Kelly Brogan, MD: A-Salt With A “Deadly” Weapon (Part Two)

kelly brogan fluoride hypocrisy

In part one of this series,1 it was revealed that Kelly Brogan, M.D., sells an aluminum-laden health supplement while simultaneously (falsely) linking small amounts of aluminum to myriad serious health problems, and fear-mongering the population at large into avoiding safe, effective vaccines.  Here, in part two, we’ll look at a second “toxic” ingredient found in the same Brogan supplement.  It’s particularly important to point out Brogan’s hypocrisy and questionable medical practices at this time, as she’s been named to the advisory board of the popular SXSW Conference, taking place March 9-17, 2018,  in Austin, TX.2,3

At question in part two of this series is fluoride, an anion of the element fluorine.  Kelly Brogan, without evidence, links fluoride to depression, low IQ, labels it an endocrine-disrupting poison, and implicates it in birth defects.6,7,8,9

Sigh. Alex, I’ll take “Products Sold in Kelly Brogan’s Online Store,”10 and make it a true Daily Double:

kelly brogan fluoride real salt resources

A two-image composite of the Real Salt sold by Kelly Brogan via her online store. The salt contains fluoride, which Brogan links to birth defects, depression, and neurological disorders. (click/enlarge)

Real Salt.  That’s certainly better than fake salt!  Allow me to point out an ingredient of particular interest for you (click image to enlarge):11

Kelly Brogran SXSW fluoride image

Kelly Brogan’s Real Salt contains fluoride, an anion she falsely links to a plethora of diseases, even when used in small amounts. Why then is she selling it? (click/enlarge)

Do you see it?  Fluoride! I’ve highlighted it for you (click the above image to enlarge).  Yet wasn’t Doc Brogan just this very moment warning us that fluoride caused health problems?    Now, 0.0193mg per serving (13.8 parts per million) might not seem like a lot, but let’s see what Kelly Brogan herself thinks about the presence of wee amounts of an element she’s linked to birth defects:6,7,8,9

We thought that chemicals were only dangerous in big doses.

An entire burgeoning field of toxicology now endorses the role of the endocrine system in the toxic effects of even small doses of chemicals, which can synergize together to wreak havoc in dose ranges as low as parts-per-billion and which regulators still don’t consider in toxicological risk assessments.” (emphasis mine) –Kelly Brogan 12

 

So Kelly Brogan, Medicine Woman, apparently would agree that the small dose of fluoride in her product is enough to be dangerous.  But wait, it gets worse: when Brogan speaks of “synergy”, she’s referring to the concept that the outcome of mixing two chemicals is greater than the expected sum of their parts.  If you’re into tropical drinks, think of synergy like this… it’s the “lime in d’coconut” moment your tastebuds experience when you realize your beverage is fruitier than either the lime or coconut itself could provide on their own.  If you don’t like lime or coconut, and the purists will forgive me, think of synergy as sort of 2 + 2 = 4½.

Why does synergy matter in this discussion?  Because in this same supplement we’ve already caught Brogan red-handed selling more aluminum than can be found in the vaccines she wrongly demonizes.1 Now she’s added fluoride to the mix. If, according to Brogan, small amounts of aluminum are linked to Alzheimer’s,1 and fluoride to birth defects,6,7,8,9 and synergy comes into play when combining even small amounts of “toxic” chemicals such as these, what are we to say then when we find fluoride and aluminum together, locked in a tender embrace, in aisle three, row five, shelf number four, of her online store?

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”   In selling her followers a combination of a dose of chemicals (aluminum, fluoride) she claims will  put them at risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine system disorders, and birth defects, while in her own mind believing that synergistic effects could compound the problem, Dr. Kelly Brogan abandons all claims to the aforementioned honesty.  In hosting her on their medical advisory board, the SXSW Festival has thrown Jefferson’s metaphorical book of wisdom onto the bonfire of ignorance.  SXSW draws thousands of journalists and, in 2016, nearly 100,000 attendees,4,5 giving Brogan, an AIDS and germ-theory denier who spreads falsehoods on life-saving vaccines,13,14 fertile ground to spread misinformation that could literally cost human lives.

