Josh Axe’s Heavy Metal Toothpaste

josh axe heavy metals alternate toothpaste

Josh Axe brings heavy metal to the stage in an unexpected way with his homemade toothpaste recipe. Unfortunately, he himself calls the mix toxic.

Josh Axe, a chiropractor who fancies himself a doctor and makes a living selling unproven natural remedies for all that ails you, has a particular distaste for heavy metal.  No, not the likes of Metalilica, Iron Maiden, or Black Sabbath.  We’re talking heavy metal in the context of lead, mercury, and, of particular importance to today’s column, aluminum.

Just like the old school conservatives who associate satanic meanings with heavy metal music, Josh Axe seems to see the devil in aluminum, the most common metal in the crust of the planet.  He calls it a toxic poison,1 links it to Alzheimer’s,2 and even demonizes common aluminum foil, tying it to dementia.3

It’s rather shocking then that “Doctor” Axe has published an article in which he recommends an aluminum-based homemade toothpaste:4

“As an alternative to baking soda, you can use white kaolin clay.”–Josh Axe4

You see, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubChem database, you can’t have kaolin without aluminum.  Don’t believe me?  Well, here:5

“Kaolin is the most common mineral of a group of hydrated aluminum silicates, approximately H2Al2Si2O8-H2O.”5 —-PubChem  (emphasis mine)

Here’s a pretty picture of kaolin.  I’ve highlighted the aluminum in yellow:

kaolin josh axe toothpaste

Kaolin, courtesy PubChem. Note the aluminum. When you brush your teeth with Josh Axe’s homemade remedy, this is what you put in your mouth.

 

When will the public catch on and stop buying from this man? I don’t know the answer. But you, dear reader, can help. Spread these stories. Check Axe’s product labels against his own words. I’ve provided the necessary links in the reference section below. Somewhere out there, I imagine a truly ill man or woman considering throwing out their meds and following one of Axe’s nonsensical, hypocritical wellness plans. They’ll be buying the same chemicals he claims will harm them.

Let’s not let that happen.

References
(1) Dangers of Heavy Metals and How to do a Heavy Metal Detox
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/heavy-metal-detox/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(2) Five Gross Grilling Mistakes Damaging Your Health
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/grilling-mistakes/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(3) Alzheimers Natural Treatment
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/alzheimers-natural-treatment/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(4) Six Ways to Naturally Whiten your Teeth (Josh Axe)
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/6-ways-to-naturally-whiten-your-teeth/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(5) Pubchem Kaolin Clay (CID 56841936)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/56841936
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

Image Credits
Intro image is a parody mashup using a base image of unknown copyright status; I believe ©2018 Wallup. Used here along with a cutout of Josh Axe 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.

Kaolin structure courtesy PubChem.

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Thrive Market’s Little (“Carcinogenic”) Black Rain Cloud

thrive market carcinogens

I’ve been a Winnie the Pooh fan for as long as I can remember.  This isn’t always easy for a fifty-five year old man to admit, but there are a lot of important life lessons that come from this innocent, wise little yellow bear.  I remember the episode and quote that hooked me:

“I’m a little black rain cloud, of course”– W. Pooh, Esq.

 

In the cartoon, Pooh, covered in mud and hanging from a helium balloon, floats happily into the upper branches of a tree, where a honey-laden bee’s nest awaits.  Disguised as a little black rain cloud, Pooh naively sings a happy tune, certain that no one will be the wiser as he prepares to make off with a tasty treasure.  Of course, when Pooh arrives at the nest, the bees see through the plan, and disaster follows.

Pooh’s naiveté is shared by Thrive Market and their Lifestyle & Beauty editor, Dana Poblete, who, in “The 9 Worst Chemicals Hiding In Your Makeup”1 writes that the compound carbon black is a possible carcinogen that “may increase risk of lung disease and cardiovascular disease.”  Like poor Pooh, Poblete’s article disguises a little secret that she and Thrive would rather the bees customers don’t catch onto until Thrive has made away with the honey customers’ hard earned cash.

Yes, unfortunately for Poblete and Thrive Market, there’s a little black rain cloud hanging over their online store.  It’s known as Dead Sea Mineral Soap (Lavender):2

dead sea on thrive market contains carbon black

One With Nature’s Dead Sea Mineral Soap, sold by Thrive Market, contains an additive the vendor links to cancer, lung & heart disease. (click/enlarge)

Remember the carbon black that Dana Poblete and Thrive Market link to cancer?  Unfortunately, just like Pooh’s arrival at the bee’s nest, Thrive’s balloon is burst when we read the ingredients of the above Dead Sea Mineral Soap and compare to Poblete’s list of carcinogenic compounds:1,2

Sodium Palmate (Saponified Palm Oil), Sodium Palm Kernelate (Saponified Palm Kernel Oil), Water (Aqua), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sodium Chloride (Salt), Glycerin (Vegetable Glycerin), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender Petals), Maris Sal (Dead Sea Salt), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Argania Spinosa (Argan Oil), Carbon Black CI 77266 (Plant Based Pigment), Ultramarine Blue (Mineral Pigment), Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Yes, carbon black.  In a fear-mongering article written by Poblete and published by Thrive, we’re warned to avoid skin contact with carbon black because:

“[It’s a] Possible carcinogen, may increase risk of lung disease and cardiovascular disease” 1

and

“Your body absorbs 60 percent of what you put on your epidermis” 1

Lather up compadres!

