Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant

naturally free thumb

Naturally Fresh

In her article “Throw This Out of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately”,1 Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) slams modern deodorants because they contain aluminum.

In “Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining“,2 I talked a lot about how aluminum (the most common metal in the earth’s crust) is an unavoidable part of our diets and is processed normally by the bodies of healthy people, so I won’t go into that again.  Please see the references in that article if you’d like more information on the safety of aluminum.  I’d like to concentrate on deodorants here.

One of the alternative products Hari recommends is Naturally Fresh Crystal Roll-On Deodorant (Fragrance Free).  She says this is the best deodorant she’s tried.  Vani likes it so much she’s encoded her affiliate ID in a link so that when you buy a bottle, she earns a commission:

naturally fresh thumb

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of Naturally Fresh, according to the manufacturer’s page on

naturally fresh ingredientsHmm… Ammonium alum and potassium alum.  Keeping in mind Vani’s hatred of all leading deodorants because they contain aluminum, let’s look more closely these two ingredients:

“Ammonium alum”, (NH4)Al(SO4)2·12H2O,4  is better known as Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate, and looks like this:

Ammonium alum

“Ammonium alum”–Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate.  (Click to enlarge.)

Do you see the enormous hypocrisy in Food Babe’s article?  I highlighted it for you in yellow.

“Al” is the symbol for aluminum.

Let that sink in for a moment.  Vani Hari has written an article telling you to throw out all the deodorants in your bathroom because they contain supposed Alzheimer’s-inducing aluminum, and then she’s turned around and referred you to a web site that sells you aluminum-containing deodorant.  And she earns a commission when you buy it.

The only significant difference between the aluminum in the deodorants that Food Babe hates and the aluminum in Naturally Fresh is that Vani Hari earns a commission when you buy the latter.  (We could get into a discussion on how the aluminum is bound, but that’s out of scope.  Remember, Hari’s flawed argument is that the mere presence of aluminum means you’re in danger of cancer and Alzheimer’s.  Read her article if you don’t believe me.)

The other ingredient in Naturally Fresh, “Potassium alum”, is better known as “Aluminum potassium sulfate,” KAl(SO4)2.5   Yes, you guessed it, there’s that pesky aluminum again:

potassium aluminum sulfate

“Potassium alum” — Potassium aluminum sulfate.  (Click to enlarge.)

Ironically, one of Food Babe’s fellow pseudoscientists, Dr. Mercola, warns against using natural deodorants that contain alum.6   Food Babe often quotes Dr. Mercola, so to see her peddling Naturally Fresh while he’s warning it can kill you is amusing.

So Vani Hari…

  1. Scares you to death with false information about aluminum
  2. Tells you your deodorants contain aluminum (throw’em out!)
  3. Points you to an alternative deodorant that contains aluminum
  4. Earns a sales commission on the alternative deodorant


As I pointed out in the introduction, what Hari doesn’t tell you is that the bodies of healthy humans process aluminum without any problems.  It’s the most common metal in the earth’s crust and an unavoidable part of our diets.  Foods near and dear to The Babe’s heart–such as spinach7,8–are rich in aluminum.  If you’re interested in details, with references, you might want to check out my article “Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining.2

It’s no wonder that out of all the alternative deodorants Vani’s tried, Naturally Fresh works the best.  It’s the only one that definitely contains aluminum!  Buyers should be wary of the other three deodorants she recommends, because of a cryptic legal disclaimer to the effect that the materials you receive may be different than the packaging.

But, unless you’re suffering from a problem such as kidney disease where aluminum can’t be removed from your body efficiently, there’s really nothing wrong with Naturally Fresh deodorant.  I encourage you to buy it–or any other leading brand containing aluminum.  Just please don’t buy by clicking on a link from a Food Babe web page.

You May Also Be Interested In
Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Ava Anderson Mascara

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Tarte Blush

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear

The Food Babe Ban List

Please note: To prevent increasing search engine exposure for objectionable web sites, I use the DoNotLink service to obfuscate their URLs.  I promise you are not being redirected to porn.

(1) Food Babe: Throw this out of your bathroom cabinet immediately

(2) Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining

(3) Naturally Fresh on

(4) PubChem: Compound Summary CID 62668: Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate (Ammonium Alum)

(5) PubChem: Compound Summary CID 24856: Aluminum potassium sulfate (Potassium Alum)

(6) Mercola: Stop Using “Natural” Deodorants Until You Read This

(7) Food Babe: Spinach Recipe

(8) World Health Organization: Aluminum in Drinking Water

Image Credits
Ammonium Alum from PubChem,  Used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Potassium Alum from PubChem,  Used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge. product screen snapshots are used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.


Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Honeysuckle Shampoo

Author’s note (07 Aug 2016): When this article was written 18 months ago, the shampoo being reviewed did not contain honeysuckle. A snapshot of the ingredients at that time can be found in the body of the text. The product has since been reformulated to contain honeysuckle oil. You can find the new ingredients here.