There is a growing online protest against Kelly Brogan’s presence at SXSW. If you’d like to join in (politely, please), consider tweeting this article (or part 1).  Suggested Twitter handles and hashtags are:

@SXSW @KellyBroganMD #SXSW #BumpBrogan

 

References
(1) Kelly Brogan, MD: A-Salt With a “Deadly” Weapon (Part One)
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/kelly-brogan-md-a-salt-with-a-deadly-weapon-part-one/
Retrieved 19 Dec 2017

(2) SXSW Home Page
https://www.sxsw.com/
Retrieved 06 Feb 2018

(3) Meet the 2018 SXSW Wellness Expo Advisory Board
https://www.sxsw.com/news/2017/meet-the-2018-sxsw-wellness-expo-advisory-board/
Retrieved 06 Feb 2018

(4) SXSW Facts, Figures, Quotes
https://www.sxsw.com/facts-figures-quotes/
Retrieved 06 Feb 2018

(5) (CNN) South by Southwest Fast Facts
https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/13/us/south-by-southwest-fast-facts/index.html
Retrieved 06 Feb 2018

(6) 7 Facts About Depression That Will Blow You Away
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/7-facts-about-depression-that-will-blow-you-away/
Retrieved 18 Dec 2017

(7) Are You Fluoridated?
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/are-you-fluoridated/
Retrieved 18 Dec 2017

(8) Birth Defects From Contaminated Water
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/birth-defects-from-contaminated-water/
Retrieved 18 Dec 2017

(9) Thyroid Symptoms? Q&A with Dr. Amy Myers
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/thyroid-health-qa-dr-amy-myers/
Retrieved 17 Dec 2017

(10) Real Salt (Kelly Brogan Online Store)
http://kellybroganmd.com/resources/
Retrieved 11 Dec 2017

(11) Real Salt Chemical Analysis
http://realsalt.redmond.life/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/05/Real-Salt-Analysis.pdf
Retrieved 04 Feb Feb 2017

(12) The Brain Does Have An Immune System
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/the-brain-does-have-an-immune-system/
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(13) (Newsweek) HIV Doesn’t Cause AIDS According to […] Kelly Brogan
http://www.newsweek.com/hiv-doesnt-cause-aids-according-gwyneth-paltrow-goop-doctor-kelly-brogan-735645
Retrieved 04 Feb 2017

(14) Immunity: The Emerging Truth
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/immunity-emerging-truth/
Retrieved 04 Feb 2017

 

Image Credits
A small section of the textbook “General Chemistry 101: 607 Pages of Notes Covering All High School and College General Chemistry” by Professor Chemistry, available on Amazon at
https://www.amazon.com/General-Chemistry-101-Covering-College/dp/1979048754/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513472704&sr=1-2&keywords=chemistry+101, was used in the cover art under 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.

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Kelly Brogan, MD: A-Salt With a “Deadly” Weapon (Part One)

kelly brogan real salt aluminum vaccines header

The takeaways:

  • Kelly Brogan, M.D. claims aluminum is toxic to all life forms1 and falsely links it to a plethora of diseases.
  • Brogan’s fear mongering re: aluminum includes steering patients away from life-saving vaccines that contain small amounts of the element.
  • Via her online store, the doctor sells aluminum via a health supplement, in amounts that equal or exceed the aluminum found in the vaccines she wrongly vilifies.
  • Ominously, the 2018 SXSW Festival is offering Dr. Brogan a popular platform to further her dangerous and hypocritical “medical” views.

You can’t swing a virtual dead cat on the internet without hitting a doctor who has an online store, and Kelly Brogan, M.D., is no exception.  While Brogan tirelessly campaigns against aluminum in vaccines, foods, and beauty products, ironically, she sells a health supplement that contains as much or more aluminum than is found in the safe, critical vaccines against which she fear mongers.

Dr. Brogan peddles Real Salt2, touted to contain more than sixty essential trace elements that promote health and well being.3  Unfortunately for the good doctor, one of those elements is aluminum, which she falsely links to a wide range of problems, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, neurological disorders, ADHD, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and others.1,4,5,6,7,8,10

In the following images, we can see Real Salt for sale at KellyBroganMD.com,2 as well as an elemental analysis of the salt provided by the vendor.9  Please click each image to enlarge.

kelly brogan resources: real salt, contains aluminum

A two-image composite from Kelly Brogan’s online store highlighting the “Real Salt” sold by the doctor. (click/enlarge)

Kelly brogan sells as much or more aluminum than can be found in vaccines and products she vilifies

Analysis of Kelly Brogan’s Real Salt reveals as much or more aluminum than can be found in the vaccines she wrongly vilifies.  See references for full list;9 this screen snapshot has been altered by the author to highlight the aluminum.  No changes to elements or quantities have been made.  (click/enlarge)

 

It must be strongly stated that the dangers posed by aluminum, and in particular Real Salt, the product sold by Ms. Brogan, exist solely in her mind.  The Real Salt brand is as safe as any item you’d find on your store shelf.