There is, of course, nothing dangerous about the goods sold by Thrive.  The problem is that the vendor and its authors, in conjunction with astroturf “research” groups such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), engage in a feedback loop that uses EWG-produced materials to fear-monger consumers into buying Thrive products, with a portion of the proceeds going back to fund the astroturf research and organic food industry.4

As an added bonus (?) customers at organic markets such as Thrive pay higher prices for organic products that are have no demonstrable health benefits compared to their conventional counterparts.  Two for the price of three!

Thrive market is loaded with products that contain the very same ingredients that their lifestyle articles claim can kill you.  Type their name into the search box at BadScienceDebunked.com and do a little light reading.

So please: if you’re into the hippy lifestyle, buy a bar of One With Nature Dead Sea Soap in complete confidence. It’s totally safe.  Shower outside in fresh rainwater, aux naturale, with one or more friends and a unicorn.  Carbon black isn’t going to hurt you (though the unicorn might, if the horn gets misplaced during the shower).

Just don’t buy from Thrive Market.

 

References
(1) The 9 Worst Chemicals Hiding In Your Makeup
Warning: Not a scholarly link.  Contains false/misleading information
https://thrivemarket.com/blog/noxious-chemicals-in-makeup
Retrieved 02 Apr 2018

(2) One With Nature Dead Sea Mineral Soap, Lavender
https://thrivemarket.com/p/one-with-nature-dead-sea-mineral-soap-lavender
Retrieved 02 Apr 2018

(3) Thrive’s Plethora of Poisonous Powders (Bad Science Debunked)
https://badsciencedebunked.com/2016/08/25/thrives-plethora-of-poisonous-powders/
Retrieved 02 Apr 2018

(4) The Thrive/EWG Connection (Bad Science Debunked)
https://badsciencedebunked.com/2016/08/23/the-thrive-marketenvironmental-working-group-connection/
Retrieved 02 Apr 2018

Image Credits
Thrive Market screen snapshots, One With Nature product images 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.

Winnie the Pooh cartoon © Walt Disney Corporation. Author assumes/makes no copyright claims by linking to YouTube video. Linked under fair use/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.

Winnie the Pooh/Thrive Market mashup intro graphic by the author.  Produced and 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.

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.

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.

Natural News, Mike Adams Selling Even More GMOs

Mike adams (the health ranger)

Natural News founder Mike Adams is vehemently opposed to products that contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients, so why do we once again find him selling GMOs?

Consider, if you will, Ultimate Protector, made by Health Products Distributors of Tucson, Arizona, and offered by Adams’ Natural News online store.1  This “cell protection formula” uses genetically modified black soybeans.  Even though the bottle itself is labelled non-GMO,  I spoke with three Health Product Distributors representatives by phone, and again by email, and they confirmed that the company does indeed use GMO soy in several of their offerings, including Ultimate Protector.

 

ultimate defender from Natural News

Ultimate Defender capsules as seen on NaturalNews.com (click/enlarge)

As my grandma always said, you can’t swing a dead cat in the Natural News market without hitting a product that the self-styled Health Ranger falsely claims will harm you.  We already found him peddling GMOs back in July, 2016.2  In that same month, items that (by his definition) contain formaldehyde were found on his virtual shelves,3 even though he links the preservative to brain damage, cancer, and seizures.

label of Mike Adam's Ultimate Protector, showing the soy content

Yes Virginia,  Mike Adams’ products are made from GMO soy  (click/enlarge)

I used Natural News’ online chat utility to ask the company about their GMO sales, but the representative I spoke with was double parked in the no comment zone.

As we all know, there’s nothing to fear from GMOs, and Health Products Distributors (HPD), who Adams unintentionally and falsely maligns through his scientific illiteracy and poor research, should not be penalized because he happens to stock their wares.  HPD reps  were very open and patient with me during our phone calls and didn’t hold back when answering questions.  I’m skeptical of some of the “science” they quoted (such as being able to “strip antigens from the GMO ingredients” before adding them to the mix), but let’s not punish them for Mike Adams’ sins.

No one has ever shown GMOS to be dangerous, and let’s remember that the man claiming otherwise has graced us with “news” goodies such as a recent thermonuclear missile launch near Los Angeles:

FAKE NEWS from natural news and mike adams

THIS NEVER HAPPENED–but the Truth Train doesn’t make regular stops at Natural News Station.  Are you going to take advice on cancer from this site? (click/enlarge)

We can (and should) laugh at Mike Adams’ ridiculous claims about nukes, but what about  his fake news that leads innocent cancer patients away from real doctors, and into his den of deception (aka the “Health Ranger Store”).   Here, it’s time to get angry.  It’s not funny when someone loses a life, but that’s the path down which Mike Adams is leading us.

Join me in making 2017 the year of the #NaturalNonsense hashtag:  pledge not to share articles from NaturalNews.com, the web’s most blatant fake news web site.

Let’s close this piece with a laugh: head over to YouTube and watch Mike Adams and a puppet sing about not eating the very same GMOs they’re selling online!4

gmo song by mike adams

Don’t want to eat GMOs?  Take the damn things out of your store then Mike! (click/enlarge)

References

(1) Ultimate Protector capsules on Natural News
https://www.healthrangerstore.com/products/ultimate-protector-180-vcaps?variant=16535585793

(2) Mike Adams and Natural News are Peddling GMOs
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/mike-adams-and-natural-news-are-peddling-gmos/

(3) Unnatural News: The Health Ranger Sells Formaldehyde
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/unnatural-news-the-health-ranger-sells-formaldehyde/

(4) The (very hypocritical) Mike Adams GMO Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEVw5Jl4c2g

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.I can’t find a source for the original snake oil salesman snapshot that I Photoshopped with Adams’ image. I’m legally using it under the parody provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, but would love to credit the source if anyone can help me find it. A Google image search returned over 3 dozen hits, none with a definitive source

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.