Is it fair to randomly pick one ingredient from a product label, Google it, and scream bloody murder if you come up with something that sounds dangerous?  Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) seems to think so.

Turnabout is fair play, so I’ve read approximately 100 articles published by The Babe and selected some products and foods that she recommends.  I’m going to give these items the same treatment.  The first item is a doozy, linked to kidney disease and cancer, lacking a claimed main ingredient, and chock full of a chemical Vani Hari despises.  And–<gasp!>–there may be hidden GMOs!

Phone the kids and wake the neighbors…


Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo
It won’t surprise people familiar with Hari that she earns a sales commission from most of the items she’s hawking.  Such is the case with Aubrey Organics Hair Care Honeysuckle Shampoo.  She’s in love with this shampoo, as you can see in the following blog post snippet.1  Note the encoded affiliate link2 in the lower left corner. This makes Vani’s cash register go “ka-ching!” if you buy the shampoo:

blog post

Food Babe loves “Honeysuckle” shampoo (Click to enlarge.)


So let’s put on our Food Babe Detective Hats and scan the ingredients list for this shampoo3 and see if we can find anything dangerous:

shampoo ingredients

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo ingredients. (Click to enlarge.)

Whoa!  Didn’t have to go far!  Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) is a traditional herb linked to liver damage4,5 and cancer.6  Doctors warn against the use of coltsfoot for any purpose.  Chemists say that coltsfoot contains substances known as pyrrolizidine alkalloids that can be toxic to the liver.  An infant who was regularly fed coltsfoot tea by his parents developed severe health problems that only went away when the tea was withdrawn.4  Another developed liver damage and died after its mother drank coltsfoot tea during pregnancy.4

In a 1976 study, 67% of rats fed high doses of Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) developed cancer, as opposed to 10% on low doses.6   If you use statistics the way Food Babe does, then you’re looking at a likely carcinogen.

Food Babe should have read the label on this one before shilling for the manufacturer.  I suppose it would cut down on your affiliate commissions if people thought your products were linked to liver damage and cancer.


The Dagger
One scholarly resource4 hints that horticulturists may have bred a variant of Tussilago farfara with little or no levels of pyrrolizidine alkalloids.  It would, of course, be horrifying to Food Babe9 if this type of coltsfoot appeared in her shampoo because we are straying into the territory of genetic engineering now.

We could dig a little deeper and query Aubrey Organics about the source of the corn sugar and soy protein listed in their ingredients.  Corn and soy are two major GMO products in the United States and it’s hard to find non-GMO sources for those crops.10  But we’ll leave that for another day.

Anyway, Vani: whether you tinker with the genome of an organism in a test tube, by selective breeding, or any other means, you’re essentially doing the same thing.  One method just gets you there faster.  If your coltsfoot isn’t toxic, it’s genetically engineered.

You choose, Vani.

food babe activism

Nice hair.

It Gets Even Worse
Having Hari down on the mat for a ten count, I could stop here–but it’s not in my nature.

Remember how Food Babe viciously attacked Starbucks for using artificial pumpkin flavoring instead of real pumpkin?8

food babe pumpkin


Let’s look at the ingredients in this “honeysuckle” shampoo again (click the image below to enlarge it):

ingredients again

“Honeysuckle” (wink wink-nudge nudge) shampoo ingredients    (Click to enlarge.)

There’s no honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium) in this shampoo!!!

Yes, that’s right–Food Babe doesn’t hesitate to warn us about products that use artificial ingredients, then turns around and recommends a honeysuckle shampoo that uses artificial ingredients to produce a honeysuckle scent.  Hey, call in the lady from the Wendy’s commercial:

where's the honeysuckle?


Let’s Beat a Dead Horse
Playing by Food Babe rules, we’ve already got a cancer-causing, liver-damaging, fake-ingredient shampoo.  Suppose we removed the toxicTussilago farfara and added some real honeysuckle.  Would the shampoo then pass Vani Hari quality control?

Well, sadly: no.

In her New Year’s “Sugar Archives” article, Vani tells us we must avoid all products containing glucose:7

sugar arhives snippet


Oh dear.  This may be tedious, but it’s back to that ingredients list again…  Click to enlarge:

glucose, glucose, glucose

Ouch.  Glucose appears three times.  But according to Vani, we’re supposed to avoid glucose!!!

In the 100+ Food Babe articles I read, the woman displays an appalling lack of knowledge of chemistry, so I can forgive her for not knowing glucoside is derived from glucose.  But if she’d read the product labeling, the other two glucose occurrences are spelled out for her.

So what’s going on here?  Does she not read the labels on what she’s selling?  Or do best sellers get a free pass even if she reads the label and finds problem ingredients?  You cannot possibly miss the issues with this shampoo’s ingredients list!


