Gwyneth Paltrow’s contextual trading company Goop continues to make more than a dozen false and misleading health claims about the medical products and nutritional supplements it sells, according to a letter of complaint from nonprofit advertising watchdog Truth in Advertising, Inc.
The fake health claims aren’t just potential dangers to consumers, they’re direct violations of a court order banning Goop from making such false and misleading claims, the watchdog claims.
That court order was part of a legal settlement that Goop entered in September 2018 to resolve a lawsuit filed by 10 California District Attorney offices. The prosecutors alleged that Paltrow’s “wellness empire” made several baseless medical claims about their products. In particular, the plaintiffs noted that Goop claimed without evidence that the infamous vaginal Jade Egg “could balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse and improve bladder control” and that a blend of essential oils (for oral consumption or for adding to bath water) can help prevent depression.
The prosecutors filed the lawsuit nearly a year after Truth in Advertising filed a complaint with state regulators documenting more than 50 unsubstantiated Goop medical claims.
Goop settled the claims and admitted no wrongdoing. It agreed to pay $145,000 in civil fines, offer refunds to customers who purchased the offending products, and consented to an order prohibiting it from making and/or distributing false or misleading statements about medical devices or nutritional supplements. More specifically, Goop is prohibited from making – express or implied – any claim that said products can diagnose, alleviate, treat, cure or prevent any disease unless the representation is not misleading and has approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
At the time, Goop said the misleading advertising was just an “honest disagreement” about the laws governing health claims. California regulators “helped us apply those laws to the content we published, and we appreciate their guidance on this matter as we move from a pioneer in the field to an established welfare authority,” said Erica Moore, Chief Financial Officer. from Goop, in a statement. pronunciation.
But according to Truth in Advertising, aka TINA.org, that guideline didn’t stick.
“Goop appears to have forgotten that it is legally required by a court order to refrain from deceptive marketing or, worse, knowingly violate it,” Bonnie Patten, executive director of TINA.org, said in a statement. “It’s outrageous that Goop continues to exploit health problems to make money.”
In its new letter of complaint to California prosecutors, TINA.org alleges that in more than a dozen cases, Goop is “deceptively marketing products that can treat and/or relieve symptoms of a variety of medical conditions, including anxiety, depression, OCD, hormonal imbalances and hair loss, as well as addressing the symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption.”
For example, Goop’s website makes claims that ingredients in two perfumes and two candles it sells can treat anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Goop claims that an herbal supplement can treat anxiety, and it still suggests in a product insert that the Jade Egg can treat hormonal imbalance.
Also note that TINA.org reports that Goop suggests that an $88 bottle of vitamins can treat conditions related to menopause and perimenopause, including hair loss and hormonal imbalance.
It’s also worth pointing out that the vitamins contain a potentially dangerous amount of biotin – 8.333% of the daily recommended amount. The FDA noted in an earlier safety notice that such high levels of biotin can interfere with clinical lab tests, such as those used to diagnose heart attacks. In fact, the FDA noted that it has “received a report that a patient taking high levels of biotin died after falsely low troponin test results.” [a biomarker for heart attacks] when a troponin test known to have biotin interference was used.”
Goop did not respond to Ars’s request for comment.