Route of administration (e.g. ingestion, injection, inhalation, absorption via the skin) matters in the real world, but you won’t find Kelly Brogan living in such a place.   She’s an equal opportunity alarmist, damning aluminum whether its injected as a vaccine, ingested as an antacid or baking soda, or rubbed on the skin as an antiperspirant.5  Fine.  Let’s play by her rules.  Since vaccines are arguably one of the most important advancements in recent human history, I thought it would be instructive to compare the amount of aluminum found in Brogan’s own product against that found in some of the essential vaccines she wrongly condemns.

Nothing but the Facts, Ma’am
As we can see in the previous table, Real Salt lists an average of 0.1946mg of aluminum per serving in their product,** where a serving size is 1.4 grams (approximately one quarter teaspoon).  By comparison:

  • The HPV vaccine is indicted by Brogan for alleged biotoxicity.6   It protects against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), and contains 0.5mg/dose of aluminum.11,13  This is equal to just  2.6 servings of Kelly Brogan’s salt.

 

  • Regarding the 0.125 mg/dose of aluminum in the Pneumococcal vaccine,12,13 the aluminum in Brogan’s salt exceeds the vaccine’s by 36%.   That’s right, you’ll get more aluminum from the doctor’s Real Salt than from the vaccine.  Yes, I know it’s ingested rather than injected here, but remember, Brogan damns aluminum regardless of route of administration.5   Dr. B. wrongly links the Pneumococcal vaccine’s aluminum to autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation, and associated neurological complications.7  The vaccine is an important protection against diseases such as pneumonia and bacterial meningitis.
  • Dr. Brogan weaves a very tangled tale in regard to the DTaP/inactivated polio/Hib vaccine, which contains 0.33mg/dose aluminum.13,14  The upshot of her article, which you’ll find linked here and in the references, is that this vaccine is somehow partly responsible for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).10  A terrifying claim, especially when you consider that two servings of her salt, at 0.1946g aluminum each, provides 16% more aluminum than the vaccine.

Good Enough to Eat?
So far, we’ve limited our investigation to vaccines, which are injected. But, as I said, Brogan doesn’t want you ingesting aluminum either.  One of her prime targets is antacids because they contain, (sigh), aluminum.  How much?  Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control, you can find 104 to 208 mg/tablet of aluminum in off-the-shelf antacids.15   Doing our math from earlier, assuming a buyer of Dr. Brogan’s Real Salt used one serving per day, every day for a year, we’d end up with:

0.1946mg Al/serving/day * 365 days = 71mg of aluminum per year

Hmm.  71mg from Brogan falls a bit short of the 104mg minimum from the antacids she eschews.  And you’d think that as the year went on, you’d be clearing some of that aluminum from your body, right?  Au contraire mon frère, says Kelly Brogan:

Aluminum stays in the body for several years” –Kelly Brogan, “Special Report, Vaccines and Brain Health”4 (emphasis mine)

So, by the doctor’s own assertions, the supposedly-toxic element in her product will stick with you, dose-by-dose, for years.   We’d need 534 servings, or just about one and half years (one serving per day) of Dr. Brogan’s Real Salt to reach the “poisonous” (wink wink, nudge, nudge) levels in her ostracized antacid tablet.

As I mentioned earlier in the article, Real Salt is completely safe.  The trace amounts of the elements found therein not at all harmful.  It is my hope that an honest company won’t be held responsible because a questionable doctor tried to make money hawking their products.

You have to ask yourself: is Kelly Brogan really worth her salt?

 

If Dr. Brogan says aluminum is toxic to all life forms, perhaps she shouldn't be selling it to the life forms who follow her on social media.

If Dr. Brogan says aluminum is toxic to all life forms, perhaps she shouldn’t be selling it to the life forms who follow her on social media. (click/enlarge)

 

Oh, if it only ended there.  Not only does the distinguished doctor sell you greater quantities of an element she claims will put you in an early grave, she strongly encourages you to obtain it naturally.

Milk, anyone?

 

“Milk is for babies.  When you grow up, you have to drink beer.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger
When she isn’t busy selling aluminum to her followers, Brogan is hard at work encouraging breastfeeding.17,18,19  This is particularly unfortunate for her anti-aluminum argument.  According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, breastfed infants receive approximately 7mg of aluminum naturally from their mother’s milk during the first six months of life, compared to only 4.4mg from vaccines.13  So, Brogan is directly encouraging the consumption of aluminum (via breast milk).

Babies won’t be directly ingesting Brogan’s salt of course, but I can’t help but compare aluminum in breast milk to the additional amount a new mother would add to her diet if she used just one serving of Brogan’s salt, one serving a day, over six months:

(0.1946mg aluminum/serving Brogan’s Salt * ~30 days/month * 6 months = 35.028mg aluminum/six months)

Via the salt she sells, Brogan would be dosing our unsuspecting mother with five times the amount of aluminum naturally given to the baby via breast milk, and nearly eight times the aluminum that baby would receive from vaccines in the first six months of his/her life.  The amount of  salt-based aluminum that would actually pass to the baby would be function of many factors including the mother’s metabolism, renal function, etc.