By Food Babe standards, this product fails in three ways:

  1. It contains an ingredient linked to liver damage and cancer
  2. It contains artificial ingredients instead of the advertised natural one (honeysuckle)
  3. It contains “banned” ingredients (glucose, possible GMO corn and soy)

But, in closing, I’ll tell you what Food Babe won’t tell you about this shampoo, or any of the items she slanders:

Honestly, the only danger with this shampoo seems to come from drinking it.  Doctors say coltsfoot is toxic when ingested, not when used in your hair (though one paper I read does say to stay away from the stuff).  Glucose is not a problem unless, for example, you’re a diabetic–Food Babe is just scientifically illiterate when it comes to processed foods, and that’s why she objects to the sweetener.  And there’s no difference in the safety of GMO foods and non-GMO foods.  Food Babe just doesn’t understand the engineering process.

Finally, there is nothing at all wrong with mixing a bunch of non-honeysuckle chemicals together to obtain a honeysuckle scent.  That’s what Aubrey Organics appears to have done.  If you judged them by Food Babe standards, they would fail.

Please don’t judge Aubrey Organics by Food Babe standards.  Buy from them.  But please don’t buy from them using a Food Babe link.


Image Credits
Screen snapshots of Food Babe and web pages are used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

“Where’s the Beef?” parody image used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.


(1) Food Babe: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo

(2)  Laughing All the Way to the Bank (Part 1)

(3) Amazon.Com: Aubrey Organics “Honeysuckle” Shampoo

(4) NYU Langorne: Coltsfoot

(5) Reversible hepatic veno-occlusive disease in an infant after consumption of pyrrolizidine-containing herbal tea

(6) FDA Poisonous Plant Database (Coltsfoot)

(7) Food Babe: Sugar Archives

(8) Food Babe: Artificial Pumpkin Flavor

(9) Food Babe: Anti-GMO

(10) Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S

The Food Babe Ban List

This list is meant to serve as a companion guide to the articles I’ve written exposing the tactics of Vani Hari (aka the Food Babe).  It’s a list of over 610 products, vendors, and brand names that Hari’s targeted so far.  When you misrepresent the “dangers” of a product, then recommend an alternative for which you receive a sales commission–there’s a problem…

In addition to this list, you may also be interested in knowing that many of the products sold by Food Babe have the very same ingredients she says are dangerous.  For example, she sells a full line of products containing the same dyes over which she lambasts Weight Watchers, Kraft, and McDonald’s.  She’s sold BHT for nearly 3 years, all the while harassing Kellogg’s and General Mills over the same (safe) additive.  The Babe doesn’t like agave nectar, but she’s happy to sell you a full range of foods sweetened with–you guessed it–agave nectar.  And don’t even get me started on cellulose. A special series on Food Babe’s hypocrisy can be found here.

Without further ado then, here’s the Food Babe Ban List:

A1 Steak Sauce
Acetylated Monoglycerides
AeroMed Oral Glucose
Airport food (almost all)
Allegro (tea)
Alka Seltzer
Almond Dream
Almond Joy
Alpen Gold (Kraft)
Alta Dena (butter)
AMP Energy (Pepsico)
Amy & Brian
Anchor Butter
Annie Chun’s
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
Arnold Baker Light 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Arrowhead Mills
Artificial coloring (any product containing)
Artificial flavoring (any product containing)
Athenos Hummus
Atkin’s (protein shakes)
Azodicarbonamide (a safe bread ingredient)

Baby Formula (most, containing safe GMO corn syrup)
Bac’n Bits
Back to Nature
Baking powder (non-GMO)
Banana Boat
Barbara’s Bakery
Barley malt (any product containing)
BASF (Prop 37)
Bayer (Prop 37)
Beet sugar (any product containing)
Ben & Jerry’s (Prop 37)
Berkely Farms
Betty Crocker
Big Gulp (7-11)
Birthday Cakes (all from supermarkets)
Blue No. 1 (food dye)
Blue Bonnet
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze
Bolthouse Farms
Bobby Brown
Bread (almost all packaged bread)
Bright Beginning Baby Formula
Brown sugar (any product containing)
Bubble Yum
Bull’s Eye
Bumble Bee
Bunge (Prop 37)
Burger King
Buttered syrup (any product containing)

