Dr. Mark Hyman: (Artificial) Sugar Daddy

mark hyman xylitol pure pal cover image

Dr. Mark Hyman tells us that xylitol is addictive and leads to obesity, metabolism disorders, and addiction, but that doesn’t stop him from loading it into his children’s daily vitamin supplement.

It’s been a while since we last heard from Dr. Mark Hyman, the hypocritical doctor who openly sells a product filled with the same chemicals he falsely claims causes cancer.  Actually, he’s  selling two such products.  Well, OK, there are over a half dozen.  But I digress.

Today, I’d like to talk to you about Hyman and sweeteners.  Dr. Mark has the following to say about one of my favorites, xylitol:

“Whatever you do, stay away from artificial sweeteners. I recommend giving up aspartame, sucralose, sugar alcohols such as xylitol and maltitol, and all of the other heavily used and marketed sweeteners unless you want to slow down your metabolism, gain weight, and become an addict.” (emphasis mine)–Dr. Mark Hyman1

Good Lord!  According to Hyman, xylitol is responsible for increased risk of obesity, rewiring your brain chemistry and metabolism,  and is highly addictive.1 Sounds pretty dangerous!  Something you’d especially want to keep away from children, right?

Friends, cast your eyes on Herr Hyman’s “Pure Pals” children’s vitamin supplement, and its list of ingredients:2

purepals by mark hyman (pure encapsulations)

Pure Pals, sold by Mark Hyman, contains 1 gram of xylitol per pill.2

mark hyman xylitol pure pal ingredients

The ingredients in Mark Hyman’s Pure Pals for children.2 (click/enlarge)

Wait a minute, that’s xylitol in them thar pills!2  Doctor (and I feel embarrassed to use that word) Hyman recommends one gram of xylitol per day for children aged 2-3, and two grams per day for those aged 4 and up.2  Remember, this is the sugar substitute that’s supposed to be highly addictive, increase obesity, and rewire your children’s brain chemistry.  Yet the man making these claims wants to feed it to your children daily, at a cost of $27.60 per bottle.

To put this into context, let’s look at how xylitol is used in some well known candy products, and compare it to Hyman’s recommended daily dosing for a four year old child. A publication produced by Augusta University’s Dental College of Georgia3 reveals ten times less xylitol (0.2 grams per piece) in a piece of Mentos Pure candy, 132% less in Icebreakers Frost Mints (0.33 grams per mint), and less than 50% in Spry Gum (0.72gm/piece).3

But, what should one do upon finding any of these candies in the kitchen of their home?  According to the good doctor: throw them out immediately!4  I kid you not.  Read Hyman’s polemic “Four Steps To Detoxify Your Kitchen4 lest you think I exaggerate.

Another delicious piece in this Pie of Irony is that xylitol is a naturally occurring compound, so Hyman’s use of the word “artificial” is rather disingenuous.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubChem database:

“Xylitol is naturally found in many fruits (strawberries, plums, raspberries) and vegetables (e. g. cauliflower).”

–Extracted from PubChem Detail for CID 69125

According to PubChem, xylitol can be produced industrially starting with, for example, a variety of natural sources, including almond hulls and birch bark,5 but it’s important to remember that everything is a chemical, so “artificial” and “natural” are just arbitrary labels.

For the record, this isn’t the first time Dr. Hyman has been caught selling xylitol in his products6 but, as I pointed out in this meme when I caught him red handed three years ago, none of his lemming-like followers seem inclined to read the man’s own product labels:

xena xylitol mark hyman

For at least three years, Dr. Mark Hyman has been selling products containing xylitol,which he links to an overabundance of health problems–and nobody seems to notice. (click/enlarge)

Ironically, the PurePals vitamin product is manufactured by Pure Encapsulations, the same company that makes Neuromins, another Hyman product that contains chemicals the doctor hypocritically and falsely links to cancer.7  Why would a doctor claim his own product causes cancer?  Because once the man says “hello, I’m a doctor,” people stop paying attention, bend over, grease up, and proceed to get screwed.