But, isn’t it interesting that Kelly Brogan’s Real Salt doesn’t come with a warning to nursing mothers?

Wrapping It All Up
At this point, I was tempted to pick on the irony of Dr. Brogan’s apparent aversion to wrapping food in aluminum foil, and point out that the manufacturer of her salt proudly proclaims their salt mine is wrapped in a layer of bentonite clay.  Bentonite, if you remember your college chemistry, has the formula Al2H2Na2O13Si4.  See the aluminum in there?  Brogan’s aluminum-laden salt is itself quite literally wrapped in aluminum.

But pedantics aside, let’s focus instead on the fact that the World Health Organization, the CDC, and medical consensus contradict Dr. Brogan in every way possible.13,15,16  Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the crust of our planet and you’d be hard pressed to avoid it in the food you eat, the air you breath, and the water you drink. According to the CDC, an average adult in the United States eats about 7–9 mg of aluminum per day in their food.15  The World Health Organization concurs, saying that aluminum intake from foods represents the major route of aluminum exposure to the general public.16

Most aluminum in food, water, and medicines leaves your body quickly in the feces. Much of the small amount of aluminum that does enter the bloodstream will quickly leave your body in the urine.15   The human body evolved to handle the amounts of this element we encounter on a daily basis quite nicely, thank-you-very-much, and unless you have a medical condition such as impaired renal function, Dr. Brogans tirades against aluminum aren’t worth their salt.  I encourage you to ask a real doctor.

Epilogue: SXSW
Sadly, as I go to press with this article, I’ve learned that the annual SXSW festival has named Kelly Brogan as a consultant to their advisory board.20  Giving an HIV/AIDS denialist who sells her patients the very products she says will kill them is unconscionable, and in this author’s opinion, should be met with firm, polite suggestions to the festival that they seek medical advice from better vetted sources.

This quote SXSW is particularly puzzling:

While SXSW strongly disagrees with many of Kelly Brogan’s controversial opinions, we do believe that inclusion of a variety of viewpoints from a diverse group of people is important to creating a dialog for the community represented at the SXSW Wellness Expo20–via Kavin Senapathy/Forbes

Suppose this came from NASA instead?

“While NASA strongly disagrees with many flat-earther controversial opinions, we do believe that inclusion of a variety of viewpoints from a diverse group of people is important as we complete the Near Earth Object survey that will protect our round (or is it flat?  Hey, it’s just an opinion!) planet from a potential extinction level event”

SXSW’s comments reek strongly of the plague of “alternate facts” that have, sadly, gained traction in our country.  I’m sorry, but in science, there are no alternate facts.  Dr. Brogan’s $4,000 consults for coffee enemas, AIDS denial, and selling her patients ingredients that she herself labels toxic do not constitute “controversial opinions”… they constitute what this writer believes to be medical malpractice, and should be investigated.

If you agree, and would like to make your voice heard, you can tweet to @sxsw.  The hashtag #BumpBrogan is trending.  You may wish to take a moment and make it even trendier!

 

Footnotes
** Salt analysis was performed by Advanced Laboratories, Inc. of Salt Lake City, UT, who notes that because the product being tested is a naturally occurring product that
has not been refined, actual elemental results of any specific lot number will vary slightly. Please click here to return to the article.

A typo in the “Good Enough to Eat?” section swapped units of measure and has been corrected.

References
(1) “Aluminum is Toxic to all Lifeforms” (Kelly Brogan Facebook Post)
https://www.facebook.com/KellyBroganMD/posts/366045836935604
Retrieved 10 Dec 2017

(2) Real Salt (Kelly Brogan Online Store)
http://kellybroganmd.com/resources/
Retrieved 11 Dec 2017

(3) Real Salt (FAQ)
https://realsalt.com/faq/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(4) Vaccines and Brain Health (Kelly Brogan)
Warning: not a scholarly article
https://kellybroganmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/VaccinesandBrainHealth.pdf
Retrieved 12 Dec 2017

(5) Detox–Why You Need To (Kelly Brogan)
Warning: not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/why-detox/
Retrieved 10 Dec 2017

(6) The Truth is Out: Gardasil Vaccine Coverup Exposed (Kelly Brogan)
Warning: not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/truth-out-gardasil-coverup-documents-exposed/
Retrieved 12 Dec 2017

