Thrive’s Plethora of “Poisonous” Powders

thrive cosmetics coupon

Today we continue our series probing the hypocrisy of Thrive Market, the putative all-natural online store whose products often contain the very ingredients they claim to be toxic–but apparently only when found in competitor’s offerings.

In “The 9 Worst Chemicals Hiding in Your Makeup”, Thrive Market Lifestyle and Beauty Editor Dana Poblete calls out titanium dioxide in cosmetics for its possible carcinogenic properties.  She cautions readers to avoid makeup containing this compound, especially in pressed and loose powders, where inhalation is possible.1  Poblete cites the pseudoscientific Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Skin Deep” database as an authoritative reference on cosmetic ingredients and, not coincidentally, goes on to refer potential shoppers to Thrive’s own collection of makeup as an alternative (“No more nasty chemicals to mess up your makeup game!”).

Right then.  Thrive Market tells us to avoid titanium dioxide in cosmetics, especially in powders.  Got it!

Let’s go shopping at Thrive:

Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, "Deep 3"

Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, “Deep 3” for sale on ThriveMarket.com. (click/enlarge)

 

Above is a snapshot of Thrive’s Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, “Deep 3”.2  I wonder what’s inside?

deep 3 ingredients (thrivemarket.com)

“Deep 3” ingredients. Wake the kids and phone the neighbors: there’s titanium dioxide! (click/enlarge)

 

Zut alors! Did you catch it?  Let me zoom in for you:

ingredients closeup thrivemarket titanium dioxde

Yes, it’s titanium dioxide. Thrive is selling us the very compound they linked to cancer, in the same product where they warned it could be hidden!  Lulled into a false sense of security, shopping on an “all natural” web site backed by the astroturf “research group” EWG,3  frightened shoppers are duped into forking over hard earned cash for a Xerox copy of the chemicals they were told could kill them.

“But surely this is just a one-off mistake!”, I hear the all-natural crowd cry.  Au contraire mon frère:

Mineral Hygenics at thrive market contains titanium dioxide

Mineral Hygienics Foundation, on offer at Thrive Market, also contains titanium dioxide, which the web site disingenuously links to cancer in humans. (click/enlarge)

 

A second powder on offer from ThriveMarket.com (above) is Mineral Hygienics Fair Mineral Foundation.  Without further ado, let’s look at the listed ingredients:4

Fair Mineral Foundation from ThriveMarketOops!  Titanium dioxide again!  “But… but… but…” the organic apologists mutter, “the good people at Thrive are only human.  So they just slipped up twice!”  Hey, I’ve got you covered:

harmony blush on thrivemarket

Harmony Blush, sold on ThriveMarket.com, also contains titanium dioxide, which the site links to cancer–but apparently only in products they don’t sell. (click/enlarge)

 

Strike three.  Act now, my friends, and you can save 31% on this nice Mineral Fusion Harmony Blush from our good friends at ThriveMarket.com.  Just ignore the titanium dioxide(or like Bill Clinton, don’t inhale):13

mineral fusion harmony blush on thrive market (ingredients)

I could go on (I really could), but I’m sure you get the point: Thrive’s little shop of horrors is loaded with the same chemical cocktail they claim can kill you if you buy it in a competitor’s product.

To add insult to injury, before you can purchase from Thrive, you have to buy a yearly membership.6  Bend over and grease up–you’re about to get screwed.

Just to throw a little science and logic at you: there’s nothing really dangerous about any of these products.  There is no evidence that titanium dioxide causes cancer in humans.  The woomeisters who attempt to push it as a carcinogen seem to be referring to the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) list of Group 2B carcinogens,8 which, for perspective, includes pickled vegetables, the profession of carpentry, and caffeic acid,10,11,12 a compound found in the Roasted Dandelion Tea sold by Thrive.9  The IARC lists these agents as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.7  That doesn’t mean that they are.

But if Thrive argues that an ingredient is linked to cancer as a way to scare us away from certain products, why is their store loaded with items that contain the same additive?  And their store is loaded.  Perhaps because of my series of articles pointing this out,  a kind reader recently wrote to ask if I had a vendetta against Thrive.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Of the one hundred articles published on this blog since its creation in 2014, only four have mentioned this hypocritical market.  They’re no worse–and no better–than any of the other snake oil pushers I’ve written about (Vani Hari, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Mark Hyman, David Avocado Wolfe, etc.)

