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Goop reported for “potentially dangerous” health advice
courtesy of Instagram/@goop

Goop reported for “potentially dangerous” health advice


TextAlex Peters

Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness company has been reported for alleged breach of advertising laws and misleading claims

Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness and lifestyle company, has been reported to the UK’s National Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority over 113 alleged breaches of advertising law.

The Good Thinking Society, a non-profit charity that promotes scientific thinking and campaigns against pseudoscience, has accused Goop of making misleading claims about products, giving “potentially dangerous” health advice, and encouraging customers to “use products which could cause direct harm.”   

The complaint, seen by The Sunday Times and CNBC, also goes on to allege that some of Goop’s health claims about its supplements are “unauthorised.” Goop product “The Mother Load,” for example, is advertised as a “top-of-the-line natal protocol” with 69 percent of the daily value of vitamin A for pregnant women. However, both the NHS and the World Health Organisation advise against taking vitamin A supplements during pregnancy, with the NHS stating on its website “having large amounts of vitamin A can harm your unborn baby...avoid taking supplements that contain vitamin A.”  

These claims have been countered by Goop. Susan Beck, the company’s Senior Vice President of Science and Research, told CNBC on Monday that the Mother Load supplements contain less than the NHS recommended daily intake of vitamin A per day. “When used as recommended, goop’s the Mother Load supplements are safe during pregnancy…the package contains a warning that pregnant women should not consume more than 10,000 IU vitamin A daily due to risk of birth defects...All pregnant women need vitamin A.”  

This is not the first time Goop has faced legal action over its products. In September of this year, the company settled a $145,00 lawsuit with regulatory authorities in California over a vaginal detox jade egg sold on the website, which it claimed could balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles and prevent uterine prolapse. Prosecutors from the California Food, Drug, and Medical Device Task Force said the claims “were not supported by competent and reliable science.” As well as the fine, Goop was ordered to refund the full price of both the jade and rose quartz eggs to customers, as well as a flower essence oil they claimed could help prevent depression.   

The company has also been at the centre of numerous other controversies in the ten years since it was founded. Last year The New York Times reported that Conde Nast ended their relationship with Goop in part because of the wellness company’s lack of fact-checking. In August, Goop responded by hiring a team of scientists to set guidelines for the products it sells, with the goal of “full transparency.” Susan Beck, a nutritional scientist, was one of the hires for the team.

In 2015, Goop came under fire from the medical community for recommending women to steam-clean their vaginas. Vaginas are self-cleaning and heating them above regular body temperature creates a breeding environment for unwanted bacteria and yeasts such as candida which thrive on warm, damp conditions. More recently, the Goop website posted an article which claimed: “there’s little evidence to support the (many) claims that sunscreen helps prevent cancer.”

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