(7) Psychobiology of Vaccination Effects:
Bidirectional Relevance of Depression (Kelly Brogan)
Warning: not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Psychobiology.pdf
Retrieved 12 Dec 2017

(8) Hepatitis B Vaccine – Is it Safe for Your Newborn?
Warning: not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/hepatitis-b-vaccine-for-your-newborn/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(9) Real Salt Elemental Analysis
http://realsalt.redmond.life/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/05/Real-Salt-Analysis.pdf
Retrieved 14 Dec 2017

(10) Could this be Driving the Epidemic of Sudden Infant Death (SIDS)?  (Kelly Brogan)
http://kellybroganmd.com/driving-epidemic-sudden-infant-death-sids/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(11) GARDASIL® Package Insert
[Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18)
Vaccine, Recombinant]
Suspension for intramuscular injection
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM111263.pdf
Retrieved 13 Dec 2017

(12) FDA Approved Vaccines (UCM201669.pdf:  Prevnar 13)
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM201669.pdf
Retrieved 14 Dec 2017

(13) Vaccine Ingredients–Aluminum (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
http://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/aluminum
Retrieved 11 Dec 2017

(14) Pentacel Package Insert
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/biologicsbloodvaccines/vaccines/approvedproducts/ucm109810.pdf
Retrieved 16 Dec 2017

(15) CDC: Public Health Statement for Aluminum
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=1076&tid=34
Retrieved 10 Dec 2017

(16) Aluminum in Drinking Water (World Health Organization)
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/water-quality/guidelines/chemicals/aluminium.pdf?ua=1
Retrieved 14 Dec 2017

(17) Breastfeeding: A Reproductive Right (Kelly Brogran)
Warning: Not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/breastfeeding-a-reproductive-right/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(18) Baby and Breast: Perfect Together
Warning: Not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/baby-and-breastmilk/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(19) Natural Birth and Breastfeeding: Replaceable?
Warning: Not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/natural-birth-breastfeeding-replaceable/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(20) SXSW Festival Slammed For Including HIV/AIDS Denialist In 2018 Wellness Expo
Kavin Senapathy/Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kavinsenapathy/2017/12/11/sxsw-festival-slammed-for-including-hiv-aids-denialist-in-wellness-expo/#6c8d8c576174
Retrieved 11 Dec 2017

 

Image Credits
Real Salt Logos, product imagery, and ingredients analysis snapshots are all 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.

Kelly Brogan, M.D. web site screen snapshots, facebook posts, and images are all 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.

Science Moms (Movie Review)

Science Moms Banner

On a hot summer day in the not-too-distant past, I made a small contribution to a Kickstarter project for a film known as “Science Moms.”  As time went by, the pressures of daily life pushed the movie to the back of mind, along with that promise to my wife to mow the lawn, and something about an engagement party we were supposed to attend on Saturday.  Regarding the film at least, my memory was jogged last weekend, when directors Natalie Newell and Brian Newell saw to it that a copy showed up in the inboxes of the documentary’s supporters.  I was delighted.

Science Moms1 is thirty minutes of entertainment and science wrapped around a hard hitting message: celebrity-driven misinformation on issues such as vaccines and GMOs is making life miserable for parents, who don’t know where to turn for advice–and often end up making costly decisions.

image of baby in sink. Babies are precious to their parents

Children are obviously precious to their parents, who will go to great lengths to protect them. Good advice is critical. It won’t be found in the fear-driven Facebook posts of celebrities. (Photo: © 2017 Miranda Lynn White.)

Five mothers who just happen to be three professional scientists or science writers/communicators were inspired, in part, to make the film after one of their heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar, made an ill-advised and scientifically inaccurate video on GMOs.  (Yes, scientists love Buffy too!)

The movie is loaded with witty animations, facts that hit home but don’t overwhelm, and, my favorite, touching personal stories from each mother.  The most poignant moment for me was the story of a neuroscientist who reflected that views of the polio vaccine are so different now than they were in her own mother’s time.  This echoes my own mother’s recollections of losing grade school friends to the dreaded disease, and her nightly prayers that she wouldn’t end up in an iron lung herself.  The polio vaccine was/is a Godsend, yet we live in an age where parents are frightened away from safe vaccines by Hollywood stars whose science education is, to be kind, lacking.  Such are the lessons of this wonderful documentary.

I doubt that Science Moms will change the minds of any of the virulent anti-vaccine, anti-GMO, anti-science crowd, but I don’t believe that’s the film’s target audience.  The Science Moms are speaking to other mothers out there who are just as confused and frightened by misinformation as they once were.  I’ve always likened good science communication to vaccines: once someone like Gary Ruskin or Carey Gilam (USRTK) has been infected by anti-GMO propaganda, or Andrew Wakefield’s shameful vaccine lies, there’s probably no chance of saving them.