Cafe Collection
California Pizza Kitchen
Campbell’s Soup
Canola (rapeseed, non-GMO)
Canola seed oil (non-GMO)
Capri Sun
Carob syrup
Carrots, non-organic
Cascadian Farm (Prop 37)
Castoreum flavoring (do you eat beaver butt?)
Celestial Seasonings
Cellulose (non-GMO)
Cereal (GMO)
Cetaphil Facial Cleanser
C. H. Guenther & Son (Prop 37)
Charles Shaw Wine (2 Buck Chuck)
Cheese (all conventional American cows’)
Cheez Whiz
Chewing gum
Chocolate Cheerios
Cici’s Pizza
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Citric Acid (non-GMO)
Cobalamin (Vitamin B12, non-GMO)
Coco Hydro
Coco Libre
Coco Pops
Coffee Mate
Coke (Coca-Cola)
Colorose (non-GMO)
Con Agra Foods
Condensed Milk (non-GMO)
Confectioners Sugar (non-GMO)
Corn, all, in restaurants (non-GMO)
Corn Flour (non-GMO)
Corn Masa (non-GMO)
Corn Meal (non-GMO)
Corn Nuts
Corn Oil (non-GMO)
Corn Starch
Corn Sugar (non-GMO)
Corn Syrup (any product containing)
Corn Syrup, High Fructose
Corn Tortillas (non-GMO)
Cosmetics from drug stores
Costco (cakes, microwave popcorn)
Cottonseed oil, all, in restaurants (non-GMO)
Country Crock Butter
Country Time
Cover Girl
Cracklin’ Oat Brand
Crisco Canola Oil
Crisco Natural Cooking Oil
Crop Life (Prop 37)
Crystal Light
Crunch Nut (Kellogg)
Crush Soda
CVS Sunscreen
Cyclodextrin (non-GMO)
Cystein (non-GMO)

Dairy (all conventional American cow’s milk and cheese)
Danimals (yogurt)
Dasani (Coca Cola)
Dean Foods
Del Monte
Deodorants (all aluminum-containing)
Designer Whey
Dextran/Dextrin [sic] (any product containing)
Dextrose, all (I kid you not–see the Stevia article)
Diacetyl (non-GMO)
Diastase (any product containing)
Diastatic malt (any product containing)
Diet Coke
Diet Mountain Dew
Diet Pepsi
Diet Soft Drinks
Diglycerides (non-GMO)
Dimethylpolysiloxane (ingredient)
Double Gulp (7-11)
Dream Whip
Dreyer’s Ice Cream
Dr. Praegar’s
Dr. Pepper
Duncan Hines
Dunkin Donuts

E951 (sweetener, U.K. & Europe)
Earth’s Best (baby formula)
EAS Myoplex
Edible Arrangements
Eggs (all, from fast food restaurants)
Elizabeth Arden
Equal Spoonful
Erythritol (non-GMO)
Estee Lauder
Ethyl maltol (any product containing)
Evian (Coca Cola)

Fair Life
Famous Amos (Kellogg)
Fantastic World Foods
Fiber One
Five Alive
Flu Shots (very dangerous to skip this one!)
Food and Drug Administration, U.S. (FDA approved ingredients)
Food Starch (non-GMO)
Franklin Farms
French Meadow
Fresh Market (cakes)
Frito Lay
Frosted Mini Wheats
Froot Loops
Fructose (any product containing)
Fruit, from concentrate
Fruit By The Foot
Fruit Gushers
Fruit Rollups
Funnel cakes

Garden of Eatin’
General Food International (General Foods)
General Mills
Ginger Ale
Girl Scout Cookies
Glucose (any product containing)
Glutamate (non-GMO)
Glutamic Acid (non-GMO)
Gluten (for non-celiac disease sufferers, a safe protein found in wheat, barley, and rye)
Glycerides (non-GMO)
Glycerines (non-GMO)
GMO Foods (inc. corn, soy, cotton, canola)
Godiva Chocolates
Gold Medal
Good Earth
Good Morenings
Good Seasons
Golden Grahams
Gravy Master
Great Value
Grey Poupon
Groupe Danone
Gummy bears

Haagen Daz
Hall’s Cough Drops
Hamburger Helper
Handi Snacks
Haribo (gummy bear manufacturer)
Harris Teeter Cakes
Harvest Bay
Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen
Heinz Tomato Ketchup
Hello Kitty popsicles
Hemicellulose (non-GMO)
Hemp Milk
Herbal Essence Shampoo
Hero (Prop 37)
HFCS-90 (ingredient, High fructose corn syrup)
Hickory Farms
Hidden Valley Ranch (salad dressing)
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Honest Kids
Honest Tea
Honey Graham Oh’s
Honey Nut Cheerios
Hope in a Jar
Horizon Organic
Hot Pockets
Hot Tamales (candy)
Hummus (prepackaged)
Hungry Jack
Hydrogenated Starch (non-GMO)
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (non-GMO)

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
Idahoan (Prop 37)
Inositol (non-GMO)
Inventure Foods (Prop 37)
Inverse Syrup (non-GMO)
Inversol (non-GMO)
Invert sugar (any food containing)
Isoflavones (non-GMO)
Izze (Pepsico)

