The Quack Doctor/Blogger Quiz

Bad Science Debunked Quiz

So you think you know your con artists?

Which major organization did “holistic psychiatrist” Kelly Brogan falsely accuse of supporting birth control in Africa via vaccinations?

What inanimate substance did woo peddler David Wolfe hilariously claim is alive?

Which doctor sells the most “toxic”, heavy-metal containing products branded in his own name: Mercola, Hyman, or Oz?

If you think you know the answers, try my thirty-question Playbuzz quiz.  (I got really bored last night, and we were out of blackberry wine and red velvet cupcakes, so I put this quiz together). Click the image below to launch:

Bad Science Debunked Quack Doctor Quiz

Try the quiz! (Click to launch)

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Over Three Dozen Times and Counting, Food Babe Sells Another “Toxic” Product: Tarte MutiplEYE Eye Liner

multiplEYE Vani Hari endocrine disruptors

Vani Hari has been caught selling more than three dozen products featuring the very chemical compounds she warns her followers to avoid.

Happy Friday!  It’s been a while since we’ve taken one of our payday shopping trips to FoodBabe.com.  Admittedly, the shtick has become a little tired.  Lets’ be honest–if GMO-poisoned cats existed, you couldn’t swing one in Food Babe’s online shop without hitting a product that contains the same “dangerous” chemicals she warns her followers to avoid. Hari’s hypocrisy is so obvious to anyone who cares to look that the only possible explanation for how she continues to make money is, clearly:  nobody is bothering to look.

And yet, it’s not in my nature to sit quietly by and watch an unsuspecting public be deprived of their hard-earned money.  So, dear reader, let’s once again point our web browsers at FoodBabe.com and check out another product pushed by Food Babe that is, in her own words, harmful to her readers’ health.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Tart MultiplEYE Eye Liner:1

Tarte Multipleye on FoodBabe.com

Tarte MultiplEYE, for sale on FoodBabe.com1  (click/enlarge)

Vani Hari, who makes her living scouring product labels, would have done well to have read the packaging on an item she’s been hawking on her web site since December, 2013:

foodbabe.com source code for tarte multipleye

Source code behind the FoodBabe.com web site reveals that Food Babe uploaded her Tarte Multipleye content in 2013.  Remember, this is a woman who claims to read all the labels and personally approve every product she sells. (click/enlarge)

Here are the Tarte Multipleye ingredients, per the manufacturer’s statement on Amazon.com2:

Aqua, ethylhexyl acrylate/methyl methacrylate copolymer, butylene glycol,  alcohol, beheneth-30,  ammonium acrylates/methyl styrene/styrene copolymer,  magnesium ascorbyl phosphate,  sodium chloride,  adenosine,  calcium chloride,  myristoyl pentapeptide-17,  soy amino acids, phenoxyethanol, acrylates/octylacrylamide copolymer, pentylene glycol,  1,2-hexanediol,  caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin,  polyglyceryl-3 disiloxane dimethicone,  sodium hydroxide,  disodium EDTA, black 2 (CI 77266).2

I’ve highlighted one particular ingredient in this list, polyglyceryl-3 disiloxane dimethicone, because of an urgent warning from Vani Hari to stay away from:

Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter [SIC] and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.” 3–Vani Hari, “Be a Drug Store Beauty Dropout”

As has happened on nearly 40 occasions since I began writing about Vani Hari, she’s been caught selling an item that contains the same “chemicals” she warns her followers to avoid.  The self-styled “Food Babe” cautions against any additive ending in “siloxane” or “methicone”, then pushes disiloxane dimethicone in a recommended product:

Vani Hari recommends Tarte Multipleye

FoodBabe.com screen snapshot:  Vani Hari recommends Tarte Multipleye

Bless her heart!

Sadly, every time Hari is caught in a scam like this, her followers run to her defense, stopping just short of screaming “shut up with the criticism and let her take my money!”

sagerad food babe

Take my money, please! (click/enlarge)

 

While Food Babe has tried to quietly pull some products from her marketplace in the hope no-one notices they were ever there, she continues to sell others, such as those derived from GMO corn (and we all know how she feels about GMO technology.  Her hidden affiliate links seem to be a clear violation of Amazon.com policies–another problem her adoring followers ignore.   My modest proposal: her web page needs an automobile industry advertisement-style disclaimer:

Professional con artist on closed course.  Do not attempt.

