell, Texas, ranked the company’s pills in the top five of 196 nutritional supplements tested.
The company’s more than 400,000 distributors used the study to sell its products. See also claimed the pills are effective against cancer and AIDS.
Mannatech’s lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Dallas, alleges See lied when he said his study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. It also states that he falsely claimed it was conducted under the auspices of UCI’s College of Medicine.
“The fraudulent representations were material and intentional on the part of See,” the company’s suit alleges.
Mannatech is seeking more than $100,000 from See, including the return of all money paid to the physician since he began speaking at Mannatech sales meetings in May 1998. It also seeks to end their consulting contract.
See resigned from UCI’s faculty last year after a school investigation censured him for violating research rules, including falsifying documents and conducting laboratory experiments on a rabbit without sufficient anesthesia.