But there are countless parents who have yet to be infected by the diseased words of the Sarah Michelle Gellars, the Jenny McCarthys, and the Gwyneth Paltrows of this world.  Science Moms is the ideal vaccine for these parents.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed.  Information antibodies introduced into the brain by this $4.99 (downloadable) film could be just the thing to save a confused mother (or father) who comes up against the dangerous, pseudoscientific nonsense of a Vani Hari or David Avocado Wolfe sales pitch.

Curious?  You can learn more about Science Moms at  http://www.sciencemomsdoc.com

 

Disclosures:  I donated to the Kickstarter fund that helped make this movie possible, but I have no financial interest in it whatsoever, including compensation of any type from sales, promotion, etc.  I speak favorably of the film because I believe in it.  I once played hooky from physics class and went fishing. Now you know. [End of disclosure]

 

Image Credits
Science Moms logo copyright (c) 2017 Natalie Newell and Brian Newell/ScienceMoms. Used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law,” distributed without profit, for the purpose of review, education, and increasing public knowledge.

Baby in sink copyright © 2017 Miranda Lynn White, all rights reserved.  Used with permission.

Remote control image by Santeri Viinamäki, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

References
(1) Science Moms
http://www.sciencemomsdoc.com
Retrieved 17 Nov 2017

Anti-GMO Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones is Selling GMOs

Alex Jones pep band parody by Bad Science Debunked

 

We’re living in a strange new reality in the United States.  Our citizens are forced to deal with problems such as terrorist attacks that never happened (e.g. Bowling Green, KY) and life-saving vaccines causing problems that they don’t.  A large percentage of the population is happy to accept lies and contradictions without question.  Alternate facts seem to be accepted in more places than MasterCard, Visa, and Discover combined.

It should come as no surprise then that virulent anti-GMO campaigner and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is selling genetically modified (GMO) soy via his online store, while simultaneously and falsely claiming that GMOs cause cancer, infertility, IQ reduction, and deformities.1

The soy in question is found in a men’s health supplement named Prosta Guard,2 sold by Jones’ InfoWarsShop.com.  Knowing that nearly all soy grown in the United States is genetically modified3 and painfully aware of Jones’ “America First” attitude, I contacted the InfoWars store and asked if the soy used in this product was genetically modified.  The response, was, unsurprisingly,  “Yes.”  InfoWars customer service added that any non-GMO products sold by Jones’ haberdashery would be clearly marked.

prosta guard gmo soy from infowars/alex jones

Prosta Guard as advertised on Alex Jones’ InfoWars store web site.  The soy is highlighted in this screen capture.  (click/enlarge)

I don’t give a tinker’s damn if the soy is genetically modified or not, and experts agree that consumers have no reason to be concerned either.  There’s no evidence that genetically modified foods are anything but safe, nutritious, and a boon to agriculture.  But arguing the point with conspiracy theorists is an exercise in futility.

Consider, if you will, that Alex Jones believes that the government uses chemicals to create homosexuals as a form of population control, Michelle Obama is a man who married Barrack to prove a point on transgender rights, the United States Government has a secret weather control machine, and the “new world order” is opening thousands of portals to allow demons to pour out onto Earth.4,5  How do you debunk a reasoned argument when one is never presented?

Irony of ironies, InfoWars also spreads fear and paranoia about food-based chemicals believed to disrupt the human endocrine system.6   Yet they completely ignore the fact that the soy in their Prosta Guard contains naturally occurring compounds known as phytoestrogens, which are (wait for it)… endocrine disruptors.  Alison Bernstein, who runs the outstanding science page Mommy PhD, authored an excellent article7 on endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) science and associated paranoia.  Using soy as one example, Bernstein expertly picks apart the Appeal to Nature fallacy displayed by those such as Alex Jones, who eschew BPA food containers only to consume the very class of chemicals they’re trying to avoid.

In his blatant act of marketing hypocrisy,  Mr. Jones joins a host of other hucksters whose scholarly and ethical compasses arguably don’t exactly point north. For over three years, anti-GMO campaigner Vani “the Food Babe” Hari has sold a skin care product made with GMO corn despite warning that the “toxic” ingredients can be absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream.  Mike “the Health Ranger” Adams of NaturalNews.com peddles wares containing GMOS here, here, and here, even though his web site contains over twenty pages of search results falsely linking GMOs from everything to cancer to farmer suicides to the destruction of agriculture in Africa.