 

Now, of course, there’s nothing toxic about this or any other Tarte product.  This is a reputable company with a solid safety record, and they shouldn’t be punished for Hari’s double standards.  The only bone I’ve ever had to pick with Tarte is their refusal to discuss the source of the soy in their products (shades of another GMO nightmare for Tarte Champion Vani Hari, who already contradicts herself by selling a product derived from GMO corn).  No, the real problem here is that Vani Hari, who touts herself as an avid label reader and consumer advocate, apparently can’t be bothered to investigate the very products from which she’s earning sales commissions, even though she says:

[this] shop contains affiliate links for products Food Babe has approved and researched herself. ” 1

Apparently research doesn’t involve reading the label of what you’re selling, Vani?

 

Image Credits
Food Babe screen captures and Tarte 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.

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

(2) Tarte Multipleye on Amazon.com
https://www.amazon.com/Tarte-MultiplEYE-Enhancing-Liquid-Liner

(3) Be a Drug Store Beauty Dropout
http://foodbabe.com/2011/07/31/how-to-find-safe-beauty-products/

Food Babe: Just Label It :-)

As Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) gloats over a nonsensical GMO labeling victory in which she arguably had no involvement, my nominee for the World’s Greatest Hypocrite award continues to pull the wool over the eyes over the collective sheep following her: This November, Food Babe will mark her sixth year as a seller of products derived from GMO corn.

revolution food babe facebook gmo

Food Babe calls for a labeling revolution, but what about the GMO products SHE sells? (click/enlarge)

As I’ve pointed out numerous times, Clean Well Hand Sanitizer, which Hari hawks on her shopping page, is made with GMO corn.  Food Babe has been selling this product for over five years, and the GMO-sourced corn has been very clearly pointed out to her time after time.  How can you rant against GMOs and simultaneously sell products made with them?  Oh, your name is Vani Hari.

To be sure, there is nothing to fear from GMOs.  The entire labeling campaign, sponsored in large part by the $39 billion (2014 figures) organic food industry, is a clear attempt to demonize a competitor’s products in order to sell your own.  Not surprisingly, Hari stands to benefit greatly from GMO labeling.  Except… except that she’s selling so many products that contain the very ingredients she says are dangerous: like this hand sanitizer with the GMO corn.  #JustLableIt Vani!  Or quietly pull it from your storefront, like you did the BHT you were selling during your anti-BHT campaign, or the cellulose during your anti-cellulose campaign, or the artificial dyes and endocrine disruptors that…

Oh, wait.  You haven’t pulled all the artificial dyes yet.   You’re still selling them to children, along with an organic pesticide.  I’m sure you’ll get around to addressing that.  Eventually.  Maybe.

cleanwell FOOD BABE

JUST LABEL IT VANI.  Food Babe claims GMOs are toxic and bad for the environment, but it hasn’t stopped her from selling a product made with GMO corn for over 5 five years.

Vani Hari deserves to be called out on this. The net result will likely only be her quietly pulling the product from her online store and denying it ever existed, but why not try?  Suggested Twitter hashtags: #FoodBabeArmy, #FoodBabeWay, #PotKettleBlack, and #GMO.

Oh, and how about #JustLabelIt?  😉

cleanwell hand sanitizer vani hari

Based on the upload date of her product image, we can deduce Food Babe has been selling her GMO-laden hand sanitizer since November, 2011.  (click/enlarge)

Food Babe: Still Selling GMOs While Trying To Avoid Them

Vani Hari's GMO corn

 

I laughed so hard I cried after reading Food Babe’s latest post on avoiding GMOs. It’s hard to avoid something when you’re selling it in your own store.  Yes Vani Hari, I’m looking at you.

As I pointed out in an earlier article,2  Hari sells a hand sanitizer derived from GMO corn. The sanitizer’s manufacturer freely admits this fact.  If you break down the source code of Vani’s shopping web site, you can see she’s been hawking this product for over four years.  So much for Food Babe’s “investigative skills”:

vani hari page source

Vani Hari uploaded this GMO-based product to her online store in November, 2011.

To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing to fear from genetically modified corn–or any other such organism.  GMOs have been in our food supply for decades, with no ill effect.  Thousands of studies support their safety.  But one could derive a drinking game from Food Babe’s anti-technology posts, taking a swig every time we encounter the word “GMO”.  For example, you could empty a bottle of good vodka poring over a Food Babe narrative on enchiladas:

food babe gmo post

If Food Babe is trying to avoid GMOs, she should stop selling them in her own online store.  (click/enlarge)

Vani Hari doesn’t get off the hook just because she’s writing about GMOs in food and the GMO product she’s selling is intended for use on the skin.  She’s written multiple articles preaching the dangers of using “toxic” chemicals on skin, 3,4 claiming the poisons will be absorbed into the body.   And she’s diametrically opposed to the production of genetically modified crops:5,6

 “I want the pollution of our earth to stop”–Vani Hari on GMO crop production

So you have to stop and wonder why Food Babe has been selling an item made from GMO corn for four years.

