Food Babe Is Selling GMOs

Her virulent protests and bluster to the contrary, it can now be revealed that Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) is selling a product with an ingredient that’s derived from genetically modified corn.

Follow me, dear reader, into the Vani Hari online store, and have a look at the natural hand sanitizer that earns her a nice sales commission on Amazon:1

food babe cleanwell gmo corn sugar

Clean Well is indeed non-toxic.  It just happens to be made from sugar derived from GMO corn, which Food Babe falsely links to myriad health problems. (click/enlarge)

The ingredient in question?  One that Vani loves to rant about:  GMO corn:2

food babe gmo corn sugar

According to the USDA, the amount of GMO corn planted in the United States in 2015 has reached approximately 85%.3  It’s hard to avoid it, and Vani’s product doesn’t.

Notice, if you will, the “emulsifier derived from corn sugar”.  If you’ve followed the GMO debate for any amount of time now, you’re well aware that most corn produced in the United States is genetically modified “Bt corn”, a variety that produces a natural pesticide that’s completely safe for humans but opens up a can of chemical whup-ass on one of corn’s primary predators.  Win-win.

But Vani Hari doesn’t like GMO corn.  Not only for purposes of eating.  She doesn’t like all the imagined (and I do mean imagined) evil things it does to the environment.4  And slathering anything “toxic” on your skin is a faux-pas, according to Vani.5 For Food Babe, GMO is the ultimate boogeyman, to be avoided at all costs.  It doesn’t matter to Hari that in this case we’re talking about sugar, which isn’t an organism, and so can’t possibly be a GMO.  If it was derived from a GMO, that’s bad enough for her.  You’ll find myriad non-organisms on my “Food Babe Ban List“, which contains over 600 products/brands/items Vani Hari has banned, many because she wrongly believes they’re genetically modified organisms.

This is an important point: when I say “Food Babe is selling GMOs” in this article, I mean so in the vernacular.  I fully understand the difference between an organism and a carbohydrate.  Food Babe doesn’t–that’s why she commonly refers to things like sugars as “GMOs”.

I spoke with the manufacturer of Clean Well hand sanitizer by phone, and they’ve confirmed that the corn is in fact GMO sourced, though they said non-GMO corn may also be mixed in as well.  To be honest, they had no idea who Food Babe even was, and I sensed a great deal of confusion over the fact people made such a big deal over nothing.  “Don’t they know this is a sugar, not an organism?”, seemed to be the theme of the conversation.

I couldn’t agree more.

At this point in my brief one year stint as a writer, I’ve uncovered over four dozen products that contain the very same ingredients Vani Hari says are dangerous.  This hand cleaner won’t be the last.  Could another GMO product be in Vani’s cupboard?  You’ll have to stay tuned and see!

On a more somber note… I feel sorry for the good people at Clean Well because Vani Hari chose to slap her affiliate ID on their product.   If you read their back story, their search for a low-allergenic cleanser has a touching personal slant many could identify with.  I’ve also rarely found a company so willing to answer questions about their products.   It’s my hope that Clean Well won’t be penalized by Food Babe’s attempt to earn a sales commission by featuring their products on her shopping page.  Out of the thousands of studies on GMO safety, not a single one has found a problem. There’s no reason to fear this product–especially since sugars aren’t GMOs (take a science course, Vani!)

Buy Clean Well products with full confidence. Just please… don’t buy them from Food Babe.

 

Image Credits
Food Babe website screen snapshots and Clean Well product image captures are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (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.

References
(1) Food Babe Shop
http://foodbabe.com/shop/

(2) Clean Well Hand Sanitizer Ingredients
http://www.cleanwelltoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/CW_Ingreds_10_15_13.pdf

(3) Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx

(4) Difference Between Organic and Non-GMO Labels (Food Babe)
http://foodbabe.com/2015/02/26/difference-between-organic-non-gmo-labels/

(5) Holistic Hair Care
http://foodbabe.com/2011/11/06/holistic-hair-care-how-why/

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32 thoughts on “Food Babe Is Selling GMOs

  1. What it says about YOU is more than what it says about Vani Hari. The fact that there are people who are so focused on finding fault with Vani Hari, to the point where they’ll run down the street screaming “I found it!” when they notice that a hand sanitizer has an emulsifier derived from corn sugar from GMO corn, speaks volumes about the nature of the small clique of pseudoskeptic character assassins who have it out for Vani Hari because she’s a leader in rallying people to speak out against the chemical industry’s evils (things like lying and poisoning people for profit) and urging caution against trusting their pronouncements about what’s safe… in other words, big deal, you nitpickers, get a life and see the bigger picture here. Your organized campaign to demonize Hari is far far more morally bankrupt than her overlooking that an ingredient in one product she recommends contains GMO corn.. it’s like you just don’t see the forest for the trees.