Thrive has my attention at the moment partially because their hypocrisy is so easy to spot–just read their labels–and partially because of the underhanded way some of their vendors are propping up their own brands through disingenuous research by non-scientific groups, such as EWG, that they themselves fund.  As we’ll see in an upcoming piece, the Environmental Working Group isn’t the only firm with financial ties to markets such as Thrive.  If you have’t heard of U.S. Right to Know and the Organic Consumer’s Association, get familiar with the names.  Along with EWG, they’re being funded in part by the labels you see on the virtual shelves of your favorite online organic vendor.

Stay thirsty (for knowledge) my friends.

 

References
(1) The 9 Worst Chemicals Hiding in Your Makeup (ThriveMarket.com)
https://thrivemarket.com/blog/noxious-chemicals-in-makeup

(2) Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, “Deep 3” Ingredients (Thrive.com, retrieved 05 Aug 2016)
https://thrivemarket.com/mineral-fusion-pressed-powder-foundation-deep-3?utm_source=nextag&utm_medium=pla&CAWELAID=120220540000112219#Ingredients

(3) Environmental Working Group/ThriveMarket Deal
https://thrivemarket.com/partner/ewggift

(4) Fair Mineral Foundation Ingredients (Thrive.com, retrieved 05 Aug 2016)
https://thrivemarket.com/fair-mineral-foundation#Ingredients

(5) Mineral Fusion Harmony Blush (Thrive.com, retrieved 05 Aug 2016)
https://thrivemarket.com/mineral-fusion-harmony-blush#Ingredients

(6) How Thrive Works
https://thrivemarket.com/how-it-works

(7) IARC Monograph on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans
http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/

(8) Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs, Volumes 1–112
http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/ClassificationsGroupOrder.pdf

(9) Thrive Market Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion Tea
https://thrivemarket.com/traditional-medicinals-roasted-dandelion-root-tea

(10) Yarnell, E. ND, RH and Abascal, K. JD, RH.  Integrative Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 2. Apr/May 2009
http://www.imjournal.com/resources/web_pdfs/0409_yarnell.pdf

(11) Li, Yan, Tan, et al. 2006. Qualitative fingerprint and quantitative determination of caffeic acid in compound dandelion enema.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17062364

(12) PubChem Summary for Compound ID #689043 (Caffeic Acid)
http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/689043

(13) Bill Clinton: I Didn’t Inhale
http://swampland.time.com/2013/12/03/clinton-i-never-denied-smoking-pot/

 

Image Credits
Thrive Market screen 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.

Thrive Market coupon parody by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked.

Anti-GMO Thrive Market Sells GMOs

thrive pinocchio gmo

This very important public service announcement just in from Thrive Market, guardian of all that is good and holy in the world of organic goods:

“Thrive Market is passionately committed to creating a world that is free of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. We believe everyone has a right to know what they are eating and what chemicals are used in the foods they consume every day. That’s why we have carefully screened our products to ensure we do not carry any GMO foods.”1

Amen!  Preach it, brother!  Testify!

Actually, you might want to hold off on that.  Thrive, how about getting down off your high horse and looking at the ingredients in your own products?  Here, let me help you: Take a look at this nice bottle of Quantum zinc throat spray featured in your online store:2

quantum thera zinc spray from thrive market

Quantum Thera zinc throat spray from Thrive Market. (click/enlarge)

Vanna, show us the ingredients please (click to enlarge):

thrive market zinc spray ingredients contain gmo soy

I’d like to buy several vowels. Enough to form the words “soy lecithin”. (click/enlarge)

Take note of the soy lecithin (highlighted).  Derived from soybeans, soy lecithin is a natural, safe emulsifier–an additive that lends stability to foods.  The problem for Thrive Market is that almost all soy produced in the United States is genetically modified.3  A quick phone call to Quantum’s customer service department confirmed that the soy in many of their products, including the throat spray sold by Thrive is, in fact, GMO.

So Thrive Market’s promise of a GMO-free store falls as flat as an Olympic pole vaulter who didn’t realize his shoestrings were tied together before setting off on his run.

Thrive Market is selling products with ingredients derived from GMOs.