What do we make of all this hypocrisy, then?  Perhaps we should take Mark Hyman’s advice and simply throw his Pure Pals product in the garbage:

“Throw out food with artificial sweeteners of all kinds (aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, sucralose, and sugar alcohols — any word that ends with “ol,” like xylitol or sorbitol)” –Dr. Mark Hyman4

References
(1) Why You Should Ditch Artificial Sweeteners
Warning: not a scholarly link
http://drhyman.com/blog/2015/12/02/why-you-should-ditch-artificial-sweeteners/
Retrieved 29 Dec 2017

(2) Pure Encapsulations “Pure Pals” Children’s Supplement
https://store.drhyman.com/supplements-1/purepals-formally-pure-bears-without-iron.html
Retrieved 29 Dec 2017

(3) Xylitol Products
Augusta University’s Dental College of Georgia
https://www.augusta.edu/dentalmedicine/axium/documents/xylitol-products2.pdf
Retrieved 29 Dec 2017

(4) Four Steps To Detoxify Your Kitchen
Warning: not a scholarly link
http://drhyman.com/blog/2015/01/22/4-steps-detoxify-kitchen/
Retrieved 29 Dec 2017

(5) U.S. National Library of Medicine PubChem Database: Xylitol (CID 6912)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/6912#section=Top
Retrieved 29 Dec 2017

(6)  Xylitol, Warrior Princess
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/xylitol-warrior-princess-mark-hyman-debunked/
Retrieved 29 Dec 2017

(7) Trick or Tweet: Dr. Mark Hyman Exposed
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/trick-or-tweet-dr-mark-hyman-exposed/
Retrieved 29 Dec 2017

 

Image Credits
Mark Hyman imagery and Pure Encapsulation 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.

Ice Cream Truck/Candy Man parody image by the author, also produced and used under the parody provisions of 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.

 

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.

Food Babe Wants This Made Illegal For Children, So She Sells It To Them

food babe christmas treat banner

One of Vani (the “Food Babe”) Hari’s most hypocritical posts ever just hit Facebook.1  I literally spewed a soft drink across my computer screen when I saw this post:

food babe children artificial color

Food Babe maligns the sale of artificial colors to children while she does the very same thing.(click/enlarge)

For many years now, Hari has sold artificial colors made from petroleum derivatives  to children, in the form of Piggy Paint nail polish, as detailed here.2

Piggy Paint, pushed by Food Babe via her affiliate marketing program,3 contains an abundance of artificial “coal tar dye” colors (her language, not mine), including Orange 5, Yellow 10, Red 22, Red 34, and Violet 2.4

piggy paints with artificial colors, sold by food babe

Piggy Paint nail polish for children, complete with artificial colors,  as sold by Food Babe (click/enlarge)

For those in the #FoodBabeArmy who might cry foul, saying Vani’s only campaigning against so-called toxic chemicals in food products, let me again remind you, she rants against the very same ingredients in beauty products.5

Vani, it’s time to start reading your own product labels.

 

References
(1) Food Babe Artificial Color Post (Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe/photos/a.208386335862752.56063.132535093447877/1781149331919770/?type=3&theater&ifg=1
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(2) Food Babe Selling Pesticide, Coal Tar Dyes to Children
Bad Science Debunked, 15 Nov 2015
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/tag/piggy-paints/
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(3) Food Babe: New Products That Make Me Scream In Excitement
(Food Babe Marketing Post)
https://foodbabe.com/2013/04/13/new-products-that-make-me-scream-in-excitement/
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(4) Piggy Paint Ingredients
http://www.piggypaint.com/product-info/#.VikWjJegaoc
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(5) So Fresh And So Clean–Skin Care Tips
Warning: Not a scholarly link
https://foodbabe.com/2011/08/09/so-fresh-and-so-clean-skin-care-tips/
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

Image Credits
Piggy Paint and Food Babe 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 Decks The Malls With Bowls of Folly

food babe stocking stuffers header image

Food Babe is back with a list of holiday stocking stuffers for the kids things she wants to sell you and, of course, the list is loaded with the same ingredients she says will kill you, or violates rule after rule she dictates to her followers.  It all started with a post dissing Lindt Truffles, my favorite.1  How could I resist taking this on?