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    • Actually, no. This is one of over four dozen products Food Babe sells that contains exactly the ingredients she says are dangerous. Food Babe says not to buy products made from GMOs. She sells one. Stay on topic. Your inability to address that truth, and your need to attack those who reveal it, speaks volumes about your own motives. You’re unable to debate the science or the facts, so you launch ad homs.

      Now, to the point: this is one of four dozen products Food Babe sells that contain the ingredients she says are harmful. Are you able to talk about this, or are you here to just Sea Lion the comments section again?

      And while we’re at it, why don’t you try asking Vani on her Facebook page why she’s selling this product, and see how quickly you’re banned by your “champion of truth”?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hey buddy, look, i know your story and i know your theme here. I know this is your special area of criticism of Food Babe, and i simply disagree on its importance, and this one in particular is so niggling that i had to say a word on it.

        So…. when you right “Stay on topic.” you ought to know i’m right on topic, right on point here. I said i see what you said, i grant that a product contains and emulsifer that is made from GMO corn… ok, got that? I am on topic, and i granted that.

        Then, i went one little level up and looked at the larger point you are trying to make here, which is to say that Hari in not credible because of a few ingredients issues of this sort. I say you’re wrong about that. A does not mean B…. B does not follow from A.

        The world’s not perfect, and we are doing our best. We need real systemic change. Vani Hari is working on that, for example by opposing routine antibiotic use in livestock, by voicing concerns about glyphosate which shows signs of being dangerous, and of Monsanto and the food industry in general’s war on truth, the PR campaigns being waged by these companies and strategic entities backed by a lot of resources (millions, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars toward these ends)… their endless trolling of the internet, their attempts to overtake knowledge on Wikipedia, their various devious scheming attempts to affect public perception and governance through such means as getting public scientists to take positions on their behalf (shown in the Eric Liption article in the NY Times)….

        In other words, a little error here and there is to be expected in a war. Do i care if Vani Hari makes a few thousand dollars per month by selling makeup to yuppies and that one of those items contains something she’s spoken out against? Not much… in a perfect world that wouldn’t be the case but the world’s so far from perfect and she’s on the side that’s working to make it better, so i say if she makes 100 yards of progress and loses one yard for a technical foul, good for her. She’s a good person doing good work.

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        • “Then, i went one little level up and looked at the larger point you are trying to make here, which is to say that Hari in not credible because of a few ingredients issues of this sort. I say you’re wrong about that. A does not mean B…. B does not follow from A.”

          If Vani Hari wants to posit herself as an authority on a topic (food/consumer product safety), it helps to her credibility to not promote products that contain ingredients/chemicals that she claims are harmful.

          Either the ingredients/chemicals are not as harmful as she asserts flatly (either by being not harmful at all, or not AS harmful depending on context), or she is willing to ignore that fact to push products that contain those products, which at the very least makes her hypocritical, and should call into questions her overall motives behind what she is doing.

          “The world’s not perfect, and we are doing our best. We need real systemic change. Vani Hari is working on that, for example…”

          This is all a red herring. Just because you think that Vani is generally ‘fighting the good fight’ doesn’t ignore this (and other) repeated failings she has with regards to her consumer base. It also doesn’t help that several of her campaigns/articles are predicated upon scientific misinformation and ignorance (e.g. ‘Yoga Mats’ in subway bread; her campaign against Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte; asserting that silly putty is in french fries [which is both inaccurate and irrelevant, since the ingredient being referenced is non-toxic at the concentrations found in its utilization as an anti-foam agent in frying oil).

          If anything, you viewing her as such an important figure in this fight should make you MORE critical of her over these shortcomings and failings, because they undermine her ability to act as an authority on these topics.

          “In other words, a little error here and there is to be expected in a war.”

          Your insistence on pushing this rhetoric into the territory of ‘war’ is also a red herring, and irrelevant to the actual point of the article. Furthermore, we’re talking about things that conflate and contradict FUNDAMENTAL PREMISES to Food Babe’s philosophy regarding food/consumer products.

          If Food Babe wants to perpetuate a hard line on GMO foods and products, why does she sell products that contain (directly or indirectly) GMO foods/ingredients?

          “She’s a good person doing good work.”

          Hardly. Food Babe is someone who has wasted a lot of people’s time and money over misinformation, and profits off of the ignorance of her reader base. She is a key element in a growing undercurrent of distrust in science in general, and clearly she doesn’t care that she perpetuates misinformation, since she’s willing to sell products that she SHOULD be banning based on her own standards.

          It’s also hard to say that she’s a good person doing good work when she doesn’t even take criticism like someone who’s doing good work. When articles come out that criticize her points/articles/positions…she resorts to ad hominem attacks and trying to discredit the person writing about her as being part of some conspiracy.

          If she’s doing good work, why doesn’t she simply defend her points instead of making low blows in front of her fan base?

