25Jun2017

NASA Debunked Gwyneth Paltrow’s Latest Snake Oil

 If you think Gwyneth Paltrow could stoop lower than selling jade eggs for the vagina, well, here’s a doozy. Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

If you think Gwyneth Paltrow could stoop lower than selling jade eggs for the vagina, well, here’s a doozy. Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest lifestyle snake oil is so bad, NASA was forced to debunk it. It kinda smacks of the old snake oil salesman’s pitches of a hundred years ago with a slightly new modern twist.

Paltrow’s lifestyle website Goop — the same site that brought you jade vagina eggs and overpriced vitamins — is now peddling a product called Body Vibes, wearable stickers that purport to “promote healing” and “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies.”

These stickers, which cost $60 for a pack of 10, will allegedly work magic on your body, including reducing inflammation, “boosting cell turnover,” and “smoothing out both physical tension and anxiety.” So where does their healing power come from? NASA space science, no less.

The aestheticians (yes, beauty care specialists!) who invented the Body Vibes stickers claim their products are made with “the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear.” This special technology uses “bio-frequency that resonates with the body’s natural energy field.”

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how wildly creative this is: Aestheticians took some fancy sticker materials, slapped healing claims on them, and then drew on space science to try to back up those claims.

“Wearable stickers that rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies have become a major obsession around Goop HQ.” Goop.com

NASA wasn’t having any of it. Gizmodo’s Rae Paoletta reached out to the space agency, asking about the science behind the stickers. NASA told Paoletta that spacesuits “do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits.” A former chief NASA scientist added, “What a load of BS this is.”

Goop has since removed the NASA claim from its site and released this statement:

As we have always explained, advice and recommendations included on goop are not formal endorsements and the opinions expressed by the experts and companies we profile do not necessarily represent the views of goop. Our content is meant to highlight unique products and offerings, find open-minded alternatives, and encourage conversation. We constantly strive to improve our site for our readers, and are continuing to improve our processes for evaluating the products and companies featured. Based on the statement from NASA, we’ve gone back to the company to inquire about the claim and removed the claim from our site until we get additional verification.

“Open-minded” may work in Paltrow’s Goop world, but it doesn’t work in science. Chemists, physicists, engineers, and astronauts carefully test hypotheses based on prior research, try to falsify those evidence-informed guesses through experimentation, and then throw out the claims that don’t pass muster. Goop has a right to sell “open-minded” woo, but it should stop trying to pass off its Goopshit as science.

Update, 6:30pm: In a statement, Body Vibes said they didn’t intend to mislead their fans, and that their NASA claim was supposedly based on a communication error between a company engineer and a distributor. “We regret not doing our due diligence before including the distributor’s information in the story of our product,” they said. “However, the origins of the material do not anyway impact the efficacy of our product.” Source:  Vox

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