We could quibble over the fact that the product in question is a throat spray–not a food–but it’s still clearly intended to be ingested:

“A great alternative to yucky-tasting zinc lozenges! In fact, just two spritzes every couple of hours of Thera Zinc Oral Spray is the most effective, tastiest way to deliver ionizable zinc to your throat. Thera Zinc is sprayed in the back of the mouth, sending powerful nutrients to the areas requiring the most protection.”–Quantum throat spray marketing statement 2

More importantly, Thrive and their misinformed organic backers are intent on ridding the world of GMOs in their entirety, no matter what product they’re found in.  The anti-GMO zealots are horribly wrong about the effect that genetically modified crops have on the environment, wanting them to be removed entirely.  Actually, there are ways in which GMOs are beneficial.  For example, farmers who grow Bt corn are able to use less pesticides.  Regardless,  it’s rather dishonest of Thrive to demonize a perfectly safe crop production method, then sell products derived using that same method to their customers.

And, having said this, we must pause and state in the strongest possible terms that there is nothing harmful in Quantum’s zinc throat spray.  This is just another small business trying to eke out a living that, unfortunately, got caught up in the tangled web of a $39 billion organic food industry using fear to market their products as “better”.  There’s nothing superior, in any way imaginable, about organic products compared to their GMO counterparts.  However, Quantum did tell me that they hope to eventually switch over to non-GMO soy.  This saddens me.  Yet another company bows to the irrational demands of a public that doesn’t realize how easily they’re being manipulated.

Hold On, It Gets Worse
Alert label readers may have noticed the company’s misspelled “Proplylene Glycol” [sic] next to the soy lecithin on the product label.  They’re actually talking about propylene glycol, a harmless additive with a wide range of uses, including as surfactants and preservatives.

Woe unto Thrive Market, however, as they label propylene glycol as a dangerous endocrine disruptor in another of their hilariously bad scare pieces.  In “Five Simple Pro Tips for Perfect Skin”,4 author Lauren Whitehouse warns readers to not allow “toxic” propylene glycol to touch their skin via cosmetics.  Yet we now find Thrive Market literally trying to shove this so-called poison down our throats.  Well, OK, spray it down our throats.  Don’t worry though:  just like GMO soy, propylene glycol is harmless.  As intimated by Pinocchio in the opening graphic, Thrive and their backers aren’t exactly behind honest with us.

From whence comes so much of Thrive Market’s bad science and resulting hypocrisy?  One culprit seems to be the pseudoscientific Environmental Working Group, a special interest group that does no real research but is oft-cited by Thrive as a scientific authority.  It turns out that EWG may have more of a financial stake in Thrive and other organic markets than meets the eye.  Check back tomorrow, and I’ll start laying it out for you.

 

References
(1) Thrive Market’s GMO-free Promise
https://thrivemarket.com/gmo-free

(2) Quantum Zinc Throat Spray
https://thrivemarket.com/quantum-thera-zinc-throat-spray

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

(4) Five Simple Pro Tips for Perfect Skin
https://thrivemarket.com/blog/skin-dos-donts

 

Image Credits
Thrive and  Quantum product/screen 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.

Pinocchio and Wheel of Fortune meme characters are used under parody provisions of 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.

Thrive Market’s “Toxic” Deodorant: I Smell A Rat

thrive market deodorant meme by mark alsip
Thrive Market, a new, supposedly all-natural online store being heavily pushed by the pseudoscientific Environmental Working Group, is concerned with body odor.  Sadly, the hypocrisy of both groups stinks to high heaven.  After scaring the caca out of readers over a perfectly safe ingredient in competing deodorants, Thrive author Michelle Pellizzon turns around and sells a Thrive product that contains the same compound she’s just linked to cancer.

First, the setup (emphasis mine):1

Aluminum, the active ingredient in deodorant that keeps you from getting stinky when it gets hot out there, has been linked to breast cancer and hormonal [im]balances (sic) when applied to underarms. The aluminum in antiperspirant is also the reason that your white t-shirts all have yellow pit stains—as if you needed another reason to switch to the organic stuff! All natural deodorants boast a formula that’s aluminum free, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.”–Michelle Pellizzon, writing for Thrive Market1

Never fear, Pellizzon and Thrive Market are ready to leap to the rescue by offering alternatives.  Why, look here… even as we speak, there are three contenders in the very article that just promised us cancer and hormonal imbalances if we go to competing, aluminum-laden brands:

Thai crystals from Thrive Market contain aluminum

Thrive Market is happy to sell us alternatives. But not so fast… (click/enlarge)

One of the author’s favorites is simply referred to as “the crystal”, and, lucky you, it’s currently on sale for the low, low price of $4.75 USD.

thai crystal deodorant from thrive

Act now Thrive customers, it’s on sale! (click/enlarge)

The ingredients are rather disingenuously listed as “Mineral salts and purified water”2  What exactly does that mean?  Is Thrive hiding something from us?  Let’s sashay over to the manufacturer’s web page and dig into the FAQ:3

deodorant stones of america aluminum

Deodorant Stones of America’s FAQ reveals the hidden aluminum–and a heavy dose of scientific misinformation.