Jones’ followers stare at his hypocrisy like a deer in headlights, blissfully ignoring the truckload of truth bearing down on them, a blaring horn of facts trying to warn them off the roadway.  It’s a scene growing ever more common in a country that once took pride in science, reason, and truth.  There’s nothing to fear from the GMO soy in the Prosta Guard sold by the InfoWars store, but many reasons to avoid funding the store’s owner, who spreads dangerous anti-vaccine propaganda that endangers public public health.

Buy Prosta Guard if you must.  Just please don’t buy it from Alex Jones.

References
(1)  “GMOS=HUMANITY’S DEATH SENTENCE (Cancer rates, Autism and other medical tragedies are spiraling out of control)”
The Alex Jones Show/InfoWars

(2) Prosta Guard (with ingredients) via InfoWars Store
http://www.infowarsshop.com/ProstaGuard_p_1547.html

(3) USDA: Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the US
(Recent Trends in GE Adoption)
https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx

(4) Comprehensive Guide to Alex Jones Conspiracy Theories
http://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2016/12/01/comprehensive-guide-alex-jones-conspiracy-theorist-and-trump-valuable-asset/214668

(5) Is Hilary Clinton a Witch? Some of the Worst Alex Jones Conspiracy Theories (Salon)
http://www.salon.com/2017/02/09/is-hillary-clinton-a-witch-rank-some-of-the-worst-alex-jones-conspiracy-theories/

(6) “ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS ARE IN YOUR FOOD, TOO”.  (InfoWars.com)
https://www.infowars.com/bpa-free-not-enough-endocrine-disruptors-are-in-your-food-too/

(7) “A Chemical is a Chemical is a Chemical”. (Dr. Alison Bernstein, PhD)
http://www.crediblehulk.org/index.php/2016/03/29/a-chemical-is-a-chemical-is-a-chemical/

Image Credits
Alex Jones pep band parody image by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked uses elements from Hormel, Alex Jones/InfoWars, and YouTube under 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.

Alex Jones/InfoWar screen captures used in compliance 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.

Edit History
This article was modified on March 28, 2017, to reference material from “A Chemical is a Chemical is a Chemical”.

Mike Adams’ GMO Addiction

mike adams gmo hypocrisy parody

Author’s note: I’ve been contacted by Health Products Distributors, the manufacturer of the product mentioned in this article, and asked to reaffirm that, as mentioned in the original writeup, the reformulated product no longer uses soy–it uses non-GMO sunflower oil. There is a disagreement on when the sunflower oil formulation went into use in the Natural News store. HPD now says 2013, though when contacted for the original version of this article, they said it was still being phased in, and the Natural News labeling still clearly showed soy. I’ve reached out to Natural News for comment and will provide an update here when it’s available.

Wasn’t it just yesterday we were pointing out that Mike Adams of Natural News was still selling GMOs while simultaneously claiming they would kill you?  Well, OK, it was two days ago.  But who’s counting?

Actually, I’m counting.  And I’m up to three–three times the Natural News Nattering Nabob of Nonsense has told you GMOs will eat away your innards, then turned around and sold you products containing GMOs!  Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, we proudly present Rejuvenate Plus, the current batch made with GMO soy, available from Mike Adams’ Health Ranger store:1

Rejuvenate Plus, from the Health Ranger store

Rejuvenate Plus, from the Health Ranger store (click/enlarge)

I emphasize “current batch” in the preceding paragraph because the manufacturer, Health Products Distributors of Tucson, Arizona, informed me during a phone call that they were switching from GMO soy lecithin to non-GMO sunflower lecithin.  But, for now, here’s what Ranger Mike’s been pushing on his unsuspecting customers:

ingredients in health ranger gmo product

Ingredients in Health Ranger’s Rejuvenate Plus. Note the GMO soy lecithin (click/enlarge)

As we all know by now, there’s nothing to fear from genetically modified organisms and/or products derived from them.  Mike Adams and his #NaturalNonsense store make a small fortune bilking innocent people out of hard-earned money by selling them expensive items that contain the very same ingredients that they lie about being dangerous.  In fact, Natural News recently published a story falsely claiming GMO food was turning pigs’ stomachs to mush and hilariously suggested that it would do the same to humans…2 all the while selling GMO food to humans here and here.

Why, the only way Natural News could possibly recede any further into the Twilight Zone would be by publishing a serious article warning of an actual pending zombie apocalypse.  They wouldn’t.  They couldn’t.  Would they?

Oh Sweet Jesus and bless their hearts, they did.  Judge their integrity for yourselves, dear reader:

natural news zombies

This is a real Natural News headline. Mike Adams sanctions this tripe, along with harmful anti-cancer nonsense and GMO propaganda. Be an educated adult in 2017. Say no to #NaturalNonsense.  (click/enlarge)

 

References
(1) Rejuvenate Plus from the Health Ranger Store
https://www.healthrangerstore.com/collections/health-concerns/products/rejuvenate-plus-500-g?variant=16538979393

(2) GMO feed turns pig stomachs to mush! Shocking photos reveal severe damage caused by GM soy and corn
http://www.naturalnews.com/040727_GMO_feed_severe_inflammation_pig_stomachs.html

Image Credits
Natural News, Mike Adams/Health Ranger, Health Product Distributors 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.

