As if more proof was needed of Vani Hari’s hypocrisy and double standards, the self-styled “Food Babe” can now definitively be linked to a third company using the very same dyes featured in her campaigns against the likes of Nestle, Kraft, and McDonald’s.
Food Babe earns sales commissions on Giovanni beauty products via an article on “holistic health care” (yes, it’s OK to roll your eyes in amusement).1 Several of her affiliate’s offerings contain dyes such as Red #40 and Yellow #5,2 which the Babe links to a variety of diseases and conditions in her petition wars against other corporations that use the same additives.
Hari cannot excuse herself on the grounds that Giovanni isn’t offering food products, because she explicitly warns against beauty products containing these dyes as well.3 The question must be asked: if she’s dead set on companies removing these ingredients from their products, why is she affiliated with such companies?
The Giovanni news is only the tip of the iceberg. Food Babe blatantly sells a line of Tarte lip stains containing her “forbidden” dyes via her web site’s shopping page,4 and has been selling another line of cosmetics (Josie Maran) containing the dyes since 2013.5
Giovanni, Tarte, and the other companies mentioned here all have wonderful safety records and I hope they will not be punished because Vani Hari chose to align herself with them.
This is a well established pattern. Recently, I wrote that Hari has been selling a product containing the preservative BHT, even while she led a petition drive against General Mills and Kellogg’s for using the same additive. Though she quietly pulled the item from her web site, she continues feature it on her Pinterest page.6
Worse, Food Babe publicly threw her affiliate under the bus, claiming they were “sneaky” about the ingredients listed on their web site–a curious statement coming from an activist who claims to personally use every product she sells.7 The manufacturer clearly lists BHT as an ingredient, and Food Babe urges her followers to always read the product labels. How did she go nearly 3 years without seeing the BHT?
The bigger questions are, (1) how much longer will members of the “Food Babe Army” (#FoodBabeArmy) continue to blindly follow a leader who obviously doesn’t practice what she preaches, and (2) when will American news organizations stop breathlessly promoting Hari as an activist working for the public good, and instead take just 5 minutes to do what I’ve done (check the ingredients of her products against the list of those she says are dangerous)?
Food Babe, Pinterest, Giovanni 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.
(1) Food Babe Holistic Hair Care
(2) Giovanni Product Ingredients
(3) Be A Drug Store Beauty Dropout!
(4) Food Babe Slams Kraft Over Three Dyes but Sells Same
(5) Food Babe “Staring” at Nestle Over Dyes; Should be Looking in the Mirror
(6) Food Babe Pinterest
(7) Food Babe’s BHT Denial Doesn’t Hold Water