NY Times Hammers Anti-Vaxxer Joe Mercola. But ACSH Got There Much Sooner.

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Joe "Crazy Joe" Mercola was just targeted by the Times, which called him "The Most Influential Spreader of Coronavirus Misinformation Online." For Mercola this is probably a compliment since his rejection of science and medicine has enabled him to amass a $100 million fortune selling junk online. It was nice to see The Times weighing in – but they're a little late to the party. ACSH has been doing just this for more than a decade. Some examples of our work.

It was gratifying to see the New York Times take on Joe "Crazy Joe" Mercola, arguably the premier online peddler of bogus products and misinformation. Sheera Frenkel's article "The Most Influential Spreader of Coronavirus Misinformation Online," took down Mercola rather convincingly, but it took the paper long enough. ACSH has been hammering on "Crazy Joe" for years for the constant parade of nonsense theories and worthless products. Here are a few.

The Consequences of Homeopathic Estrogen in Swimming Pools (2019) 

It's well-known that 100 percent of swimming pools are peed in. We also know that estrogen (1) is excreted in the urine of women, especially those who take birth control pills. While the health effects of estrogen in the environment have long been debated, there is a general consensus that the lower the estrogen levels, the lower the risk. 

But this raises an existential quandary for homeopathy believers: how can the consensus about the environmental impact of estrogen hold up once homeopathic principles are applied? Since, in "Homeopathy World," more dilute solutions are more potent shouldn't lower levels of estrogen be more hazardous? Let's set up an experiment and see.

1. Soak Joe Mercola in a normal, peed-in swimming pool for one hour, then remove him.

2. Dry and record observations.

Photo: Mercola.com

3. Drain pool

4. Wipe pool dry with a towel so that >99.999% of the water along with the estrogen from urine is removed.

5. Add fresh, pee-free water to refill the pool.

6. Soak Joe Mercola in the pool for one hour, then remove and dry him. Record observations.

Photo credit: BeautifulCity99

Conclusion: While the estrogen in the normal pool had no apparent effect on Mercola, the pool containing little or no estrogen induced profound changes. Based on these observations we can only conclude that homeopathic principles are backed by sound data and must be correct. 

Other Phony Claims

The FDA has for years been swatting down Mercola for making false and misleading claims about products being sold on his website. Here are some random examples of "Mercola Junk" and my comments.

Curcumin and Cancer (2017)

JM: "Curcumin appears to be universally useful for just about every type of cancer."

JB: Curcumin is useless for any type of cancer and all of the other 13 conditions Mercola cites. I would rather drink soup made from LeBron James' sweat-drenched jockstrap than take anything that he sells.

Images: Mercola.com, MaxPixel.net

Sea Salt (2018) 

JM: "When you add more salt to your already salted food, your body receives more salt than it can dispose of."

JB: Translation: If you add too much salt to your food then your food will be too salty. Duh.

DEET (2016)

JM: "Think about it--if this chemical can kill mosquitoes, it can likely do some harm to other life forms too."

JB: A superb argument by any measure. With one exception – DEET doesn't kill mosquitos (unless you smush them with the bottle). It is a mosquito repellant, not an insecticide. 

Aspartame (2016)

JM: "Aspartame [is] By Far the Most Dangerous Substance Added to Most Foods Today"

JB: "About the only way that aspartame can kill you is if you were run over by a truck carrying the stuff. It is so non-toxic that it is difficult  to even find a dose that will kill lab animals. 

Also for aspartame:

JM: "A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to [aspartic] acid (2) damage include:...AIDS."

JB: This may be the dumbest thing I have ever read.

It should be fairly obvious by now that Joe Mercola has done far more than spew a bunch of garbage about COVID. No way. He's been spewing garbage about a seemingly endless list of topics that is just as inaccurate as his COVID misinformation. Just ask your fact-finding friends at ACSH. We're old Joe Pros.


(1) There is no such chemical as estrogen. It's a shortcut. Estrogens are a class of sexual hormones, the most physiologically important member being estradiol.

(2) Chemically, aspartame is made up of (and breaks down to) aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and a very small amount of methanol.