Let’s step through Food Babe’s list of alternative candies and see how she’s hypocritically misleading her followers.  We’ll close with a brief reexamination of her ethically questionable use of hidden affiliate links.

Alter Eco Organic Chocolate Truffles [Extra Sugar, Fake Caramel Flavoring]

truffles by food babe don't contain caramel

Alter Eco Truffles  break one of Vani Hari’s cardinal rules… (click/enlarge)

caramel flavor, not real flavor, in food babe's stocking stuffer

Food Babe can’t hide her disdain for artificial flavorings.  Why then is there no caramel in the truffles she’s selling?2  See article text. (click/enlarge)

Vani loses her sh… uhm, cool, when manufacturers don’t use “real” ingredients in their products.  Now, you can’t go pick a caramel fruit off a tree, but there is a known way to make caramel, involving sugar, butter, milk, etc. You’ll find none of these in Vani’s replacement for Lindt truffles.  Instead, Alter Eco artificially manufactures a caramel taste using plant extracts, spices, fruits, vegetables, and tree bark.2  This according to an email from Alter Eco’s customer service department.

This reminds me of the time Vani sold Honeysuckle shampoo that contained no honeysuckle.3

The Alter Eco Truffles also contain more sugar than the Lindt Truffles sold by Hari (see nutritional  breakdown, image, below).  Remember, Vani Hari said this about sugar:

“Sugar is the Devil”–Vani Hari 12

Lindt Truffles vs. Food Babe’s Alter Eco Truffles: Nutritional Breakdown

vani hari truffles stocking stuffers

One serving (3 truffles, 36 grams) contains 14 grams of sugar.13  Compare to Hari’s brand in the image, right, which contains 15 grams of sugar for an equivalent serving.  Hari says sugar is the devil.(click/enlarge)

food babe's truffles provide more sugar than Lindt

One of Vani’s truffles is 12 grams (one serving), while a Lindt serving is 36 grams (3 truffles). An equivalent serving of Food Babe’s candy provides 15 grams of sugar, more than Lindt truffles.  Food Babe says sugar is the devil.  (click/enlarge)

Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle [Heavy Metals]

Food Babe's theo chocolate contains pink himalayan salt, which is often found to contain trace elements she claims are dangerous

Food Babe’s Theo chocolate contains pink himalayan salt, which is often found to contain trace elements she claims are dangerous. (click/enlarge)

Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle dark chocolate contains Pink Himalayan Salt.4  While Theo doesn’t provide a chemical analysis of the salt in their chocolate, I’ve written about this miracle salt many times, including here5 and here.6  It’s typically found to contain trace elements of lead, arsenic, aluminum, mercury, and a host of other elements that hide under Vani Hari’s bed and give her nightmares on a regular basis.  Vani and her compatriots claim these metals accumulate in your body, slowly poisoning you–but she’s happy to sell you detox products to save the day!

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate [Arsenic]

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate contains rice. Vani Hari warns that rice is a prominent source of arsenic.

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate contains rice. Vani Hari warns that rice is a prominent source of arsenic.

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate contains rice, but Vani wants us to avoid rice because… well, enlighten us, Vani:

“Rice is a very common in gluten-free diets, but it’s notoriously contaminated with arsenic, which is a “potent human carcinogen” according to scientists at Consumer Reports and classified as a group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.”7

Yes, rice and arsenic, it’s what’s for dinner at Vani’s Restaurant.

