A fund-raising effort by independent NuSkin International distributors in Nebraska to provide sunscreen for troops in the Middle East was not authorized by the company's Provo-based corporate office, a spokesman said.

The Cornhusker Better Business Bureau reported taking inquiries from about a dozen Lincoln businesses that had received letters from independent NuSkin distributors seeking donations for sunscreen shipments to soldiers. The letters were sent by three Lincoln dealers of the company's skin, hair and nutritional products."It's definitely not something we ever encouraged and when we found out about it, we put a stop to it," said Jason Chaffetz, a NuSkin administrative assistant.

According to the Nebraska business bureau, people were suspicious of the solicitation because the letter said to call the military for verification. The military does not allow the use of its name for solicitations.

After investigation, the bureau found the for-profit venture to be legitimate. The NuSkin distributors sent followup postcards to businesses clarifying the earlier letter.

"I haven't heard of anything like that here locally," said Bill Beadle, director of the Better Business Bureau of Utah. There have been several fund-raising projects to help out the troops, but Beadle said he is not aware of any involving NuSkin dealers.

Chaffetz said NuSkin has never told its distributors to take advantage of the war in the Persian Gulf. In fact, he said, they encouraged the opposite.

The company itself donated 5,000 bottles of NaPCA Moisture Mist, a skin moisturizer, to the troops in October. Chaffetz said he worked through Defense Depot Tracy, Calif. to ship the product to Saudi Arabia.

NuSkin received several thank-you letter from troops who had received the skin-care product, he said.

Beadle said NuSkin, a multilevel marketing firm, generates more inquiries "than any one single company" in Utah.

Most of the calls are from people who are interested in getting involved with the company, he said. "It means people are checking it out," Beadle said.

Beadle said NuSkin has had a limited amount of complaints, mostly dealing with customers seeking refunds. The company has been responsive to complaints pointed out to it by the bureau, he said.