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.

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Food Babe General Mills Meme Refutation

Vani Hari, Queen of Hypocrisy, published a meme yesterday asking why General Mills donated $1.1 million to fight mandatory GMO labeling, when they “could have fed 350,000 low income children in Minnesota instead”.1

Vani, how do you feel about your affiliate, Dr. Bronner, donating nearly twice that amount ($1.8 million) to support the labeling?2

Food Babe, who sells Dr. Bronner products in her online store, missed something

Food Babe, who sells Dr. Bronner products in her online store, somehow missed the fact he donated nearly twice General Mills’ amount to fight for unnecessary labeling. (click/enlarge)

Here’s Food Babe’s original meme.  You do the math.  If GM could have fed 350,000 low income kids for $1.1 million, how many children could she and Bronner fed with their $1.8 million?

vani hari General Mills meme

Vani Hari slams General Mills for a smaller donation than her affiliate company made in the same battle. 2     (click/enlarge)

 

Why doesn’t Food Babe criticize Dr. Bronner?  Let’s take a peek at her online store and see if we can find any clues.3

food babe dr bronner

Food Babe (Vani Hari) is smart enough not to bite the hand that feeds her. (click/enlarge)

 

Image Credits
Food Babe and Dr. Bronner screen captures used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

References
(1) Food Babe Meme
https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe/posts/1051534388214605:0

(2) Dr. Bronner’s Donation
http://votersedge.org/washington/ballot-measures/2013/november/i-522/funding?jurisdictions=28%2C26%2C28-upper-wa&city=Redmond&state=WA&utm_source=VE-WA-GMO%20Labeling&utm_campaign=VE-WA-I522&utm_medium=email#.VgFqe865WOg

(3) Food Babe Online Store
http://foodbabe.com/shop/for-your-beauty/

Why Is Food Babe Selling a Product With BHT?

Author’s note: after this article was written, Vani Hari initially (loudly) denied the BHT sales before quietly removing the featured product from her web site.  She sold a BHT-laden product for nearly 3 years, all the while telling her followers she used it daily (and urging them to read labels). A follow-up article detailing the purchase of the product from her web site is available here.  You can read a debunking of her denials here.

 

Why is Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) harassing Kellogg’s and General Mills because their cereals contain BHT, when she’s earning a sales commission on a product that contains BHT?  She specifically warns her readers to avoid BHT in beauty products!

I’ve been reporting for several months now on the hypocrisy and double standards of Food Babe, who sells a wide range of products that contain the very same ingredients she says are dangerous.  But this one takes the cake.  In a well-timed publicity stunt in preparation for the release of her new book in 4 days’ time, Hari has rallied her “Food Babe Army” against Kellogg’s and General Mills because their cereal contains Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT),1 a preservative considered safe by the FDA.

Well, guess what else contains BHT?  The Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish sold by Vani Hari on FoodBabe.com.  Here’s a screen snapshot from her web site:2

food babe shopping

Foodbabe.com shopping page featuring the BHT-laden Fresh “Brown Sugar Body Polish”.  Click image to enlarge.

Let’s put on our official Food Babe Investigator HatsTM and go over to Amazon.com and look at the ingredients of this body polish (click image to enlarge):3

brown sugar ingredients

Sugar Bath “Brown Sugar Body Bath” ingredients. Click to enlarge.

We can zoom in for emphasis:

bht zoom

It matters not that you’re putting this on your skin instead of eating it.  Hari specifically says to avoid BHT in all beauty products:4

“Next – do this crucial step to become educated about what is lurking in those beauty products. Check the list below to find out if any of your products contain these dirty dozen chemicals.

1. BHA and BHT. Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives.  Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.”

Hari did finally get something right–depending on the chemical characteristics of a compound, you’d be right to worry about absorption via the skin–but the fact she’s staging a publicity stunt over BHT without ever checking the ingredients of her own products… well… what was it you said, Vani?

“I shake my head in disbelief.”

Yes, that’s it.

After this article was published on February 6, Vani Hari tweeted the following denial.  She directs followers to the Fresh.com website for product information:

food babe tweet

Food Babe directs followers to Fresh.com for authoritative product information. I purchased this exact product and it does contain BHT.  Click image to enlarge.

 

So on February 7, in the interest of fairness,  I purchased the exact product displayed on Fresh.com, the authoritative source as per Food Babe’s tweet.5  The product is clearly labelled as containing BHT.  Images are below.  Click any photo to enlarge:

box1

Original box.

receipt

My receipt

ingredients

Ingredients. Note the BHT.

product

Contents. Compare to Fresh.com.

upc code

UPC code.

 

The Forgotten Part of This Discussion
Food Babe has attacked Kellogg’s and General Mills because they are companies selling products that contain BHT.  Yet you can’t swing a dead cat in a room full of “Fresh” products without hitting one that contains the additive.  I picked four items at random and hit three: the Soy Face Cleanser,6 Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream,7 and Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask.8  Alert readers have found at least 9, and I’ll be linking them all with screen snapshots in future updates.

Why is it OK for a self-styled activist to attack companies over a supposedly “dangerous” additive while at the same time openly earning sales commissions from a company selling at least ten products that contain that same additive?

It’s important to stress that Fresh.com is not the villain here, and I strongly urge readers to not behave in the manner of the “Food Babe Army”.  Please–no silly petition drives, spamming of an innocent company’s web site or Facebook page, etc.  We’re better than this.  According to the currently available science, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and Fresh are using a safe ingredient in their products.

Finally, I’d like to mention that I left the following message on Food Babe’s web page with a link to this article, hoping for a clarification and giving her a chance to respond:

“May I respectfully ask why you are selling products that contain BHT when you say it is so dangerous?”

My post was deleted within 3 minutes and I was banned from posting on her page.

I don’t believe in censorship, and welcome debate and dialogue on the subject. Thanks for reading.

 

Edited for Clarity:
The initial article used Hari’s statements about putting any “toxic” chemical on your skin to assert that she would not support using a beauty product containing BHT.  It has been updated to include a specific statement from Hari stating that beauty products containing BHT should not be used.4

 

References
(1) “Kellogg’s & General Mills: Drop the BHT From Your Cereal”
http://foodbabe.com/cereal/

(2) Food Babe Shopping Page (“For Your Beauty”)
NOTE:  Ms. Hari deleted the Brown Sugar Polish from this page on the evening of Feb 7, 2015–Please see screen snapshots in article.
http://foodbabe.com/shop/for-your-beauty/

(3) Fresh “Brown Sugar Body Bath” on Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Z5Y4S4

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

(5) Fresh BHT-Free Link
http://www.fresh.com/US/body-exfoliant/brown-sugar-body-polish/BrownSugarBodyPolish.html#q=brown%2Bsugar&start=1&cgid=null

(6) Soy Face Cleanser
http://www.fresh.com/US/cleansing/soy-face-cleanser/H00001408.html#start=5&cgid=cleanser

(7) Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream
http://www.fresh.com/US/rose/rose-hydrating-eye-gel-cream/H00003060.html#start=2&cgid=eyecare

(8) Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask
http://www.fresh.com/US/mask/black-tea-instant-perfecting-mask/H00001466.html#start=2&cgid=mask

(9) The Web Never Forgets: Sources for BHT in Fresh Brown Sugar
https://www.evernote.com/shard/s13/sh/091edc33-38b7-4fca-aba7-f4dde7d8a9b3/17da96036caaabfe

 

Image Credits
Amazon.com, Sugar Bath, and 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.

 

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