YumEarth Organics Lollipops [Arsenic]

As mentioned previously, Food Babe warns that rice is a source of arsenic.

YumEarth Candy Cane Pops are made with rice syrup. As mentioned previously, Food Babe warns that rice is a source of arsenic. (click/enlarge)

Lollipops… and there’s a sucker born every minute!   YumEarth Organics Candy Cane Pops to be exact.8  They’re made with organic rice syrup.  I see someone in the back row raising their hand excitedly at the mention of rice.  That’s right, we just talked about this.  Food Babe said rice is:

“… notoriously contaminated with arsenic.”7

Merry Christmas 😦

 

Kur Chocolates [Added Sugar, Misleading Labeling]

food babe kur chocolates contain sugar

Food Babe’s Kur chocolates do indeed contain sugar; it comes from the dates added to the mix. (click/enlarge)

Food Babe touts these rather expensive chocolates as having “no added sugar.”1

Oh really?

There are dates in this candy. The United States Department of Agriculture lists varying sugar amounts of sugar for dates, from 93.1 grams for one cup of deglet noor dates to 15.95 grams for a single (pitted) medjool date.9  Kur doesn’t tell us the type or amount of dates added to their chocolate bars, but nonetheless, sugar is sugar, and it is there, added when the dates were put in the mix.  One grows weary of this Appeal to Nature fallacy10, where something derived from nature is supposedly “good” for you.  Food Babe’s sugar is the same sugar she disparages.  Sorry, Vani.

I also have a scientific bone to pick with labeling their products as “non-GMO”.11   Looking at the  Kur Brownie Pack, for example, the ingredients are: Dates, Cashew Butter, Cacao Powder, Almonds, Cinnamon, and Essential Oil of Orange.  Of these, not a single ingredient is commercially available as a genetically modified crop.  The non-GMO label has become a slick marketing trick to take advantage of consumers, and is being applied in some outlandish ways.  It’s meaningless in this context.

Before you know it, they’ll be advertising non-GMO condoms.

Oh dear, I spoke too soon.

condoms non-GMO

Seriously? What’s reason for labeling something non-GMO if there isn’t a GMO equivalent? (click/enlarge)

 

About Those Hidden Affiliate Links
All of the recommended products in Food Babe’s stocking stuffer list are tagged with hidden affiliate links. Encoded in each hyperlink is a code that gives Food Babe not only a percentage of your purchase price of her recommended product, but also any other qualifying purchase you make on Amazon in the future. Buy a TV, a computer, etc. for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts, and you are lining Vari Hani’s pockets with a percentage of your purchase price of those products as well.

I’ve decoded the process for you below. You can see Food Babe’s affiliate code, “foodbab-20”, after it’s been decoded from the “2lW5YIG” parameter passed to Amazon when you click on her organic mini chocolate peppermints link. If you read Amazon’s agreement for affiliates12 and then search for Food Babe’s disclosure of what’s happening on her page, I believe you’ll come to the conclusion I have: something’s not quite right here.

Vani Hari's undisclosed affiliate links seem to be a clear violation of Amazon's rules for affiliates.

Vani Hari’s undisclosed affiliate links seem to be a clear violation of Amazon’s rules for affiliates. (click/enlarge)

 

Note:
This article has been updated to reflect nutritional content of Hari’s brands vs. those she maligns.

 

References
(1) Food Babe’s Healthy Stocking Stuffers for 2017
Warning: Not a scholarly link
https://foodbabe.com/2017/12/07/healthy-holiday-stocking-stuffers-list-2017/
Retrieved 19 Dec 2017

(2) Alter Eco Organic Truffle Ingredients
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PA9H9HS/
Retrieved 22 Dec 2017

(3) Food Babe’s Honeysuckle Shampoo contains no Honeysuckle
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/food-babe-pushing-dangerous-items-honeysuckle-shampoo/
Retrieved 22 Dec 2017

