A nonprofit watchdog group is accusing the website of false marketing that puts consumers at risk.
Earlier this week, the nonprofit Truth in Advertising (TINA) said that it conducted an investigation into Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle site, Goop. Its findings led them to file a complaint with two California district attorneys claiming that the public platform is making "inappropriate health claims" and using "deceptive marketing tactics." They hope that drawing attention to the negligence will urge lawmakers to shut down the site, or at least urge Goop to make significant changes to its content.
In its report, TINA says they found at least 50 instances where the site promoted products that "can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments, ranging from depression, anxiety, and insomnia, to infertility, uterine prolapse, and arthritis." And that's just to name a few. (Related: 82 Percent of Cosmetic Advertising Claims Are Bogus)
The TINA complaint piggybacks on several issues the brand has already faced. Last year, the National Advertising Division (NAD) opened an inquiry requesting that Goop back up its health claims for Moon Juice dietary supplements, sold on Goop.com. (You know, the stuff Gwyneth Paltrow puts in her $200 smoothie.) As a result, Goop voluntarily discontinued the claims in question.
GOOP BEAUTY// True beauty @Gwynethpaltrow talks natural grace, skincare and #goodcleangoop as she makes her Morning Smoothie with Moon Pantry Vanilla Mushroom Protein and Beauty Dust to keep the skin glowing, the brain activated and the immune system boosted. Thanks for the love, @goop! #moonfamily #thrivecosmically
The website was also under fire earlier this year when an ob-gyn's viral blog post called out its unsubstantiated promotion of vaginal jade eggs as a way to "tighten and tone," "intensify feminine energy," and "increase orgasm," among other claims. Dr. Jen Gunter called it "the biggest load of garbage she'd ever read" and wrote extensively about the precautions women should take before believing this kind of information. (The ob-gyn we spoke to about jade eggs had some pretty strong words to say about it, too.)
Just a few months ago, the site was criticized yet again for promoting "energy-balancing" body stickers and removed its claim after NASA experts publicly debunked the theory on Gizmodo.
TINA shares that Goop was provided the chance to improve and update its materials. However, Goop only made "limited changes," which is what motivated TINA to file an official complaint with lawmakers.
"Marketing products as having the ability to treat diseases and disorders not only violates established law but is a terribly deceptive marketing ploy that is being used by Goop to exploit women for its own financial gain. Goop needs to stop its misleading profits-over-people marketing immediately," TINA executive director Bonnie Patten said.
Goop has since responded to the complaint, telling E! News: "While we believe that TINA's description of our interactions is misleading and their claims unsubstantiated and unfounded, we will continue to evaluate our products and our content and make those improvements that we believe are reasonable and necessary in the interests of our community of users."
Whatever comes of this latest complaint, this serves as a great reminder not to trust everything you read, especially when it comes to your health.