Jack in the Box
Jason’s Deli Ice Cream
Jason’s Deli Dressings
Jason’s Deli Meats
Jason’s Deli Muffins
Jason’s Deli Soups
Jenni O’s
Jett Puffed
Joe’s O’s
Jolly Time
Juice, Fruit (nearly all processed)
Just Juice

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
Knouse Foods
Kraft (not just Mac & Cheese!)
Krispy Kreme
Kroger (poultry)

La Banderita
Lactic Acid (non-GMO)
Lactose (any food containing)
Land O’Lakes
Laughing Cow
Lay’s Potato Chips
Lean Cuisine
Lecithin (non-GMO)
Lehigh Valley
Leucine (non-GMO)
Life Cereal
Little Caesars
Living Harvest
Lucky Charms
Lysine (non-GMO)

Malic acid (non-GMO)
Malitol (any product containing)
Malt (non-GMO)
Malt Extract (non-GMO)
Malt syrup (any product containing)
Maltodextrin (any product containing)
Maltose (any product containing)
Mannitol (any product containing)
Martin’s Potato Rolls
Maseca Corn Flour
Maxwell House
Mazola Corn Plus
Mazola Vegetable Plus
McCormick Seasonings, Spices, etc.
Meat (ALL conventional, non-organic)
Menchies Frozen Yogurt
Mellow Mushroom Pizza
Methylcellulose (non-GMO)
Mexican Restaurants (most–I’m not kidding)
MicroZap Inc.
Microwave ovens, all (watch out for those Hitler crystals! 😉
Mighty Leaf (tea)
Milk (all American non-organic, pasteurized)
Milk (condensed, non-GMO)
Milk Powder (non-GMO)
Milo Starch (non-GMO)
Mineral Fusion
Minute Maid
Miracle Whip
Miss Vickie’s (Pepsico)
Mission White Corn Tortillas
MMR Vaccine
Modified Food Starch (non-GMO)
Modified Starch (non-GMO)
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Monoglycerides (non-GMO)
Morning Star
Morton Salt
Morton’s Seasonings
Mrs. Dash
Mrs. Fields
MUG Root Beer
Muir Glen (Prop 37)
Multi Grain Cheerios
Muscle Milk

Naked Juice
Nanoparticles (ingredient, especially yogurt)
Nature Valley
Neosugar (ingredient)
Nesquik milk
Nestle (virtually all products)
Newman’s Own (popcorn)
Nice! Oats & Honey
Nilla (Kraft)
Nutri-Grain (Kellogg)
Nutter Butter

Ocean Spray
Old El Paso
Oleic Acid (non-GMO)
O.N.E Coconut Water
Open Pit
Orbit (gum)
Organic Valley (butter)
Orville Redenbacher
Oscar Mayer
Oxybenzone (sunscreen component)

Pacific Foods aka Pacific Natural Foods
Papa Johns
Papa Murphy’s
Papayas, all from Hawaii
Parent’s Choice Organic (baby formula)
Pediasure (via “Moms Across America/Glyphosate article)
Pears from concentrate
Pepperidge Farm
Phenylalanine (non-GMO)
Phosphoric acid (ingredient)
Phytic Acid (non-GMO)
Pickles and Relish (any that contain food dye)
Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt
Pinnacle Foods
Pirate Booty
Pizza Hut
Pop Secret
Popcorn (microwave)
Popsicle brand popsicles
Pop Tarts
Potassium sorbate (ingredient)
Power Crunch
Promise Me (Susan G. Komen perfume)
Protein Isolate (non-GMO)
Pure Protein
Pure Via


Rapeseed (aka canola, non-GMO)
Raw sugar (any product containing)
Red No. 40 (food dye)
Red Mango Frozen Yogurt
Reddi Egg
Refiner’s syrup (any product containing)
Reilly Food Company
Republic of Tea
Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A, found in sunscreens and lotions)
Rich’s Products
Richelieu Foods (Prop 37)
Rice Krispies
Rite-Aid Sunscreen
Rolling Rock
Round Table Pizza
Russell Stover
R.W. Knudsen (Prop 37)