(4) Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle Ingredients
https://www.theochocolate.com/product/nutcracker-brittle/
Retrieved 20 Dec 2017

(5) Your Worst Day Ever: David Avocado Wolfe’s Himalayan Salt Debunked
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/your-worst-day-ever-david-avocados-himalayan-salt-debunked/
Retrieved 20 Dec 2017

(6) Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan Salt Debunked
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/dr-mercolas-himalayan-salt-debunked/
Retrieved 20 Dec 2017

(7) Trying To Avoid Gluten? Don’t Make These Common Mistakes! (Food Babe)
Warning: Not a scholarly article
https://foodbabe.com/2015/09/22/trying-avoid-gluten-dont-make-common-mistakes/
Retrieved 20 Dec 2017

(8) YumEarth Organics Lollipops Ingredients
https://yumearth.com/products/lollipops
Retrieved 20 Dec 2017

(9) USDA Food Composition Databases:  Sugars (Total, Dates)
https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report?nutrient1=269&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&&max=25&subset=0&offset=3000&sort=f&totCount=6789&measureby=m
Retrieved 22 Dec 2017

(10) Appeal to Nature Fallacy
https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-nature
Retrieved 22 Dec 2017

(11) Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Ingredients
http://www.alterecofoods.com/product/dark-quinoa/
Retrieved 20 Dec 2017

(12) Disclaimer for Amazon Associates
https://termsfeed.com/blog/disclaimer-amazon-associates/
Retrieved 20 Dec 2017

(13) Lindt Lindor Chocolate Truffles Nutrion Information
https://www.lindtusa.com/wcsstore/LindtStorefrontAssetStore/Attachment/products/nutritional-information-SKU-4852.pdf
Retrieved 25 Dec 2017

(14) Food Babe: Ditch Refined Sugar
Warning: Not a scholarly article
https://foodbabe.com/2011/12/19/ditch-refined-sugar/
Retrieved 25 Dec 2017

Image Credits
Food Babe, Theo, Kur, Alter Eco, Google, Amazon, YumEarth, and all other product/branded imagery shots are used in strict 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.

David Wolfe Lathers on the Hypocrisy

David Wolfe chelating shampoo banner EDTA

“If I’m going to be staying up until 3 A.M., it should be for world peace and not shampoo sales.”– Mona Sutphen

It takes a special type of man to look you in the eye, tell you that pillows cause neck pain, and then sell you pillow cases via his online store.  A man with particular bravado: balls the size of Jupiter.  A man who isn’t bothered by marketing a boat load of goods made from the same chemicals that he claims will cause you to shuffle early off this mortal coil.

Ladies and gentlemen: I give you David Avocado Wolfe.

In his article “8 Toxic Beauty Care Chemicals That Are Killing You!,”1 Wolfe links ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and its salts (e.g., disodium EDTA, trisodium EDTA) to health problems such as reproductive and kidney damage, fetal disability, and dermatitis.3,4,5,6,7  Ironically, he singles out shampoos and hair conditioners as common sources of EDTA.1

With this in mind, let’s go shopping at Avocado’s online emporium, the infamous Longevity Warehouse. (With all this foreshadowing, you probably know what’s coming.)

Here’s a nice bottle of Hairprint Amla Chelating Shampoo, and its ingredients:3

 

David Wolfe's Longevity Warehouse Amla Chelating Shampoo

Hairprint Amla Chelating Shampoo, from David Wolfe’s Longevity Warehouse. (click/enlarge)

Haiprint Chelating Shampoo from David Wolfe's Longevity Warehouse contains EDTA

David Wolfe’s Longevity Warehouse’s Hairprint Amla Chelating Shampoo contains Disodium EDTA, an ingredient he’s linked to myriad health problems. (click/enlarge)

 

But soft!  What chemical through yonder shampoo breaks?  It is disodium EDTA, and David Wolfe is the son-of-a-snake-oil-saleman who’s selling it to you:

Disodium EDTA is found in David Wolfe's shampoos

Oops!