The screen capture from the film The Sixth Sense  is used under parody provisions of the same Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

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.

The Thrive Market/Environmental Working Group Connection

thrive ewg bronner gmo

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive”. Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto VI, XVII

In days past, we’ve browsed the virtual shelves of Thrive Market and found astounding examples of hypocrisy: deodorant containing aluminum sold by the very store that links this combination to cancer,1 and products containing derivatives of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), although Thrive’s raison d’être seems to be the eradication of all GMO crops from the face of the Earth.2

Mentioned, but not deeply explored in those articles, is that Thrive Market is being aggressively pushed by the pseudoscientific Environmental Working Group (EWG). EWG, although they apparently do no actual scientific research, have set themselves up as an authority on food and product safety.  You’ll often see EWG’s “research” quoted by online vendors such as Thrive.

There’s a problem here: a vicious circle in which money, advertising, and pseudo-research circulate in a complex “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” cycle. It goes something like this:

  • Organic companies like Bronner’s and Organic Valley donate to EWG to fund their work.
  • EWG publishes non-original, cherry-picked “research” that makes their donors’ products look superior.
  • The donors offer their wares on ThriveMarket.com.
  • EWG launches an email campaign pushing Thrive, touting membership discounts, and citing cherry-picked “research” to guarantee product safety.
  • Thrive cites EWG as an authority when advertising ThriveMarket.com products, claiming superiority over competing brands.
  • Feeling assured by all the supposed research, the unsuspecting public purchases the donors’ products from Thrive.  After Thrive gets its cut, proceeds from the sales go back to the companies who donated to EWG… who promoted Thrive.  Dizzy yet?
  • To add insult to injury, the public doesn’t realize many of the products they’re buying contain the same ingredients they were told were harmful.1,2

To be honest, I get confused reading it too.  Here’s a pretty picture: (click to enlarge):

thrive/ewg relationship

Follow the money: Thrive Market and the Environmental Working Group. (click/enlarge)

How widespread is the problem?  It’s hard to say.  The Environmental Working Group is tight-lipped about their donors, publishing only a small subset online.3  Not all of the organic companies listed on the EWG funding page can be found selling in the Thrive Market (yet),4,5 but that’s just one store, and, as we’ll see in upcoming article, this isn’t the only way EWG props up companies who are friendly to their cause.

Thrive’s love affair with the Environmental Working Group is evident in the rampant quoting of EWG’s so-called research throughout the market’s web site,6 and, to be blunt, when watching Thrive founder Gunnar Lovelace praise EWG President Ken Cook and his company’s work, you want to tell tell the two to get a room.7  Really guys.  Please.

This tangled web will get even more complicated in upcoming days, as we look at the financial involvement of faux “consumer advocate” organizations such as U.S. Right to Know and the Organic Consumers Organization which, via the Environmental Working Group, have a tenuous link to Thrive Market.  The upshot of all this is that it’s easy to sell products when you create your own astroturf-like research research and advocacy organizations and quote them liberally.  Sadly, not enough of mainstream American media is aware this is happening.

Tomorrow though, we’ll return to the lighter side and look at a rather horrific blunder by Thrive: after warning shoppers to avoid a particular form of cosmetic ingredient and claiming their store is free and clear of it… [insert ominous sounds of thunder].

 

References
(1) Thrive Market’s “Toxic” Deodorant: I Smell A Rat (Bad Science Debunked)
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/thrive-markets-toxic-deodorant-i-smell-a-rat/

(2) Anti-GMO Thrive Market Sells GMOs (Bad Science Debunked)
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/anti-gmo-thrive-market-sells-gmos/

(3) Partial List of EWG Funding Sources
http://www.ewg.org/about-us/funding

(4) Dr. Bronner on Thrive Market
https://thrivemarket.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=dr+bronner

(5) Organic Valley on Thrive Market
https://thrivemarket.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=organic+valley

(6) Thrive Market, Articles Tagged “EWG”
https://thrivemarket.com/blog/tag/ewg

(7) Thrive Market: What You Can Do To Shed Light On Bizarre Ingredients In Your Food
https://thrivemarket.com/blog/watch-can-shed-light-bizarre-ingredients-food

 

Image Credits
Thrive, Dr. Bronner’s, Organic Valley, and EWG 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.