UnNatural News: The Health Ranger Sells Formaldehyde

mike adams formaldehyde

For the most part, the scientific world simply laughs at Mike Adams, the self-proclaimed
“Health Ranger”.  Adams’ web site, Natural News, regularly publishes supermarket tabloid-style articles on topics such as life on Mars being wiped out by ancient aliens, World War III possibly already being underway, and both 9/11 and the Sandy Hook massacre being hoaxes.  And who can forget this side-splitting video1 of Adams and a puppet expressing (in song) their scientific illiteracy about GMOs?

But there’s a serious, darker side to The Ranger.  In addition to spouting medical misinformation that could actually cost real human lives, such as the well-debunked view that vaccines are dangerous and pushing ineffective holistic cancer cures, Mike Adams is selling merchandise that contains the very same chemicals he claims will kill you.

To illustrate this last point, let’s go shopping at NaturalNews.com.  Having been bent over in the garden doing a lot of weeding these past few weeks, my back is killing me.  The Health Ranger promises that this bottle of NutraCool topical pain relief formula will cure what ails me:2

nutracool product formaldehyde

NutraCool, on sale in the Natural News store, contains an ingredient Mike Adams links to cancer. (click/enlarge)

Before I buy though, I’m keen to take the advice of Mr. Adams and learn what’s in the product I’m considering putting on my body.  If you read Natural News regularly, there are supposedly a lot of sneaky toxic chemicals out there in the cold cruel world–not all of them sitting out in plain sight.  Why, here… check out this advice on hidden formaldehyde in cosmetics and skin care products:

“Formaldehyde is a highly toxic chemical that is still used under the guise of different ingredient names that don’t include “formaldehyde” in the title in a large number of products that are frequently in close contact with consumers.” 3

One of those devious, hidden formaldehyde sources, according to the Health Ranger?  Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.  This compound is sometimes used as a preservative in cosmetics, much to the chagrin of astroturf “consumer advocate” sites quoted by Adams, such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which warns that sodium hydroxymethylglycinate can slowly release formaldehyde into cosmetics over time.

Why might this matter to Mike Adams?

“Formaldehyde is highly effective as a preservative; however, it is also highly toxic to our immune system, nervous system and is also a major carcinogen.” 3

Health Ranger says to avoid sodium hydroxymethylglycinate in personal care products and links it to myriad diseases.  Do you see where this is going?  Maestro, cue the ominous drum roll.  Let’s even add some scary claps of thunder, because this is going to be big.  Without further ado, I present the ingredients in the UltraCool pain relief gel sold by NaturalNews.com:2

natural news nutra cool

NutraCool ingredients

As Minnie Mouse said to Mickey on their wedding night:  Eek!  There it is in all its glory… sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.  The chemical compound Natural News links via formaldehyde to cancer, neurotoxicity, and immune system disfunction is a prominent ingredient in the company’s merchandise.

If Mike Adams is a health “Ranger”, his (moral) compass doesn’t appear to be pointing due north.

A disturbing trait of snake oil salesmen is how openly they run their con games while going unnoticed by their marks.  You might forgive an unsuspecting customer for missing the sodium hydroxymethylglycinate buried deep on a web page, but Natural News also proudly displays the additive on the product label, complete with a magnifying glass feature.  You can’t miss it if you try.  See the following image (click to enlarge).

nutra cool label natural news

Mike Adams proudly displays the “carcinogenic” sodium hydroxymethylglycinate on his product label. Maybe he knows nobody’s looking and/or they don’t know he’s conning them. (click/enlarge)

So NaturalNews wants me to rub this pain-relief lotion all over my skin, even though it contains an additive they’ve linked to cancer?  Let’s pause one last time and let Mike Adams “educate” us on the wisdom of this action:

Given the fact that just about everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream…5

Gee, thanks Mike.

This is just one of many (upcoming) examples of a web site/Facebook page misleading nearly two million followers.  Chuckle over Natural News’ featherbrained conspiracy theories, yes.  But don’t fall for or spread their potentially fatal lies about the dangers of vaccines and GMOS (read: they’re safe).  And by all that’s holy, don’t spend your hard-earned money in the Health Ranger’s online store.  When an unqualified, self-styled “expert” such as Adams tells us to avoid “formaldehyde-releasing” cosmetic ingredients and then sells eight ounces of the very same for $29.95–shame on us for buying.


(1) Just Label It Song

(2) NutralCool on NaturalNews.com Store

(3) Four Common Formaldehyde Releasers to Avoid in Your Cosmetics and Skin Care (NaturalNews.com)

(4) NaturalNews.com: Chemicals in Skin Care Products


Image Credits
Natural News and Mike Adams/Health Ranger screen and product snapshots are used in strict 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.

Opening photo parody/illustration by Mark Alsip/Bad Science debunked.  Produced with elements (c) Natural News; also used instrict 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.


5 thoughts on “UnNatural News: The Health Ranger Sells Formaldehyde

  1. Pingback: Holistic Snake Oil Salesman Mike Adams oops… « Flexible Reality

  2. Pingback: Mike Adams and Natural News are Peddling GMOs | Bad Science Debunked

  3. Pingback: Natural News, Mike Adams Selling Even More GMOs | Bad Science Debunked

  4. You weirdos are so jealous of Mike Adams and his whistleblowing on our horrible medical society of “Doctors” and their drugs. YOU CAN NOT HANDLE THE REAL TRUTH!!!!!!! That is why all of his videos were taken off of Youtube because they are so threatened by natural healing. Not much money to be made with natural products, unlike their money making drugs. If you had just half a brain you might do a little more research before you make an idiot of yourself for public display!!!!
    Out of 50 countries the good ole’ USA is ranked 48th for having the WORSE healthcare!!!!!
    And try to find this so called product in his store you liar!!!! DUH!
    From the looks of the comments (0) here looks like nobody believes you either. Bet you had to delete all of them!!!!!!!!!


    • I LOVE comments such as yours. Comment are never removed hear unless they are racial or encourage illegal activity or violence against others. Now, let me point out all your errors. Hopefully you’ll come back and talk to me again?

      According to the World Health Organization, the USA is ranked 37th out of 190 countries in the world. I’m not sure where you got your numbers. You DO know there are more than 50 countries, right? Now, if you wanted to cherry pick (and for the love of god get your facts right), you could say “oh, the pitiful ol’ USA came in 37th out of 40 countries.” Now that might look bad. But when it’s really 37 out of 190, we’re doing really well. Of course, those in science always hope we will do even better. (http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian-health-care-information/world-health-organizations-ranking-of-the-worlds-health-systems/)

      Can you actually prove why Adams’ videos were taken down? I don’t mean guess or make accusations– I mean actually PROVE it. I’d love to see that. I’d be happy to run a story here. You could co-author it with me if you’d like. But I want real proof. The last evidence I saw was Adams was violating terms of service of several providers. Can you explain http redirects to me, in your own words, and we can talk about this also?

      You couldn’t be more wrong about people not making money from natural products. The organic industry raked in over 81 billion–yes BILLION–dollars in 2015. So yes, I can handle the truth… and I’m willing to dip my hand into it and pour it carefully into your hand, now you have a share too! https://www.statista.com/topics/1047/organic-food-industry/


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