Yes indeed.  Wolfe just told us that EDTA and its salts were responsible for a plethora of poisonous potions, and now he’s selling us the very same chemical.  Let me refresh your memory:

“EDTA is used as a preservative in various skin care products, bath soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes and hair bleaches.

With chronic use, EDTA has the potential to cause reproductive damage, fetal disability and kidney damage.

Ironically (remember, it’s used in skin care products) EDTA can also cause contact dermatitis.”–David Wolfe1

But wait!  If you act now, you can get two EDTA-laden products from David Wolfe for the price of… well… two:

 

Yet another Wolfe product containing disodium EDTA

Yet another Wolfe product containing disodium EDTA (click/enlarge)

disodium edta in yet another david wolfe longevity warehouse offering

Wolfe claims disodium EDTA can cause kidney damage, but here it is in another of his products (click/enlarge)

 

Astute readers may have noticed that in the ingredients list, disodium EDTA is prominently listed next to a large banner from madesafe.org, proclaiming how rigorously these shampoos have been tested for safety.  This may be the first thing Wolfe got right–there’s no evidence that EDTA is dangerous, but it’s a howling act of hypocrisy to claim a chemical will harm you while simultaneously listing it in a sales ad next to a bold-print banner that purports you’ve done extensive testing for toxic ingredients

To put the whip cream on this huge slice of irony pie, Hairprint, the manufacturer of the shampoos hawked by Avocado, proudly touts disodium EDTA as a featured ingredient in its products.  David Wolfe: Google is your friend… learn how to use it:

Disodium EDTA:  This is a salt designed to act as a metal and mineral chelating agent. It has several uses as a medicine and is an approved food preservative. We use it here to remove the build up of minerals caused by hard water. Our Chelating Shampoo containing Disodium EDTA can perform miracles for hair conditions cause by hard water.” — Hairprint.com product information page 10

I’ve found no evidence to suggest EDTA is harmful, unless you happened to be run over by a truck carrying a ton of it to a processing facility.  However, we’re not here to debate the safety of this chemical.  No, we’re here to ask David Wolfe why he’s attempting to sell over five millions followers a product he falsely alleges will put them at risk of kidney failure or fetal abnormalities.

This is one of many Longevity Warehouse products that follow this pattern of hypocrisy, yet Wolfe’s followers seem to line up like lemmings who don’t read product labels, cash in their tiny paws, ready follow each other over the edge of the Cliff of Consumer Fraud.  Sadly, some of Wolfe’s offerings, such as his dangerous and unproven cancer “cures,” could get someone killed.  It’s a sad state of affairs, and in a world where facts no longer seem to matter, I see no end in sight.

Oh, about those pillow cases I mentioned in the opening…  Get’em while they’re hot.  And please:  #DontCryWolfe

longevity warehouse grounded pillow cases

How deeply can you trust a health guru who tags pillows as the cause of neck pain, then tries to sell you pillow cases?   Screen snapshot from David Wolfe’s Longevity Warehouse.  (click/enlarge)

References
(1) Eight Toxic Body Care Chemicals That Are Killing You (DavidWolfe.com)
https://www.davidwolfe.com/8-toxic-beauty-care-chemicals/
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(2) Longevity Warehouse Hairprint Chelating Shampoo
https://www.longevitywarehouse.com/hairprint-chelating-shampoo#product_tabs_ingredients
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(3) Disodium EDTA, linked as information source by David Wolfe (see reference #2) [Warning: Not a scholarly link]
http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/disodium-edta
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(4) Trisodium EDTA, linked as information source by David Wolfe (see reference #2) [Warning: Not a scholarly link]
http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/disodium-edta
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(5) Pubchem EDTA (Compound ID 6049)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/edta
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(6) PubChem EDTA Disodium Salt (Compound ID 13020083)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/13020083
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(7) Pubchem Edetate Trisodium Salt (Compound ID 9008)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/9008
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(8) Hairprint Chelating Shampoo
https://www.longevitywarehouse.com/hairprint-chelating-shampoo
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(9) Hairprint Chelating Shampoo Ingredients
https://www.longevitywarehouse.com/hairprint-chelating-shampoo#product_tabs_ingredients
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

