Gwyneth Paltrow‘s website Goop is notorious for selling overpriced, ineffective remedies for all your healthcare needs — everything from jade eggs for your vagina to vitamins that treat conditions that aren’t even real.
For a long time, OB/GYN Dr. Jen Gunter has been one of the most vocal critics of this pseudoscience, and it got to the point where “Team goop” had to respond. So earlier this month, the website posted a letter with endorsements from two doctors, Steven Gundry and Aviva Romm (below).
Here’s how the site introduced the article:
Encouraging discussion of new ideas is certainly one of our goals, but indiscriminate attacks that question the motivation and integrity of the doctors who contribute to the site is not. This is the first in a series of posts revisiting these topics and offering our contributing M.D.’s a chance to articulate theirs, in a respectful and substantive manner.
Gundry got most of the attention from that post because of his absurd old-man-yelling-at-cloud attack on tomatoes.
But here’s where it gets really good.
It turns out Dr. Romm is now going on the record to say she never gave a blanket endorsement of Goop at all. Speaking with STAT‘s Megan Thielking, Romm even said Goop was in danger of becoming a “caricature of everything alternative health for women.”
“I don’t think everything in there is necessarily evidence-based or effective,” said Romm, who lives in Massachusetts and runs a small practice in New York City.
She added: “I’m not one of these integrative doctors who basically just because it’s alternative thinks it’s safe and good. I try to keep my doctor thinking cap on as well.”
Goop asked her to submit a quote addressing the criticism. She responded that she couldn’t endorse the site, but she could share her thoughts on women’s wellness. That’s how she came to write the open letter which Goop later published as “A word from our doctors.”
To be sure, Romm believes a lot of unscientific, unverified nonsense. She sells herbal supplements for “adrenal health” and supports detoxing. So it’s not like she has much credibility outside Paltrow’s bubble. But you know things are bad when a peddler of pseudoscience says your website misleads people.
“I can’t endorse Goop, in that … just because [products are] natural or organic, doesn’t mean that they’re beneficial for women,” she said. “Just because it hasn’t been proven harmful and it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. We can’t just say that that’s sort of the default position.”
So… one of the two doctors Goop trotted out to show they have support from people who totally know what they’re talking about now says she can’t endorse Goop. Not in full, anyway. Not all the stuff people typically make fun of.
It’s not a bad move. After all, why should readers buy Goop’s Cans O’Bullshit when Romm is selling the same products on her own site?
We know oil and water don’t mix. Neither do different kinds of snake oil.
(Screenshot via YouTube)