Gwyneth Paltrow, whose prescriptions for healthy living sometimes raise the ire of health experts, has run afoul of the United Kingdom’s advertising watchdog, over her latest claims about products sold on her Web site Goop.
The UK’s National Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority is investigating a complaint brought by a non-profit group that combats “pseudoscience.”
It charges that many products endorsed by Paltrow and sold on her Web site are dangerous to use.
“It is shocking to see the sheer volume of unproven claims made by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop about their products, especially given that some of their health advice is potentially dangerous,” said Laura Thomason, project manager at the Good Thinking Society.
Paltrow has found herself in hot water over health claims more than once.
Celebrity Health & Fitness reported two years ago she advocating a purported ancient Chinese method to increase orgasms that drew strong health warnings from doctors. It involved placing a small, smooths stone in a woman’s vagina to improve orgasms and balance hormones.
Jen Gunter, a San Francisco obstetrician and gynecologist, called the idea “the biggest load of garbage” since vaginal steaming, also, incidentally, recommended by Paltrow.
Last month, Goop agreed to pay $145,000 and refund purchases of its vaginal stones as part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the California Food, Drug, and Medical Device Task Force.
Earlier this year, Paltrow promoted a device and procedure called the “Implant-O-Rama System At Home Coffee Enema.” The device is used to inject coffee in your butt to cleanse the rectum, large intestines and purportedly the liver. But health experts called the claims “utter nonsense.”
Now, the Good Thinking Society, a non-profit charity that campaigns against pseudoscience, told CNBC that it is taking Paltrow and Goop to task before the Authority.
The news was first reported by London’s Sunday Times newspaper.
The group asserts that Goop’s “wellness” products are advertised misleadingly and make “potentially harmful,” according to the complaint.
The products, it continues “could cause direct harm” and that some of the firm’s health claims about its supplement products are “unauthorized.”
The charity listed 113 examples of Goop’s advertising that violate the law.
In one example of potentially harmful advice, Goop recommends supplements for pregnant women that contain Vitamin A, counter to advice from the UK’s National Health Service and the World Health Organization.
“Gwyneth Paltrow may well have good intentions, but she and her company sell products with claims that could clearly mislead customers. Just because Gwyneth has an Academy Award, it does not mean that Goop should be given an easy ride compared to other big corporations. Being a celebrity does not exempt someone from abiding by the advertising law here in the U.K., and if Gwyneth Paltrow cannot provide satisfactory evidence behind the claims she makes for her products, she should not be making those claims.”
Susan Beck, senior vice president science and research at Goop, told The Huffington Post, the recommended vitamin supplement is safe, if used as directed.