          Now for my own non-sequitur; how was her article on the dangers of air travel “doing good work”? It accomplished nothing good aside from demonstrating how ignorant she is on the topics she wants to appear as an authority on. If you want to look up the original article, she deleted it, but a copy of it can be found here:

          https://skeptic78240.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/food-babe/

          And a critique of it here:

          http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/food-babe-misinformation-on-travel/

          How am I supposed to take someone seriously on the topic of chemistry/health when she asserted things like:

          “The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this! The nitrogen may affect the times and dosages of medications, make you feel bloated and cause your ankles and joints swell.”

          How can anyone who is trying to act as an authority on these topics make such obvious mistakes?

          This doesn’t discredit everything she done, obviously, but it does discredit her ability to be a credible authority on these topics.

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          • *Applause* Dude. That was brilliant. And all Sagerad had to say was some bullshit about shoveling in the right direction lmao. Tired of these fucking fear mongering earthies.

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        • I’ve decided to quote you on points I wanted to address for clarity:

          “Then, i went one little level up and looked at the larger point you are trying to make here, which is to say that Hari in not credible because of a few ingredients issues of this sort. I say you’re wrong about that. A does not mean B…. B does not follow from A.”

          If Vani Hari wants to posit herself as an authority on a topic (food/consumer product safety), it helps to her credibility to not promote products that contain ingredients/chemicals that she claims are harmful.

          Either the ingredients/chemicals are not as harmful as she asserts flatly (either by being not harmful at all, or not AS harmful depending on context), or she is willing to ignore that fact to push products that contain those products, which at the very least makes her hypocritical, and should call into questions her overall motives behind what she is doing.

          “The world’s not perfect, and we are doing our best. We need real systemic change. Vani Hari is working on that, for example…”

          This is all a red herring. Just because you think that Vani is generally ‘fighting the good fight’ doesn’t ignore this (and other) repeated failings she has with regards to her consumer base. It also doesn’t help that several of her campaigns/articles are predicated upon scientific misinformation and ignorance (e.g. ‘Yoga Mats’ in subway bread; her campaign against Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte; asserting that silly putty is in french fries [which is both inaccurate and irrelevant, since the ingredient being referenced is non-toxic at the concentrations found in its utilization as an anti-foam agent in frying oil).

          If anything, you viewing her as such an important figure in this fight should make you MORE critical of her over these shortcomings and failings, because they undermine her ability to act as an authority on these topics.

          “In other words, a little error here and there is to be expected in a war.”

          Your insistence on pushing this rhetoric into the territory of ‘war’ is also a red herring, and irrelevant to the actual point of the article. Furthermore, we’re talking about things that conflate and contradict FUNDAMENTAL PREMISES to Food Babe’s philosophy regarding food/consumer products.

          If Food Babe wants to perpetuate a hard line on GMO foods and products, why does she sell products that contain (directly or indirectly) GMO foods/ingredients?

          “She’s a good person doing good work.”

          Hardly. Food Babe is someone who has wasted a lot of people’s time and money over misinformation, and profits off of the ignorance of her reader base. She is a key element in a growing undercurrent of distrust in science in general, and clearly she doesn’t care that she perpetuates misinformation, since she’s willing to sell products that she SHOULD be banning based on her own standards.

          It’s also hard to say that she’s a good person doing good work when she doesn’t even take criticism like someone who’s doing good work. When articles come out that criticize her points/articles/positions…she resorts to ad hominem attacks and trying to discredit the person writing about her as being part of some conspiracy.

          If she’s doing good work, why doesn’t she simply defend her points instead of making low blows in front of her fan base?

          Now for my own non-sequitur; how was her article on the dangers of air travel “doing good work”? It accomplished nothing good aside from demonstrating how ignorant she is on the topics she wants to appear as an authority on. If you want to look up the original article, she deleted it, but a copy of it can be found here:

          https://skeptic78240.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/food-babe/

          And a critique of it here:

          http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/food-babe-misinformation-on-travel/

          How am I supposed to take someone seriously on the topic of chemistry/health when she asserted things like:

          “The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this! The nitrogen may affect the times and dosages of medications, make you feel bloated and cause your ankles and joints swell.”

          How can anyone who is trying to act as an authority on these topics make such obvious mistakes?

          This doesn’t discredit everything she done, obviously, but it does discredit her ability to be a credible authority on these topics.

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        • She is either very ignorant, or she prefer her commission to her integrity. If I cared about making a difference, she’s the worst ally to be with.

          Like

  2. Food Babe is a profit-driven, cynical, narcissistic manipulator, who feeds off the ignorance of those that follow her. She has precisely no relevant qualifications in agriculture or food technology, she’s a computer scientist with a background working in marketing.

    She can analyse the probability people won’t read past the headline, so she misrepresents articles in those while providing “alternatives” – these are really affiliate products from companies she has marketing deals with.