The deodorant in question is manufactured by Deodorant Stones of America (DSA).  A quick glance at the FAQ on the company’s web3 site reveals that their products are made from alum, a class of chemical compounds that contain aluminum.  Yes, you read that correctly–the Thrive Market article that claims aluminum in deodorants is toxic is, incredibly, selling you a deodorant that contains aluminum.

It gets laughably worse.  DSA claims that aluminum is a mineral.  It’s not–it’s an element. One of the few things DSA gets right about the most common metal in the crust of the Earth is that it’s natural.  They should have continued:  There’s no reason to fear this metal, unless you have a medical condition such as kidney failure, in which case you’d be on dialysis, and want to avoid exposure in excess.  But Deodorant Stones of America isn’t the guilty party here–it’s Thrive Market and their blatant fear mongering, designed to steer consumers away from safe products that contain the very same element found in the deodorant they’re hawking in their “sky is falling” tripe.

As we’ll see in upcoming articles, the link between Thrive Market and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is particularly worrisome.  Although EWG claims to have no financial stake in Thrive, they’re aggressively marketing the online store through an email campaign that includes the astounding demand that consumers be allowed to use food stamps to buy the overpriced organic products found there.  Organic products are no more safe than their commercial counterparts–they’re just designed to lighten the wallet. And Thrive heavily cites EWG as a scientific authority (even though they’re not) when disparaging competitor’s products and touting their own.  You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

One promise I’ll make, and deliver upon quite often in the future: Thrive Market is loaded with products that their and EWG’s “research” claims to be dangerous.  See you soon!

 

References
(1) Thrive Tries It: We Test 3 Natural Deodorants
https://thrivemarket.com/blog/thrive-tries-natural-deodorant

(2) ThriveMarket.com: Deodorant Stones of America Crystal Deodorant Stick
https://thrivemarket.com/deodorant-stones-of-america-crystal-deodorant-stick

(3) Deodorant Stones of America FAQ
http://www.deodorantstones.com/faqs.html

Image Credits
Thrive and Deodorant Stones of America product/screen 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.

Food Babe Is Selling Carrageenan

vani hari sells carrageenan by mark alsip

Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) is upset about being called out over her blatant profiting from fear mongering regarding carrageenan,1 a safe food and beauty product additive derived from seaweed.  While of course Hari does have a financial interest (she uses fear to drive readers to carrageenan-free products and recipes that she happens to sell2), there’s a larger problem: Food Babe sells products that contain carrageenan.

food babe carrageenan post

Of course Food Babe has a financial interest. But she also SELLS carrageenan. (click/enlarge)

It’s been a while since we last put on our Food Babe Investigator HatsTM and visited Vani Hari’s online store, doing a product investigation according to Hari’s own rules.  Do you remember where you left your hat?  Now would be a great time to fetch it.  Let’s go shopping!

Anyone in the mood for some Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo?3

aubrey organics shampoo from foodbabe.com

Food Babe sells a wide variety of Aubrey Organics products, including Honeysuckle Rose shampoo (click/enlarge)

You just know what’s coming, don’t you?  I confess, I’m not a very good poker player.  I gave it away somewhere, didn’t I?  Perhaps in the title of this article?  Alright then, off to the shampoo’s ingredients:4

overview

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose shampoo, sold by Vani Hari, contains carrageenan. (click/enlarge)

Did you catch it?

Vani Hari fans who are still in denial, allow me to zoom in:

carrageenan in honeysuckle rose via food babe-ingredients

Lions and tigers and carrageenan! Oh my!

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: Food Babe is selling carrageenan!

Yes, carrageenan.  When I wrote about Ms. “All Natural Ingredients” selling this shampoo back in December, 2014, it was to point out that although she raved about the fresh honeysuckle in the product she hawked, there wasn’t actually any honeysuckle in it–Aubrey Organics faked it.  Oops.  Since then, they’ve added honeysuckle oil, but also tossed in one of Food Babe’s favorite ingredients: carrageenan.

Thirty-six times and counting, Vani.  You keep selling the very things you tell your followers are dangerous.  

For the #FoodBabeArmy members who would stubbornly insist that The Babe says carrageen is only carcinogenic if you eat it, not when you get it on your hair or skin, I’d point you to her seminal work “So Fresh and So Clean–Skin Care Tips”,5 where your Dear Leader solemnly warns against putting toxic substances on your body, not just in your body:

“Your skin is your largest organ!  What you put on your skin, is absorbed into your blood.”–Vani Hari5

Food Babe very clearly (though disingenuously) tags carrageenan as a carcinogen.2  So what happens if her shampoo dribbles onto your skin while showering?  Let’s ask her:6

” I also don’t like the idea that something I wash my face with can potentially cause cancer over time.”–Vani Hari6

Egad!

In the battle over toxins, Vani Hari stumbles around like a punch-drunk boxer, swinging wildly, essentially punching herself in the face by claiming her own products can cause cancer.  Fortunately, there’s nothing dangerous about carrageenan, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo, or anything Food Babe disparages.  Buy Aubrey Organics products with confidence, just don’t buy them from Food Babe.

(Updated 11 August 2016: For even more carrageenan from Food Babe, see this new story.)

References
(1) Food Babe Facebook Post
https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe/posts/1249661371735238:0
Food Babe Store (Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo)
http://foodbabe.com/shop/for-your-beauty/

(2) Food Babe: Watch Out For This Carcinogen [Carrageenan] In Your Organic Food
http://foodbabe.com/2012/05/22/watch-out-for-this-carcinogen-in-your-organic-food/

(3) Food Babe Shopping
http://foodbabe.com/shop/for-your-beauty/

(4) Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo (Amazon.com)
https://www.amazon.com/Aubrey-Organics-Honeysuckle-Rose-Shampoo/dp/B0006GZAKI/

(5) So Fresh And So Clean–Skin Care Tips
http://foodbabe.com/2011/08/09/so-fresh-and-so-clean-skin-care-tips/

(6) Be A Drug Store Beauty Drop Out
http://foodbabe.com/2011/07/31/how-to-find-safe-beauty-products/

Image Credits
Food Babe screen captures and Aubrey Organics/Amazon.com product images 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 Eats Words” parody by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked.  Vani Hari video capture and ABC logo used under parody provisions of 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 Advisor Mark Hyman Selling Parabens He Links To Cancer

mark hyman parabens illustration

It’s been a while since we last visited the online store of Vani Hari’s (the “Food Babe’s”) trusted advisor, Dr. Mark Hyman.  I was poking around on his virtual shelves last night and noticed the inventory had grown substantially since discovering he was selling a self-described cancer-causing supplement a few months ago. Given the shady history of all of Food Babe’s advisors, five will get you ten that we’ll discover another skeleton in Hyman’s closet now that he’s marketing all these new wares.  So I thought that you, dear reader, might like to do some online shopping with me.  What say you?  Let’s pull out those credit cards and…

Oops!  I’m so embarrassed.  Safety first!  Before we shop here at Bad Science Debunked, we always review our Safety Rule O’The Day.  If you’re a regular here, you know that these rules always come from the people we’re actually buying from.

Today we’re going to pay close attention to parabens.  For critical advice on this class of chemicals, Dr. Hyman links us to the gold standard of medical web sites, The Huffington Post, which puts on its best white lab coat and tells us:  “Breast Cancer Study Finds Parabens in Virtually All Tumors.”1,2

mark hyman facebook post on parabens

Dr. Mark Hyman shares his wisdom on parabens (by linking to a Huffington Post article).  (click/enlarge)

 

The Huffington Post piece links parabens to cancer, and since Hyman is a golly-gee-whiz real live doctor who hardly ever sells us product he says are harmful, I suppose we’d better take his advice and avoid parabens.

Right, then!  We can finally go shopping!