In a future article, we’ll look at possible answers to this question, along with an interesting, mysterious puzzle: Vani Hari has been quietly pulling products from her online shop with no explanation, despite a very public announcement in January 2015 that she’d be transparent about her mistakes and errors.  What’s really going on behind the scenes a FoodBabe.com?

 

Image Credits
Food Babe screen snapshots and Clean Well hand sanitizer product images 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 GMO Post (Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe/posts/1133334413367935:0

(2) Food Babe Is Selling GMOs
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/food-babe-is-selling-gmos/

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

(4) Throw This Out Of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately
http://foodbabe.com/2013/04/10/throw-this-out-of-your-bathroom-cabinet-immediately/

(5) Confirmed: Lab Tests Show… (Food Babe)
http://foodbabe.com/2014/10/10/confirmed-lab-tests-show-over-30-popular-food-products-contain-gmos-are-you-eating-them/

(6)  Difference Between Organic and Non GMO Labels (Food Babe)
http://foodbabe.com/2015/02/26/difference-between-organic-non-gmo-labels/#more-20384

Food Babe’s Video Rant: The Hidden Gem Everyone Missed

As the internet shakes its collective head in amusement over Vani Hari’s recent epic video rant over Boar’s Head Foods and trolls, the watershed moment sneaking in at the 11:56 mark in the recording probably escaped everyone’s notice.

I’m here to correct that.

Nearly twelve minutes into the Oscar-worthy performance, Hari, the self-christened “Food Babe”, pauses to display and read a viewer comment containing a link to a Forbes article purportedly written by “PR trolls”.  This is a screen snapshot from Vani’s video:

food babe boar's head video capture

Food Babe didn’t like this Forbes article, which points out a few problems with her and Dr. Mark Hyman’s business model.

Here, Food Babe laments an article “attacking” her and the distinguished (her words, not mine) Dr. Mark Hyman.  Hyman, if you’re unfamiliar, wrote the foreword to Hari’s book, The Food Babe Way, and serves on her advisory council. The Forbes article in question, which we must assume Vani has read, points out that both Hari and Hyman sell products made from the very chemicals they claim are toxic.

So why is all of this important?

Because one of the reasons Vani Hari is attacking Boar’s Head Foods is over the alleged use of the “cancer-causing” (wink wink, nudge nudge) class IV caramel coloring in some of their hams.  Drum roll, please:

Do you know who sells a diet supplement made with the same class IV caramel coloring used by Boar’s Head?  Why, none other than the distinguished Dr. Mark Hyman!  And where was this pointed out to Vani Hari?  In the very Forbes article she discusses in her video.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to go on a rant about a company using a “carcinogenic” compound, and then post a video highlighting an article that proves your distinguished advisor/co-author is selling that same carcinogenic compound!  (Extra points for dismissing the authors who warned you about your double standards as trolls instead of addressing the problem.)

capture

Caramel coloring is used in this product sold on drhyman.com.  Food Babe says it’s a carcinogen in Boar’s Head products, but it’s OK for Hyman,  her distinguished advisor, to sell it for ingestion:  at $114.70 a bottle.  GTFO!  (click/enlarge)

Labeling everyone who points out your errors a “troll” is a great way to play the martyr and avoid discussing the great wrong you’re doing.  My Fear Babe co-author Marc Draco coined the term “straw troll”, an informal fallacy, for moments like this:

“[…] a form of an ad hominem attack where the speaker accuses an opponent of trolling simply because they are presenting rebuttal which the speaker is unable to refute”

Food Babe doesn’t try to refute Hyman’s use of the same caramel coloring allegedly found in  some Boar’s Head meats, even though she knows the  Forbes article well enough to call the authors (myself and Kavin Senapathy) “PR trolls”.  But Hari’s “head in the sand” approach doesn’t stop there.  To wit:

As the year 2016 dawns, it’s becoming clear that Food Babe’s way of dealing with scientific and journalistic criticism hasn’t changed at all since 2015:  Ignore the facts and call everyone who’s caught you with your organic, non-GMO cotton pants down a “PR troll”.

Bravo, Vani.  Bravo.  When you’re done congratulating yourself, you and your compatriots will still be selling dozens of products that contain the same “harmful” additives you’re warning your unsuspecting followers about.

straw troll

Hari doesn’t refute the truth (she and Dr. Hyman sell exactly what they say are dangerous). Instead, she attacks those pointing out the facts, calling them “trolls”. (click/enlarge)

 

Image Credits
Straw Troll meme by Marc Draco, using artwork by Deviant Art user “egohankerrigan” (egohankerrigan.deviantart.com).  Meme creator/artist not necessarily in agreement with the viewpoints expressed in this article, which are solely those of the author.

