As we all know by now, Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Goop has developed quite a reputation for selling and recommending snake oil cures and practices — many of which could land you in the ER were you to actually use them. (Looking at you, vaginal steaming!)
TINA took an in-depth look at the products sold by Goop and found several examples of absurd, medically inaccurate claims:
- Goop’s Carnelian crystal “treats infertility,” in addition to “eas[ing] period cramps, temper[ing] PMS, regulat[ing] menstrual cycles,…and address[ing] shame around female body parts and sexual trauma
- Grounding (i.e., walking barefoot outdoors, or indoors using one of several Goop promoted “earthing gear” products) cures insomnia, reduces inflammation, provides relief from crippling arthritis, reduces chronic pain, speeds healing, reduces stress, and helps with depression, among other things.
- Goop’s “[j]ade eggs can…prevent uterine prolapse,” among other things.
- Goop’s essential oils can “help tremendously with chronic issues from anxiety and depression to migraines.”
- Goop’s Black Rose Bar is “brilliant for treating acne, eczema, and psoriasis.”
- Goop’s Eau De Parfum: Edition 02 – Shiso contains ingredients that improve memory, treat colds, and work as antibiotics.
- Goop’s Aromatic Stress Treatment “can help release anxiety” and “treats the nerves (it’s been shown to help alleviate panic attacks).”
- Products promoted at Goop’s June 2017 conference in Los Angeles can provide relief from migraines, depression, insomnia, and panic attacks.
In other words… SNAKE OIL, SNAKE OIL, SNAKE OIL! (Which, by the way, I recently discovered is a thing people still sell… to idiots.)
Following this investigation, on August 17, TINA sent a letter to Goop notifying them of the findings, suggesting that they “remedy the deceptive practices immediately.” By August 22, the site had made only a limited number of changes, spurring TINA to contact the California District Attorney’s office and advise them to “take appropriate enforcement action.”
Last month, Goop issued a newsletter fiercely defending their right to sell these kinds of products. They also accused doctors who were skeptical of their claims — Dr. Jen Gunter in particular — of “marginalizing” the women who used them.
There is much in Western medicine to marvel at. But where we have found our primary place is in addressing people, women in particular, who are tired of feeling less-than-great, who are looking for solutions — these women are not hypochondriacs, and they should not be dismissed or marginalized.
Asking questions is the job of all of us; it is also the job of the doctors and scientists who collectively move our health forward. There is much that we do not know. It is unfortunate that there are some who seem to believe that they already know it all, who pre-judge information before they’ve even taken the time to read or understand it, who believe that there is actually nothing left to learn, who believe that they, singularly, own the truth. That is troubling, and that is dangerous.
Ah, yes…The poor, extremely rich white women fetishizing “Eastern” medicine are being “dismissed” and “marginalized.” Either that or they’re being cynically taken advantage of by a company that knows that they can pretty much sell them any kind of crap for any amount of money so long as they ascribe “mystical” attributes to it.
Important to note here is the “just asking questions” rubric, often employed by Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists to justify the bullshit they peddle. Just another thing those two have in common. It’s a way of cynically appealing to people’s desire to think they have an “open mind,” then filling it with things that are categorically untrue.
While some might think that the products offered by Goop are harmless New Age crap, we have laws about selling these kinds of products and making these kinds of false claims for a reason: consumers need to be able to make educated decisions about what they buy. If we wouldn’t stand for the makers of Tylenol claiming their product cures cancer, Gwyneth shouldn’t be able to tell people her special crystals can cure “infertility,” or that her perfume can cure the common cold, unless she can damn well prove it.