Sabra Hummus
Safeway (poultry, Prop 37)
Salad dressings (most, with “GMO oils”)
Salmon (farmed)
Sandwich Thins
Santa Cruz Organic
Sara Lee
Sausages (with nitrates)
Sea Pak
Seattle’s Best Coffee (Pepsico)
Shock Top
Shoyu (non-GMO)
Silk & Horizon
Silk Soy Milk
Simply Light
Simply Orange
Slim Fast
Smartwater (Coca Cola)
Smart Balance (butter)
Smart Ones
Smithfield (Prop 37)
Snyder’s of Hanover
So Delicious
SoBe (Pepsico)
Sodium benzoate (ingredient)
Sodium citrate (non-GMO)
Soft Drinks (almost all)
Solae (Prop 37)
Sorbitol (any product containing)
Soy, all in restaurants (non-GMO)
Soybean Oil (any product containing)
Soy Flour (non-GMO)
Soy Isolates (non-GMO)
Soy Lechitin (non-GMO)
Soy Milk (non-GMO)
Soy Oil (non-GMO)
Soy Protein (non-GMO)
Soy Protein Isolate (non-GMO)
Soy Sauce (non-GMO)
Special K
SPF greater than 50 in sunscreens
Spices (Virtually all sold in the U.S.A.)
Smart Balance Cooking Oil
Sorghum syrup (any product containing)
Sour Patch Kids
Spectrum Organic
Spice of Life
Squirt Soda
Starch (non-GMO)
Starkist Tuna
StarLite Cuisine
Stearic Acid (non-GMO)
Stella Artois
Stevia, manufactured (see article)
Stewart’s (Soda)
Stove Top
Sucrose (any product containing)
Sugar (unless specified as non-GMO cane sugar)
Sugar, raw
Sugar, yellow
Sulfites (ingredient, vegetable preservative)
Sun Chips
Sun Drop
Sunny Delight
Sunscreens, all spray   (also see specific brand names)
Sunscreens, all powder  (also see specific brand names)
Sunscreens, CVS brand
Sunscreens, Rite-Aid brand
Sunscreens, Walgreens brand
Sunkist Soda
Super Big Gulp (7-11)
Susan G. Komen Foundation
Swanson Chicken Broth
Syngenta (Prop 37)

Taco Bell
Tamari (non-GMO)
Tazo (tea)
TCBY Yogurt
Tea Forte
Tempeh (non-GMO)
Teriyaki Marinades (non-GMO)
Textured Vegetable Protein (non-GMO)
Think Thin
Thomas’ 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins
Threonine (non-GMO)
Tocopherols (Vitamin E, non-GMO)
Tofu (non-GMO)
Tootsie Rolls
Town House
Trader Joe’s
Trehalose (non-GMO)
Trical (Prop 37)
Trident Gum
Triglyceride (non-GMO)
TruMoo (Dean Foods)
Tuna, canned
Turbinado sugar (any product containing)
Twinings of London (tea)

Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread
Uncle Ben’s
Unilever (Prop 37)
Uno Chicago Grill
Utz All Natural

Vaccines (most)
Vegetable Fat (non-GMO)
Vegetable Oil (non-GMO)
Veggie burgers (non-organic)
Vermont Organics (baby formula)
Vie de France
Vita Coco
Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate, found in sunscreens and lotions)
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin, non-GMO)
Vitamin E (Tocopherol, non-GMO)
VitaminEnergy (Coca Cola)
Vitamin Water Zero
Vlasic (pickles)

Walgreen’s sunscreen
Walmart (I kid you not!  They’re selling GMO products!)
Wesson Oil
Wheat Thins
Whey (non-GMO)
Whey Powder (non-GMO)
While Lily Flour
Whitewave Foods
Whole Foods (Even she doesn’t understand her do’s and don’ts–see her article!)
Whole Foods Organic Baby Formula
Wholesome Sweeteners
Wrigley’s Gum

Xanthan Gum (non-GMO)

Yellow No. 5 (food dye)
Yellow Squash
Yellow sugar (any product containing)
YoCrunch (yogurt)
Yoforia Frozen Yogurt
Yogurt Mountain
Yves Veggie Cuisine

Zicam Cherry Cold Remedy
Zico Coconut Water

Please note: to avoid increasing search engine exposure for quack web sites, I use the DoNotLink service to obfuscate URLs. I promise you are not being redirected to porn 😉

Food Babe: Processed To Death (Cooking Oils)

Food Babe: GMO Ingredients A-Z Reference

Food Babe: GMO Ingredients in General Mills Foods

Food Babe: “Recipe for a Heart Attack”

Food Babe: Why aren’t you making your own hummus?

Food Babe: Artificial Dyes

Food Babe: Read the Ingredients List

Food Babe Avoid These When Eating Out

Food Babe: Olive Oil Archives

Food Babe: Sugar Archives

Food Babe: Dead Animal Parts in V8, Prego, Swanson, Campbell’s

Food Babe Heinz

Food Babe: “Carrots soaked in chlorine”

Food Babe Microwave Ovens

Food Babe Beauty Products

Food Babe “GMO” Candy

Food Babe Cetaphil

Food Babe Oreos

Food Babe: Parabens

Food Babe Mrs. Dash

Food Babe: Companies Fighting Prop 37

Food Babe Susan G. Komen & Other Cancer Organizations

Food Babe Flu Shot Nonsense

Food Babe Kleenex

Food Babe Truvia, Stevia

Food Babe Sunscreens

Food Babe “Just Say No” to Candy

Food Babe Fair Life

Food Babe Salmon

Food Babe Chocolates

Food Babe Whole Foods (She’s really confused on this one!)