Food Babe and Dr. Mark Hyman screen snapshots and 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.

 

 

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 Selling Another Product She Says May Give You Leukemia

Happy Friday!  As is our custom here at Bad Science Debunked, Friday means a freshly printed paycheck has been pocketed, which in turn leads to yet another shopping spree at FoodBabe.com.  Those of you who have followed this series for any length of time are aware that we’ve had some amazing finds.  If you’re a first-timer, let me caution you that we evaluate the safety of our prospective purchases according to rules set forth by Vani Hari (the Food Babe) herself.  For example…

In her article, “Holistic Hair Care–How & Why”,1 the Food Babe makes an amazing claim about the safety of Aubrey Organics hair care products.  In doing so, Hari’s mouth writes a check that a certain product label can’t cash:

food babe claims all of Aubrey Organics hair products are safe

Food Babe claims that all of Aubrey Organics Hair Care products are safe. We’ll apply her own standards, and challenge that claim. (click/enlarge)

All Aubrey Organic hair care products are safe?  Alright then, let’s put on those Food Babe Investigator HatsTM we’ve had hanging on the hall coat rack and examine this bold statement.  First, we’ll pick a product: perhaps this bottle of Aubrey Organics GBP Balancing Protein Conditioner.2

food babe aubrey organics

“Aubrey Organics Hair Care–They have the most fantastic products that all are safe!” gushes Food Babe. (click/enlarge)

Seems innocent enough, right?  Hold onto your pants.  And your credit cards.  With both hands.  Before we discover the hidden dangers (according to Vani) in this product, we need to take a step back and talk about hummus.

Hummus?

Yes, hummus.  (Thanks for asking.) Tell us something frightening about the ingredients in off-the-shelf hummus, won’t you Vani? (emphasis mine) 3

Sodium Benzoate is another preservative added to commercial hummus – when combined with Vitamin C this can produce benzene that has been known to cause Leukemia and other cancers. It’s a small risk this may happen, but why should the consumer be put at risk in the first place?”3

Gee golly Bob!  Sodium benzoate combined with vitamin C can produce benzene and cause leukemia?  We’d better steer clear of this dangerous combination!

Oh, I almost forgot.  What about the ingredients in the hair care product that Vani is selling?  You remember, the one from Aubrey Organics, who makes those “entirely safe” hair care products? 2

Food Babe Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner 11oz

Ingredients for Food Babe Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner. (click/enlarge)

The sodium benzoate could not be more clearly labeled; the same goes for ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C.  For added effect, we have extract of grapefruit, a fruit rich in vitamin C.4  Here on this label, on a hair care product that received a full pardon from Food Babe  against any future charges of toxicity, we have the very two compounds that she links to leukemia in her hummus article.

But does Vani Hari receive a “get out of jail free card” because she wrote about sodium benzoate/Vitamin C cancer dangers in food, and we are instead talking about hair care products?  Answer: No.  I always like to let Food Babe speak for herself on these issues (emphasis mine):

Your skin is your largest organ!  What you put on your hair, is absorbed into your blood through your scalp and face. Nurture it, be kind to it, and most importantly LOVE it!1

So there you have it.  Buy this hair care product via Food Babe’s affiliate link (finance her next vacation!), slather some sodium benzoate & vitamin C on your hair where it’ll be absorbed into your blood,  and find yourself unable to sleep at night from fear you’re going to develop leukemia.

Or, consider the fact that we’re now rapidly approaching a total of four dozen products  sold by Vani Hari that contain the same “toxic” ingredients she warns about.  Maybe, just maybe, a few people are eventually going to catch on to the fact that they’re being taken for a very expensive ride.

In reality, there’s nothing dangerous about this conditioner, or anything else Food Babe denigrates.  To the best of my knowledge, Aubrey Organics has a shiny safety record and I’d recommend buying their products with wild abandon, if you’re so inclined.

Just don’t buy them from Food Babe.

 

Image Credits
Food Babe and Aubrey Organics screen snapshots 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) Holistic Hair Care–How & Why?
http://foodbabe.com/2011/11/06/holistic-hair-care-how-why/

(2) Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner 11oz
http://www.aubrey-organics.com/ProductInfo/001.aspx

(3) Why Aren’t You Making Your Own Hummus?
http://foodbabe.com/2011/05/18/homemade-hummus/

(4) USDA Nutrition Database: Search for “Grapefruit”
http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods