Gwyneth Paltrow was recently interviewed by the BBC about GOOP’s British invasion. She was asked about the criticisms of a “Canadian Gynecologist” and about much of GOOP’s products and health advice being categorized as pseudoscience.
I am not the only person to suggest there are a variety of dubious and unsupported medical recommendations and therapies promoted or sold on GOOP, although I do seem to be the one who irritates them the most.
I like the definition of pseudoscience from Wikipedia: statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual, but are incompatible with the scientific method.
Regarding the pseudoscience claims Paltrow said, “We disagree with that wholeheartedly. I think any time that you’re trying to move the needle and you’re trying to empower women, you know you find resistance and that’s just part of what we do and we’re proud to do it, we’re proud to be trailblazing”
And a “conventional Western doctor that might not believe necessarily in the healing powers of essential oils or any variety of acupuncture – things that have been tried and tested for hundreds of years.”
But also, “When you’re a start-up, you have to learn on the job unfortunately.”
Medical care is not belief-based. That’s religion.
Empowerment is not offering untested therapies or therapies we know dont work or that could be harmful, such as colonics, supplements, or advice from a ghost.
Trailblazing is not learning on the job.
Valid criticism from an expert is not resistance.
Standing behind your content doesn’t mean removing it, which is what happened with the jade egg posts. Some Twitter internet sleuths (I really feel this blog is a collective effort) double checked for me and all three reached the same conclusion. The original one, “Jade eggs for your Yoni”, was removed sometime after August 16 and the follow-up, “12 (More) Reasons to start a jade egg practice,” on August 2.
But they are still selling the jade eggs.
Was removing the posts a requirement of the lawsuit? Was GOOP having second thoughts about taking the advice of a jade eggthusiast and a woman who got her jade egg certificate from an institute she founded?
It would be nice if the BBC actually asked some questions, for example, how specifically do jade eggs cultivate female energy? Or why would you tell women that bras could cause breast cancer? Or what is the risk of bowel perforation with colonics?
Interestingly, GOOP did not remove the post that said I was super mean and potty mouthed when I pointed out vaginal rocks that can be recharged by the moon are a path to a painful pelvic floor and toxic shock syndrome.
I am not actually that curious — I am pretty sure that post is still up there because they hate me.
If Paltrow believes GOOP’s content is not pseudoscience then they are either A) based on a sound hypotheses or data or B) are belief-based and so religious, not medical.
I present a list of some therapies, ideas, and products for sale on GOOP.com as of October that have no basis in medical science, have been specifically disproven, or are just so ridiculous they could not be studied ethically:
- Hair testing for “heavy metals”
- Chelation for heavy metals
- Supplements, minerals, or vitamins outside of pregnancy (folic acid is still recommended) or for a known deficiency (think iron deficiency)
- Jade eggs for anything medical
- Coffee enemas
- Sea sponges inserted vaginally for menstruation
- Bras causing breast cancer
- Health advice from a ghost (there are several posts on ghostly recommendations from the Medical Medium, including the idea that thyroid disease is due to Epstein Barr Virus — that ghost is not a good doctor).
- Vitamin B12 injections for women who are not diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency (offered at In GOOP Health)
- Adrenal fatigue as a diagnosis.
- Goat’s milk for non-existent parasites
- That water can be sonically tuned and can contain moonlight and this will repel psychic vampires
- That you can balance hormones by touching plants
- Putting a rock on your abdomen to treat PMS
As a side note, none of these therapies that I have railed against have been “tried and tested for hundreds of years.” For example, the structure of vitamin B12 wasn’t known until the 1950s and coffee enemas are less than 100 years old.
Perhaps GOOP’s new researcher is going to do a clinical trial on the benefits of asking a ghost for advice versus asking a wall? Or study the effects of colonic coffee on mood? Or establish the antiparasitic activity of goat’s milk?
I look forward to their research.
In the meantime, you can’t claim your therapies are valid medically and offer no concrete supporting data and the next reporter to interview Paltrow should actually ask her for proof.
“Ancient” is not an explanation, it’s an excuse.