(10)  Hairprint.com Ingredients
https://www.myhairprint.com/pages/ingredients
Retrieved 19 Nov 2017

Image Credits
Article banner: Connor Gap Ireland (background) © 2017 Mark Aaron Alsip. David Wolfe screen snapshot elements, bathtub, shampoo, etc, 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.

Trix Are For Food Babe

According to the old breakfast cereal slogan, “Trix are for kids.”

Vani Hari  (the “Food Babe”) has a new variation on this theme with her latest misinformation campaign: Tricks are for kids–and their gullible parents.

Let’s look at a Hari Facebook rant from October 2, accusing General Mills of targeting children with alleged carcinogenic compounds in General Mills’ Trix cereal.1  As we’ll see in a moment, Food Babe also targets children with products containing these very same chemicals, and has been doing so for at least six years:

food babe artificial colors targeting children

Food Babe sells the same falsely-labeled toxins in her Facebook post, ironically targeting children in the process.  (click/enlarge)

Hari asks if marketing artificial colors to children should be illegal.  An ironic question coming from a woman who markets products containing artificial colors to children herself.2  Not just any artificial colors, but the same “coal tar dyes” she rants about in her October 2 post.

Sherman, set the WayBack Machine to November, 2015, when I pointed out the (pink?) elephant in the room to Food Babe:

piggy paint sold by food babe contains artificial colors

Two years ago, it was clearly pointed out to Vani Hari that she’s selling to children the same class of “coal tar dyes”that she labels toxic.  From Bad Science Debunked, November 15, 2015.   (click/enlarge)

Yes, this children’s fingernail polish marketed by Vani Hari is made from the same artificial colors that are causing her Blue #1 sky to fall.  But the hypocrisy doesn’t end there.  Not that anyone in the #FoodBabeArmy seems scientifically literate enough to pick up on the fact, but this children’s product also contains an organic pesticide, neem oil.  Vani Hari is an outspoken opponent of pesticides, but apparently has no qualms about selling them to children.

Hari does not get a “get out of jail free card” because she’s lambasting a food product and here she’s hawking a cosmetic.  Thus sayeth the Food Babe:

“Your skin is your largest organ!  What you put on your skin, is absorbed into your blood.”–Vani Hari3

This is a common theme in the world of “all natural” product salespeople–it doesn’t matter if it comes from food or beauty products–it it’s a toxin, it’s gonna kill ya, whether you swallow it, inhale it, or get it on your skin.

But it gets worse for Ms. Hari.  Several of the dyes that she calls out by name, including Blue #1 and Yellow #6, were openly sold via her online “Food Babe Shop” for several years before being quietly pulled overnight when called out on her gaffe.4  These products were ingested by humans, as they included a dozen different shades of Tarte lipstick.  Placed on the lips, the very dyes Hari calls “neurotoxins” were happily and enthusiastically lapped up by every woman who licked her lips while wearing Food Babe-recommended cosmetics.

The third artificial color, Red #40, which Hari curiously links to hyperactivity?  It has been a mainstay in the Giovanni Hair Care products she’s been hyping on FoodBabe.com since 2011.7  You’re three-for-three Vani. Well done.  Well done, indeed.

Food Babe highly recommends Giovianni hair care products. There’s only one problem…

food babe red #40

Red #40, much maligned by Hari, is found in hair care products that she hawks in her blog. (click/enlarge)

Last but not least, Vani takes issue with the presence of genetically modified ingredients in Trix cereal.  Let’s rinse and repeat our investigative pattern for the #FoodBabeArmy crowd who are missing the obvious:  Food Babe has been selling you a product containing GMO corn long enough for Seralini to have faked a dozen more GMO cancer studies.6

food babe selling gmo corn

This product, featured on FoodBabe.com, is made from GMO corn. (click/enlarge)

As the commercial goes, Trix may be for kids, but Tricks are for Food Babe.

