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/

Food Babe Ava Anderson Article [retracted]

This article has been retracted due to an error (mine) in the ingredient list.  While I work hard to ensure accuracy, I’m also human. I got this one wrong.  I’m grateful to the two readers who contacted me to notify me of the error.  Your diligence is appreciated.  I also apologize to Ava Anderson.  This is a company with a great reputation for providing safe cosmetics. This fact was pointed out in the original article but bears repeating here.

Regular readers of my Food Babe “Dangerous” series know that I always stress that the product being discussed is actually completely safe, and that was certainly the case for any Ava Anderson product mentioned.  Readers unfamiliar with the style of these articles might not have made it to the conclusion section where I reveal that experts in science and chemistry agree everything in the product is safe.  But tying this company’s product to a list of ingredients that was not their own could lead to confusion.  So I’ll reiterate–there’s nothing to fear from this company’s product.

Because I criticize certain other blogger/activists for quietly deleting the evidence when they’re shown to be wrong, a deletion of the page itself would be uncalled for.  In place of the original, retracted content, I’m leaving this apology.

Admit your mistakes.  Apologize.  Work harder next time.  That’s my plan going forward.