Food Babe Peanut Butter

Food Babe Toothpastes

For Babe Birthday Cake

Food Babe Thanksgiving Scrooge

Food Babe Protein Shakes

Food Babe Spices

Food Babe Banned Holiday Gifts

Food Babe “GMO Wheat”

Food Babe Milk, Dairy Products

Food Babe Baby Formula

Food Babe Non-Organic Meat

Food Babe Double Standard

Food Babe Ractopamine

Food Babe Trader Joes

Food Babe Beer

Food Babe Chewing Gum

Food Babe Snacks/GMOs

Food Babe Burgers

Food Babe Silly Putty

Food Babe Microwave Popcorn

Food Babe Deodorants

Food Babe How to Ruin Oatmeal

Food Babe Coconut Water

Food Babe Juices

Food Babe Natural Flavors

Food Babe General Mills

Food Babe Soft Drinks

Food Babe “Toxic” drink

Foodbabe Scare Tactics

Food Babe Mexican Pizza

Food Babe Pizza

Food Babe Jello

Food Babe Medicine Misinformation

Food Babe GMO Natural Products

Food Babe Pepperidge Farm

Food Babe Cereal

Food Babe GMO Archives

Food Babe Butter

Food Babe Jason’s Deli

Food Babe Bread

Food Babe Never Buy!

Food Babe Tea

Food Babe Frozen Yogurt

Food Babe: Laughing All the Way to the Bank (Part 1)

It’s no secret that Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) makes money from pushing certain products on her web site.  Also common knowledge is the fact she uses scare tactics to frighten people away from safe and nutritious products in order to drive them toward those from which she’ll earn sales commissions.

What may be slipping through the cracks is just how pervasive this process is, especially now that the Babe is encrypting her product affiliation information before presenting it on her web site.

Let’s look at her recent article, “Do You Know What’s Really in Your Tea?”In a future article I’ll examine the hypocrisy in Hari’s recommending tea at all, since it contains one of the highest concentrations of aluminum in all food,2 and she falsely claims aluminum is toxic.3  If you’d like a primer on the safety of ingesting aluminum, check out my article here.  But for now let’s concentrate on how Hari hides her relationship with Amazon customers.  In her article,  after countless paragraphs of lies and misinformation on the dangers of just about every tea in the world, we come to this:

"Bad" and "Good" teasYou can bet your arse she recommends looking at this chart!  We’re about to find out why.  This nice graphic tells us that “Numi”, “Rishi”, and “Traditional Medicinals” are, apparently, the safest drinks around.  No check marks for these three!

Then, here comes the confirmation–conveniently linked to for purposes of placing orders are these same three teas:

recommended brandsBut where’s the Vani Hari connection?  If you hover your mouse pointer over the linked product names and look carefully at your web browser, all you see is what looks like an innocent Amazon URL (“Uniform Resource Locator”… the way web pages are found on the Internet):

encoded link“”… no apparent ties to Food Babe here, right?

Wrong.  Let’s look at the “page source”… the hypertext markup language (HTML) behind the web page.  You can click on the image to enlarge it:

Page source for food babe scare article

Source of the web page “Do You Know What’s In Your Tea?”, with shortened URLs highlighted.

“” is a shortened URL used with’s “Pro” service.4  “” refers to Bitly, a web service company that makes long URLs shorter and easier to read.  When you click on a link you’re directed to a Bitly-powered server.  That server translates the shortened link into something longer, then sends you along your merry way to the intended destination–in this case,  Looks innocent so far, right?

The tie-in to Food Babe comes with the “16LydJk” portion of “”.  This innocent-looking 7 character code is an encrypted version of a link to an web product page.  That encrypted link also contains a Food Babe affiliate ID.  This is how Amazon knows that Vani Hari referred you to their web site.  When you buy, her cash register goes “ka-ching!”

You may not realize this when you land on Amazon’s web page.  Just look at the following screen shot.  The Food Babe referral isn’t obvious even though it isn’t encrypted anymore:

amazon page

… but let’s copy that entire URL (highlighted, above) to the clipboard and take a closer look at it:

CaptureSee the text “tag=foodbab-20” tacked on at the very end of the decrypted URL, where it couldn’t be seen in the browser’s address bar?


So, when Food Babe builds a web page, she encodes her own affiliate ID along with the Amazon product link.  If you’d like to see how that’s done, the entire Amazon affiliate encryption process is simply and elegantly described in this LinkTrackr tutorial.5

Vani Hari… the woman knows no shame.  She’s even trying to make a commission on cookware (you can see the stainless steel and glass tea strainer affiliate links encoded in the page markup I showed earlier):

cookware sales

As an exercise, try visiting a Food Babe page and hovering over all the links you find.  You’ll be amazed how many products she’s selling.  After warning her scientifically challenged army of followers about non-existent dangers in foods, she gets them running to Amazon like lambs to the slaughter checkout counter.