Hey, how about this nice jar of supplements?  I have no idea what the hell it does, but it’s got a nice scientific-sounding name–OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 500 EC–and it’s sold by a doctor:3

omegagenics mark hyman parabens

This supplement sold by Dr. Mark Hyman contains methylparaben and propylparaben, which he links to breast cancer. (click/enlarge)

But you know, the one thing we should probably do before we type in our credit card number and click the “buy” button is peruse the list of ingredients.  You can never be too careful these days.  Why, just moments ago, Dr. Hyman was telling us how dangerous parabens were.  So what’s in this supplement he’s selling us?  Ahem:3

Marine lipid concentrate [fish (anchovy, sardine, and mackerel) oil], softgel shell (gelatin, glycerin, water), enteric coating [methacrylic acid copolymer, propylene glycol, triacetin, glyceryl monostearate, triethyl citrate, vanillin, polysorbate 80, methyl paraben (preservative), and propyl paraben (preservative)], natural lemon flavor, mixed tocopherols (antioxidant), rosemary extract, and ascorbyl palmitate (antioxidant)

Wait.  What?  Methylparaben and propylparaben?  But Hyman just posted a link to Facebook that warned us that parabens were linked to cancer!

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? 😉

This isn’t the first time Dr. Hyman has been caught with his pants down.  He has previously claimed that caramel level IV coloring causes cancer, but that’s exactly the additive you’ll find in the Neuromins supplements sold via his online store. He warned that the artificial sweetener xylitol would slow your metabolism and add belly fat, but sells the supplement Endefen, which contains xylitol.  Pure cane sugar is to be avoided, according to the good doctor, but you’ll find it in his $50 Pure Lean Chocolate Powder.

To quote the great Winnie the Pooh: “Oh, bother!”.

It’s not hard to see how poor Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) went astray in her own career, having been caught selling nearly three dozen products containing the same ingredients she says are toxic, when she’s getting her advice from doctors like Mark Hyman, who sets such a fine example.  What will we find next on the shelves of the stores of a Food Babe advisor?

Stay tuned and see.

 

References
(1) Mark Hyman Facebook Post on Parabens
https://www.facebook.com/drmarkhyman/posts/100469773412731

(2) Huffington Post: Breast Cancer Study Finds Parabens in Virtually All Tumors
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/organic-authoritycom/breast-cancer-parabens-_b_1209041.html

(3) Omega Genenics EPA-DHC 500 Enteric Coated 120 Count
http://store.drhyman.com/omegagenics-epa-dha-500-enteric-coated-120-ct.html

Image Credits
Mark Hyman Facebook and product screen 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.

Mark Hyman “rear view mirror” illustration by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked.  Used under parody/education provisions of 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.

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.

 

References
(1) Just Label It Song
http://www.naturalnews.com/just-label-it-song.html

(2) NutralCool on NaturalNews.com Store
http://store.naturalnews.com/NutraCool_p_4.html

(3) Four Common Formaldehyde Releasers to Avoid in Your Cosmetics and Skin Care (NaturalNews.com)
http://www.naturalnews.com/041323_formaldehyde_skin_care_cosmetics.html

(4) NaturalNews.com: Chemicals in Skin Care Products
http://www.naturalnews.com/023317_skin_chemicals_products.html

 

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.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Lethal” Lipstick

gwyneth paltrow lipstick graphic by mark alsip

Of all the celebrities with online stores, perhaps none is more dangerous or hypocritical than Gwyneth Paltrow.  Dangerous because of her scientifically illiterate healthcare stance and the worldwide stage–built by her celebrity status–from which she gets to promote it.  The hypocrisy?  Hoo boy, our cup runneth over with examples.

Paltrow’s web site, Goop.com, is a poorly disguised pseudoscientific version of Amazon.com, hidden behind articles ostensibly giving healthcare advice, but in reality selling products that contain exactly the same ingredients that are claimed to be dangerous.  For example, Goop is riddled with horror stories linking the mere presence of the element aluminum in cosmetics and medicine to a plethora of diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and mental health problems.1,2,3  A specific admonition is to avoid aluminum in lipstick.  Why?  Because:

“[…] to put the importance of safe ingredients in perspective, consider that, unlike the toxins in, say, skin cream, you don’t just absorb what’s in lipstick, you consume it” 1

With all this talk of aluminum, lipstick, and hypocrisy, clever readers have no doubt picked up on the literary device known as foreshadowing.  It’s time to click our way on over to Goop.com and look at the ingredients in the Rituel de Fille Forbidden lipstick on offer there:4

Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Carmine [CI 75470], Silica (Silicon Dioxide), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Carnauba Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Titanium Dioxide [CI 77891, CI 77019], Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Mica [CI 77019], Iron Oxide [77499], Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol–Rituel de Fille Forbidden Ingredients (Fortune Teller)4

Oh dear.  Bless Paltrow’s heart!  Aluminum hydroxide is made up of aluminum, oxygen, and hydrogen.

