Mercola—still lying after all these years

It’s no secret that I have no respect for Joe Mercola. Every time I read one of his promotional emails or make a visit to his website, I see more fantastic claims. Usually, I don’t see blatant lies…until now…

This guy likes to claim that he’s in the woo-peddling business to help people…it’s not about profit. This is clearly untrue. But other than his dissembling about his motives, I’ve never really checked his site for lies in particular…just silly, illogical falsehoods.

Today I got an email from Joe:

Why I Believe You Should Take Action NOW to Help Remove Potential Toxins from Your Body*…

Discover How this Green Food-Based Supplement Can Help You Reduce Toxins and Energize Your Health at the Same Time*

OK, this statement has so many modifiers that one can hardly call it a “lie” as such. Not only that, but those asterisks direct the reader to the usual “Quack Miranda Warning”. They aren’t the only asterisks on the page. He starts with the toxin/detox myth, with a patina of “green-ness”:

Despite most people’s best intentions, we still live in a very toxic world… we’re surrounded by toxins of all kinds, some worse than others.

The good news is — there are many “green” efforts underway around the globe to help us all make better life choices… to cause less impact to the earth.

Let’s face it, you’re continuously bombarded with toxic influences in your environment. That’s why it’s crucial for you to use environmentally-friendly products that cause less impact to our planet.

But even if you try to “go green” environmentally, you may still end up with unwanted toxins inside your body.

Going forward, I recommend that you commit yourself to eating all-natural unprocessed foods as much as possible. This should help limit your future exposure to environmental toxins.

Plus, it’s important for you to start removing as many impurities from your body as possible.

When it comes to removing toxins already in your system, I believe you need a smart treatment protocol to begin to detoxify your body as soon as possible.

First, it is not “important…to start removing…impurities.” That’s just imaginary bullshit. Of course, even if it were true, it can’t be as simple as eating right and exercising. Nope, he’s got something to sell us. His lawyers must be pretty good, because he did use “I believe” as a modifier, making it an opinion rather than a statement of fact.

Of course this statement:

“How You Can Detoxify with a Well-Researched Green Food-Based Formula”

…is also subjective; “well-researched” can mean anything, really. In this case, it means, “not really researched in any scientific way.”

Nearly every detox claim that follows has an asterisk, which is good, because it’s all bull. But he does footnote his claims, which is where he screws up.

His best example is this:

Boosts your immune system* Chlorella [his expensive extract] provides your body with an added defense mechanism*(4)

This claim, that Chlorella somehow “boots the immune system”, adds to the detox myth by layering on the “immune booster” myth. Not only does this statement rely on a myth, but his footnote completely contradicts his claim.

Footnote: (4)Halperin SA, et al, “Safety and immunoenhancing effect of a Chlorella-derived dietary supplement in healthy adults undergoing influenza vaccination: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” CMAJ. 2003 Jul 22;169(2):111-7–abstract:

Interpretation: The Chlorella-derived dietary supplement did not have any effect in increasing the antibody response to influenza vaccine in the overall study population, although there was an increase in antibody response among participants aged 50-55 years. Adverse events were similar among those receiving the supplement and the placebo. Further studies are warranted to explore the range of clinical effects resulting from ingestion of this dietary supplement.

Given that everything on Mercola’s site is a load of crap (albeit crap that has modifiers and disclaimers), why focus on one little lie?

Because that’s the one I caught. Anyone can make ridiculous medical claims. Anyone can try to sell you snake oil. And with all of the “I believe”s and “In my opinion”s, hey, it’s all good. But this type of sloppy research and/or outright deception escaped the proofreader. The fact that he would try to support his false claims with real medical literature, and get one easily verifiable fact wrong means that he holds you, the pigeon/reader in complete contempt.

He thinks you will buy his claims, mirandized, asterisked, modified and all, without bothering to look down at the bottom of the page. He thinks you are an idiot whose only purpose is to send him money. He is no better than a cult leader.

So be a sucker, if you want. Buy the algae. But don’t look to me for sympathy. Mercola warned you, gave you the tools to figure out his lies, and is counting on you to be stupid.

Caveat emptor, illegitimi non carborundum, and zie gezunt.