Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop condemned by NHS head for promoting products ‘carrying considerable risks to health’

Sabrina Barr
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Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, has been criticised by the head of the NHS for promoting treatments that can be detrimental to health.

The criticism comes following the release of The Goop Lab on Netflix, a television programme produced and hosted by Paltrow, which sees the actor explore a variety of wellness issues and treatments.

On Thursday, while delivering a speech at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, highlighted the "dubious wellness products and dodgy procedures" that are available for consumers online.

Dr Stevens stressed that the speed at which inaccurate health claims can be spread on the internet has put "myths and misinformation on steroids".

"Fresh from controversies over jade eggs and unusually scented candles, Goop has just popped up with a new TV series, in which Gwyneth Paltrow and her team test vampire facials and back a 'bodyworker' who claims to cure both acute psychological trauma and side effects by simply moving his hands two inches above a customer's body," Sir Stevens stated.

"Gwyneth Paltrow's brand peddles 'psychic vampire repellant'; says 'chemical sunscreen is a bad idea'; and promotes colonic irrigation and DIY coffee enema machines, despite them carrying considerable risks to health and NHS advice clearly stating that there is 'no scientific evidence to suggest there are any health benefits associated with colonic irrigation'."

Dr Stevens expressed concern over the distance "fake news" can spread across the globe.

"While fake news used to travel by word of mouth – and later the Caxton press – we all know that lies and misinformation can now be round the world at the touch of a button – before the truth has reached for its socks never mind got its boots on," he said.

"Myths and misinformation have been put on steroids by the availability of misleading claims online."

Dr Stevens added that while "fake news" is typically associated with politics, in recent times it has become increasingly affiliated with health.

"People's natural concern for their health, and particularly that of their loved ones, makes this particularly fertile ground for quacks, charlatans, and cranks," he said.

In September 2018, it was reported that Goop had agreed to pay a settlement of more than £100,000 after making unscientific claims about the health benefits of vaginal eggs.

To read what The Independent thought of Paltrow's The Goop Lab, click here.

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