Aluminum (!)

Weren’t we just talking about this?  Gentle reader, here’s Gwyneth’s web site waxing poetic on aluminum:

“I have grave concerns about […] neurotoxic metals like mercury and aluminum3

“Western medicine is hesitant to say that aluminum causes breast cancer, but this toxic heavy metal is found in breast cancer tumors.” 2

“A study out of the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health found nine toxic heavy metals, including chromium, cadmium, aluminum, and lead in the popular lipstick formulas they analyzed.” 1

That last quote is especially appalling as it appears in the same fluff piece that hawks the Rituel de Fille lipstick.  Yes, in the same article, Paltrow warns readers to avoid lipstick containing aluminum and sells them lipstick containing aluminum.

Talk about a con game.  The celebrity who steams her vagina6 has balls the size of Texas.

rituel de fille goop.com

Two Rituel de Fille colors sold by Paltrow’s Goop.com contain aluminum. The lipstick is  tagged as toxic in the very article that sells it.  (click/enlarge)

It’s easy to miss the banned ingredient if you don’t read the product label for the Fortune Teller shade.  But there’s more:  Like any good poker player who knows she’s up against a weak opponent, Paltrow isn’t afraid to double down when she’s bluffing.  You’ll also find aluminum hydroxide in “Against Nature”, another Goop.com Rituel de Fille offering.5  Not understanding the chemistry or biology behind the aluminum scare (or bothering to read the labels), gullible shoppers quickly fold their hands and open up their pocketbooks. Ka-ching.

In pointing out the hypocrisy of fear mongers with merchandise to sell, I think it’s important to pause and point out that the item itself is not dangerous.  There’s nothing wrong with Rituel de Fille cosmetics, Goop.com’s whining about aluminum to the contrary.  We’re talking about the most common metal in the crust of the Earth, arguably impossible to avoid in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.  Medical experts say that unless you’re suffering from a disease such as kidney failure, the aluminum you encounter in your diet and cosmetics are handled quite well by the body.  I’ve written ad nauseam about this7,8,9,10,11,12 and won’t re-hash it.

As we’ll see in upcoming articles, Rituel de Fille Forbidden lipstick is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to products that contain chemicals Paltrow’s web site claims to be toxic and then pawns off on unsuspecting readers.  If you thought hustlers like Vani Hari, David Avocado Wolfe, and Joseph Mercola were bad, well, as the old Bachman Turner Overdrive song says, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.

References
(1) Full-On—Yet Totally Non-Toxic—Lipstick
http://goop.com/full-on-yet-totally-non-toxic-lipstick/

(2) The Guide to Non-Toxic Deodorant—Plus Our 7 Favorites
http://goop.com/the-guide-to-non-toxic-deodorant-plus-our-7-favorites/

(3) The Roots of Mental Health—Maybe They’re Not In Our Heads
Goop.com Q&A with Kelly Brogan, M.D.
http://goop.com/the-roots-of-mental-health-maybe-theyre-not-in-our-heads/

(4) Rituel de Fille Ingredients: “Fortune Teller”
http://ritueldefille.com/forbidden-lipstick-fortune-teller/

(5) Rituel de Fille Ingredients: “Against Nature”
http://ritueldefille.com/forbidden-lipstick-against-nature/

(6) Steam-cleaning your vagina like Gwyneth Paltrow is not recommended (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/31053429/steam-cleaning-your-vagina-like-gwyneth-paltrow-is-not-recommended

(7) World Health Organization: Aluminum in Drinking Water
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/en/aluminium.pdf

(8) Cancer.gov Antipersperant Fact Sheet
http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet

(9) Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/flu-vaccine-the-aluminum-lining/

(10) More “Toxic” Ingredients from Naturally Nicole
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/more-toxic-ingredients-from-naturally-nicole/

(11) Naturally Nicole’s Tooth Powder Debunked
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/naturally-nicoles-tooth-powder-debunked/

(12) Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/food-babe-pushing-dangerous-items-naturally-fresh-deodorant/

Image Credits
Goop.com and Rituel de Fille screen/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 illustration by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked.  Constructed with elements (c) Gwyneth Paltrow/Instagram, Rituel de Fille.  Also 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.