Let us then revisit the original, deceptive General Mills Trix cereal box graphic that Vani Hari presented in her October 2 Facebook post, and put it into proper context by comparing her alleged toxic ingredients with those she sells or has consistently sold for years:

food babe trix gmo food dye

Food Babe’s Babes “Box of Tricks” includes an online store pushing products containing every single ingredient she disparages in General Mills’ Trix cereal.  

Gentle reader, there’s nothing dangerous in Trix cereal, or, indeed, any of the products that Vani Hari “trix” her followers into buying by pretending that the alternatives are harmful.  Buy any of the products mentioned in this article with complete confidence they’re safe.  Just please… don’t buy them from FoodBabe.com.

 

References
(1) Food Babe Trix Post
https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe/posts/1696483297053041

(2) Food Babe Selling Pesticides, Coal Tar Dyes To Children
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/food-babe-selling-pesticide-coal-tar-dyes-to-children/

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

(4) Food Babe Slam Kraft Over Three Dyes But Sells Same
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/food-babe-slams-kraft-over-three-dyes-but-sells-same/

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

(7)  She Did It Again!
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/she-did-it-again-food-babe-linked-to-another-company-using-same-dyes-she-forbids/

Image Credits
Food Babe screen snapshots 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.

“American Pie” imagery photoshopped/produced by the author, used under the 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.

“Trix/Tricks” imagery photoshopped/produced by the author, used under the 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.

Eclipse Blinds Pets! (And Other Bad Science)

pool closed due to eclipse

The road to Science Hell is paved with good intentions.

As I anxiously await my ninth total eclipse of the sun here in Western Kentucky, I was shocked to see that the swimming pool would be closed during the event in the interest of public safety. Is our resort afraid people will lose their way in the darkness and fall in & drown, or has a viral Internet rumor been spreading that looking at an eclipse while immersed in water will cause blindness?

Egad.

Bad science abounds around eclipse time.  From people locking children indoors for “protection”, to religious leaders predicting the end of the world is nigh, something about losing the sun for a few minutes brings out the daft among us.

Knowing that I’m an eclipse buff, some well-meaning coworkers at the office passed along the following semi-viral internet meme, warning of the dire consequences of not locking your pets inside during the “Great American Eclipse” of August 21:

eclipse will not cause pet blindness

Bad eclipse science runs rampant on social media (click/enlarge)

Pets going blind because of the eclipse?  No.  Just no.

If you aren’t in the path of totality, staring at the partially eclipsed sun is going to be just as painful and counterintuitive for your cat/dog/guppy as it would be for you. Even with 99% of the sun blocked by the moon, as it will be near my home town of Lexington, KY, the sun will be far too bright to look at with the naked eye. So why, pray tell, would Whiskers and Fido suddenly feel the urge to stare intently at the sun and fry their retinas like bacon?

Answer: they won’t. The only odd behavior you might notice from a pet during this eclipse would be if you happen to own a critter that routinely feeds or beds down at sunset. Animals sometimes get tricked into thinking that the eclipse signals nightfall. Bessie the Cow might head for the trough, Trigger the Horse might head for the barn, but if you plan on putting either in the house to protect them from the eclipse, you’re wasting your time (and risking severe carpet damage).

The only animals who need to worry about protecting their eyes during this eclipse are humans. We know something special is happening, so we tend to do something unnatural and stare at the sun. Proper eye protection is de rigeur in this case during the partial phases of the eclipse.

Fido and the other pets will have no clue what’s going on, and will happily go about their business–unless some Facebook addict ruins their day by locking them in the house.

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”.

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.