Happy Friday! As is our custom here at Bad Science Debunked, Friday means a freshly printed paycheck has been pocketed, which in turn leads to yet another shopping spree at FoodBabe.com. Those of you who have followed this series for any length of time are aware that we’ve had some amazing finds. If you’re a first-timer, let me caution you that we evaluate the safety of our prospective purchases according to rules set forth by Vani Hari (the Food Babe) herself. For example…
In her article, “Holistic Hair Care–How & Why”,1 the Food Babe makes an amazing claim about the safety of Aubrey Organics hair care products. In doing so, Hari’s mouth writes a check that a certain product label can’t cash:
All Aubrey Organic hair care products are safe? Alright then, let’s put on those Food Babe Investigator HatsTM we’ve had hanging on the hall coat rack and examine this bold statement. First, we’ll pick a product: perhaps this bottle of Aubrey Organics GBP Balancing Protein Conditioner.2
Seems innocent enough, right? Hold onto your pants. And your credit cards. With both hands. Before we discover the hidden dangers (according to Vani) in this product, we need to take a step back and talk about hummus.
Yes, hummus. (Thanks for asking.) Tell us something frightening about the ingredients in off-the-shelf hummus, won’t you Vani? (emphasis mine) 3
“Sodium Benzoate is another preservative added to commercial hummus – when combined with Vitamin C this can produce benzene that has been known to cause Leukemia and other cancers. It’s a small risk this may happen, but why should the consumer be put at risk in the first place?”3
Gee golly Bob! Sodium benzoate combined with vitamin C can produce benzene and cause leukemia? We’d better steer clear of this dangerous combination!
Oh, I almost forgot. What about the ingredients in the hair care product that Vani is selling? You remember, the one from Aubrey Organics, who makes those “entirely safe” hair care products? 2
The sodium benzoate could not be more clearly labeled; the same goes for ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C. For added effect, we have extract of grapefruit, a fruit rich in vitamin C.4 Here on this label, on a hair care product that received a full pardon from Food Babe against any future charges of toxicity, we have the very two compounds that she links to leukemia in her hummus article.
But does Vani Hari receive a “get out of jail free card” because she wrote about sodium benzoate/Vitamin C cancer dangers in food, and we are instead talking about hair care products? Answer: No. I always like to let Food Babe speak for herself on these issues (emphasis mine):
Your skin is your largest organ! What you put on your hair, is absorbed into your blood through your scalp and face. Nurture it, be kind to it, and most importantly LOVE it!1
So there you have it. Buy this hair care product via Food Babe’s affiliate link (finance her next vacation!), slather some sodium benzoate & vitamin C on your hair where it’ll be absorbed into your blood, and find yourself unable to sleep at night from fear you’re going to develop leukemia.
Or, consider the fact that we’re now rapidly approaching a total of four dozen products sold by Vani Hari that contain the same “toxic” ingredients she warns about. Maybe, just maybe, a few people are eventually going to catch on to the fact that they’re being taken for a very expensive ride.
In reality, there’s nothing dangerous about this conditioner, or anything else Food Babe denigrates. To the best of my knowledge, Aubrey Organics has a shiny safety record and I’d recommend buying their products with wild abandon, if you’re so inclined.
Just don’t buy them from Food Babe.
Food Babe and Aubrey Organics screen snapshots 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.
(1) Holistic Hair Care–How & Why?
(2) Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner 11oz
(3) Why Aren’t You Making Your Own Hummus?
(4) USDA Nutrition Database: Search for “Grapefruit”