For the most part, the scientific world simply laughs at Mike Adams, the self-proclaimed
“Health Ranger”. Adams’ web site, Natural News, regularly publishes supermarket tabloid-style articles on topics such as life on Mars being wiped out by ancient aliens, World War III possibly already being underway, and both 9/11 and the Sandy Hook massacre being hoaxes. And who can forget this side-splitting video1 of Adams and a puppet expressing (in song) their scientific illiteracy about GMOs?
But there’s a serious, darker side to The Ranger. In addition to spouting medical misinformation that could actually cost real human lives, such as the well-debunked view that vaccines are dangerous and pushing ineffective holistic cancer cures, Mike Adams is selling merchandise that contains the very same chemicals he claims will kill you.
To illustrate this last point, let’s go shopping at NaturalNews.com. Having been bent over in the garden doing a lot of weeding these past few weeks, my back is killing me. The Health Ranger promises that this bottle of NutraCool topical pain relief formula will cure what ails me:2
Before I buy though, I’m keen to take the advice of Mr. Adams and learn what’s in the product I’m considering putting on my body. If you read Natural News regularly, there are supposedly a lot of sneaky toxic chemicals out there in the cold cruel world–not all of them sitting out in plain sight. Why, here… check out this advice on hidden formaldehyde in cosmetics and skin care products:
“Formaldehyde is a highly toxic chemical that is still used under the guise of different ingredient names that don’t include “formaldehyde” in the title in a large number of products that are frequently in close contact with consumers.” 3
One of those devious, hidden formaldehyde sources, according to the Health Ranger? Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. This compound is sometimes used as a preservative in cosmetics, much to the chagrin of astroturf “consumer advocate” sites quoted by Adams, such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which warns that sodium hydroxymethylglycinate can slowly release formaldehyde into cosmetics over time.
Why might this matter to Mike Adams?
“Formaldehyde is highly effective as a preservative; however, it is also highly toxic to our immune system, nervous system and is also a major carcinogen.” 3
Health Ranger says to avoid sodium hydroxymethylglycinate in personal care products and links it to myriad diseases. Do you see where this is going? Maestro, cue the ominous drum roll. Let’s even add some scary claps of thunder, because this is going to be big. Without further ado, I present the ingredients in the UltraCool pain relief gel sold by NaturalNews.com:2
As Minnie Mouse said to Mickey on their wedding night: Eek! There it is in all its glory… sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. The chemical compound Natural News links via formaldehyde to cancer, neurotoxicity, and immune system disfunction is a prominent ingredient in the company’s merchandise.
If Mike Adams is a health “Ranger”, his (moral) compass doesn’t appear to be pointing due north.
A disturbing trait of snake oil salesmen is how openly they run their con games while going unnoticed by their marks. You might forgive an unsuspecting customer for missing the sodium hydroxymethylglycinate buried deep on a web page, but Natural News also proudly displays the additive on the product label, complete with a magnifying glass feature. You can’t miss it if you try. See the following image (click to enlarge).
So NaturalNews wants me to rub this pain-relief lotion all over my skin, even though it contains an additive they’ve linked to cancer? Let’s pause one last time and let Mike Adams “educate” us on the wisdom of this action:
Given the fact that just about everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream…5
Gee, thanks Mike.
This is just one of many (upcoming) examples of a web site/Facebook page misleading nearly two million followers. Chuckle over Natural News’ featherbrained conspiracy theories, yes. But don’t fall for or spread their potentially fatal lies about the dangers of vaccines and GMOS (read: they’re safe). And by all that’s holy, don’t spend your hard-earned money in the Health Ranger’s online store. When an unqualified, self-styled “expert” such as Adams tells us to avoid “formaldehyde-releasing” cosmetic ingredients and then sells eight ounces of the very same for $29.95–shame on us for buying.
(1) Just Label It Song
(2) NutralCool on NaturalNews.com Store
(3) Four Common Formaldehyde Releasers to Avoid in Your Cosmetics and Skin Care (NaturalNews.com)
(4) NaturalNews.com: Chemicals in Skin Care Products
Natural News and Mike Adams/Health Ranger screen and product snapshots are used in strict accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.
Opening photo parody/illustration by Mark Alsip/Bad Science debunked. Produced with elements (c) Natural News; also used instrict accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.