Pseudoscience 28 October 2018 | 17:07

Bye bye, Gwyneth

28 October 2018 17:07

Good scoop in The Sunday Times, which reveals that Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘wellness’ brand Goop has been reported to UK regulators over alleged breaches of advertising legislation.

According to the Good Thinking Society, a charity that champions scientific thinking, Goop issues ‘potentially dangerous’ advice concerning ‘unproven’ health products. The society’s report to National Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority cites more than 113 alleged breaches of advertising laws.

To take an especially egregious example: Goop’s the Mother Load (£88) is a ‘top-of-the-line natal protocol’ – whatever that means – that apparently contains 110 per cent of the recommended ‘daily value’ of vitamin A for adults. This, in spite of the fact that the NHS and World Health Organisation both warn expectant women not to take supplements containing vitamin A because of the potential risk to the unborn child.

The sheer arrogance that underpins the marketing of such a product to pregnant women is breathtaking. DRUGSTORE CULTURE takes a stern line on the pseudoscience behind so-called ‘alternative medicine’ and the toxic brew of snake oil and celebrity that enables businesses such as Goop to market nonsense to customers who are keen only to improve the quality of their lives.

In September, Goop agreed to pay $145,000 in damages to settle false claims made about its products, after a suit filed by district attorneys in California over the company’s assertion that jade and rose quartz vaginal eggs could provide women with a ‘spiritual detox ‘ and that essential oils could ‘prevent depression’.

The greatest mistake made about these junk cures is the claim that they are, at worst, harmless. Not so: genuine scientific research has shown that cancer patients who use so-called ‘complementary medicine’ are twice as likely to die before the five-year mark. Those that buy into the New Age nonsense peddled by narcissistic celebrities are much more likely to refuse conventional treatment like resection, chemo and radiotherapy.

In every sense, Paltrow’s approach to well-being represents the past – a speed-bump in the quest by humanity for true wellness. That quest is now proceeding at an exhilarating pace in the fields of health tech, biometric data, bespoke exercise plans, state-of-the art nutrition advice and algorithmically-devised medication programmes. This is the future. It’s good to see the old and fraudulent being consigned to the dustbin of history where it belongs.