Image Credits
Screen snapshots of Food Babe and web pages are used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.


Please note: to avoid assisting with search engine exposure for quack web sites, I use the DoNotLink URL obfuscator on certain links.  I promise you are not being redirected to porn 🙂

(1) Original Food Babe tea scare article

(2) World Health Organization: Aluminum in Water and Food

(3) Food Babe on Aluminum

(4) “Amazon Goes Pro with”

(5) LinkTrackr Amazon affiliate coding tutorial

Debunking the Synthetic Insulin Myth (Part I)

You would think someone with “MD” after her name would know better than to fall for quack medical articles.  Still, I could forgive Kelly Brogan, “Holistic Psychiatrist”, for her mistake in linking “Insulin Can Kill Diabetics; Natural Substances Heal Them”1 on her Facebook page,2 if only she had apologized for her mistake when it was pointed out to her.

Instead, Brogan plows mindlessly on, erasing critical posts, banning users who debunk her, and going on to spread more misinformation like, for example, the HIV virus not being responsible for AIDS,6 and claiming that we need viruses more than vaccines.2

FB thumbnail

Confirming a lie instead of debunking it–NOT what a doctor should be doing. See footnotes for image credit.

In a future article, I’ll debunk the myth that synthetic insulin is dangerous–and that pig-derived insulin is somehow safer.  In this article, however, I’d like to look at how people like Brogan and her source, “GreenMedInfo”, misrepresent real medical studies to scare the general public.  The study in question is called (hold on to your seats): “Glucose-lowering with exogenous insulin monotherapy in type 2 diabetes: dose association with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular events, and incident cancer.”3

In this study, the researchers didn’t really look at when patients began insulin therapy and how the insulin affected the outcome.  Instead, they used a “proportional hazards model”, a statistical method in which they took a database of Type II diabetes patients from the United Kingdom, assumed synthetic insulin was a hazard, and introduced it mathematically over a designated period of time.

In other words, the researchers had no idea when the patients actually began insulin therapy and whether the insulin was a factor in the hazardous outcomes breathlessly reported by people misquoting and misrepresenting this study.  One thing that’s obviously missing is a control group–in this case, a group that did not receive the synthetic insulin.  The researchers do admit this, but everyone quoting the study ignores the fact.

So, all we really know from this study is that several years after 6,484 people with diabetes received synthetic insulin, some of them got sick, and some of those sick people eventually died.  Well, that’s exactly what you would expect in any population, especially if some of them are seriously ill.  The calculated adjusted hazard ratios in this study (e.g., 1.37 for major adverse/acute cardiovascular events, MACE) could just as easily be explained by pre-existing conditions or other factors.

In fact, a recent presentation at the 50th annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes claimed that “pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) emerged as the greatest risk factor for experiencing a major acute cardiovascular event (MACE) among patients with type 2 diabetes”.4  Wow.  Is it possible that patients with Type II diabetes are predisposed to cardiovascular disease?

Answer: Yes.  According to the American Heart Association, CVD is the cause of death in approximately 65% of all diabetes patients.5  All of a sudden, we’re running in circles: did the diabetes cause the CVD, or did the synthetic insulin?  Remember that missing control group?  What about the age of the patients?  What about when they actually began taking the insulin, as opposed the the arbitrary time selected by the researchers?  What about other health conditions?  What about…?

The researchers themselves were aware of the limitations of their study.  The last line of their abstract, missing from every quack article such as GreenMedInfo’s:

“Limitations of observational studies mean that this should be further investigated using an interventional study design”

An “interventional study” is what I hinted at earlier… it is a carefully controlled experiment involving, among other things, a control group that does not receive the drug (e.g., synthetic insulin) being tested.

There is nothing inherently wrong with an observational study, or statistical analysis.  The authors may very well have a point–maybe more studies are warranted.  I’ll leave that up to doctors.

What I want to point out is that one observational study does not–in any field, in any circumstances–prove a link between one thing and another.  And that is what’s being claimed by Dr. Brogan and everyone else citing this horrific GreenMedInfo article.


Image Credits
Dr. Brogan/Facebook screen snapshot used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.


Please note: To prevent increasing search engine exposure to quack web sites, I use the “DoNotLink” link obfuscator service to disguise URLs.  I promise that you are not being redirected to porn 🙂

(1)  (Quack Article) Research: Insulin Can Kill Diabetics; Natural Substances Heal Them

(2) Dr. Brogan (Facebook)

(3) Glucose-lowering with exogenous insulin monotherapy in type 2 diabetes (abstract)

(4) Pre-Existing Cardiovascular Disease Largest Risk Factor for MACE in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

(5) AHA Scientific Statement: Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

(6) Kelly Brogan denies germ theory and the value of HIV drugs