    For example, I noticed on her recent “expose” on tea that the only two brands that weren’t “suspect” were the two she conveniently has affiliate codes for that give her an 18% kickback from purchases.

    Like

    • And when you buy through Amazon, she gets kickbacks on every other qualifying purchase you make during your shopping session, not just the product that led you there! Thanks for reading and commenting Andy!

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      • The chemical industry hates her because she interferes with the apathy that enables their profit stream to continue unabated.

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          • She’s not. Apparently there are few here or there that have slipped through the cracks, or are otherwise unfairly characterized as such by people who want to assassinate her character, so that they would then claim that a topical application of something is the same as ingesting it which it is not. Anyway it’s kind of like picking on the nitrogen thing from years ago. You find a detail when she was wrong and then you would have that home a million times a day. It’s character assassination and it is more evidence that the industry wants to destroy her because she’s a trouble to them.

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          • Hey buddy I am quite aware of the thing that you are claiming, and I have looked into the claims. I looked at very specific things about this. This is the so-called pioneering work of MarkDraco, right? Anyway she may have talked about something that is not good to ingest and then it is in some topical application and some minut amount and this is what you’re picking on in this case, until I heard this to be a weaselly and weak and flimsy argument. It’s kind of playing with semantics basically. And it does not contradict the fact that her General trend of advice is good. It’s basically looking for any flaw at all to tear her apart. That is what the industry has done, including digging up posts from years ago before she was even doing this on any kind of professional level, as simply a private person blogging about stuff, and then pointing out errors in those past posts that she has taken down since then and admitted are incorrect. She has had the strength to admit mistakes from her past and yet the industry has continued to use those to nitpick and try to tear her apart. It is vile and it is disgusting and it is low.

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          • Nope. She is currently selling dozens of products that contain the very ingredients she says are dangerous. Full stop.

            You happen to be commenting on an article on one of those products. She’s an anti-GMO activist yet she’s selling a product made with GMO corn.

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          • Thank you for making my point for me, Mark. Exactly, a very minut ingredient that is in a topical product is derived from probable GMO corn sugar. That is very different from actually eating the GMO corn. And this is the type of nitpicking of which I am speaking that shows the industry trying to make mountains out of molehills to destroy this activist who challenges them.

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          • Sorry, no. Vani is against the production of GMO crops because of (false) claims of environmental damage. This is the root of her glyphosate argument. So, again, she is selling a product with the very ingredient she says is so dangerous. And it’s not “probable”. I’ve spoken with the manufacturer and they confirmed it’s GMO corn.

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          • Vani Hari is against GMO crops and she is against glyphosate. The two are intertwined but they are not the same and I do not believe that that is her argument. So in that respect I believe that you are actually wrong in your characterization of her in this regard. Secondly, as I have said already a couple of times, and hand sanitizer is a topical product and that is very different from ingesting GMO corn. Thirdly, while you may have called up the manufacturer, I bet she didn’t do that in the first place although sure it’s a tiny little oversight. A tiny oversight that is being made from a molehill into a mountain by you because you are acting in the best interest of the agrochemical industry. I rest my case. QED.

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          • No. She is against the production of GMO crops, yet sells a product that requires fields of GMO corn to be grown, along with the use of the herbicide she says is bad for us and the environment. So she loses that battle.

            Having lost that battle, it shouldn’t matter about the topical use red herring you’re waving in the air like an army banner, but you’re incorrect there also. Having also “destroyed” the environment by growing this corn, she’s done exactly what she says is wrong.

            Finally, topical use vs. eating doesn’t matter. She has written extensively that “toxic” products touching your skin are as dangerous as eating them. See her articles “Drug Store Beauty Dropout” and “Throw This Out of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately” for examples.

            So, yes, Vani Hari is involved in the mass production of a crop she says is dangerous, and earns a sales commission from the sale of the product. QED.

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          • While Food Babe is selling GMO corn products, I’m not wrong about saying she’s selling GMO corn products. So there’s no wrong to admit to. Food Babe is selling GMO corn products. Full stop.

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          • That is so disingenuous and weasely. It shows you have zero integrity and do not care about what is real, but only about your agenda and your “team” …. good for you. Your true colors show. They’re not pretty.

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          • You and the industry you defend do not deserve to exist on this earth with human beings. You are traitor to your specie.

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          • Sage, I’ve never banned anyone because I love debate and opposing viewpoints. But can the personal attacks or you’re gone. I’ve watched you do this on countless forums, including your Wikipedia editing, where you earned a ban for the same behavior. If you can’t debate the point (which is that Vani Hari is selling GMOs) then concede or say nothing. No need for personal attacks.

            Like

  3. Pingback: Anti-GMO Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones is Selling GMOs | Bad Science Debunked

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