NHS Chief Sir Simon Stevens has given a speech warning of the health risks posed by ‘fake news’ and making particular mention of Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop, and accompanying Netflix show, The Goop Lab.
As well as starring in the likes of Avengers: Endgame, Paltrow is the founder of “wellness and lifestyle” brand Goop, which is known for singing the praises of jade eggs and energy healing (not to mention selling out of vagina-scented candles).
Paltrow and her team recently launched The Goop Lab, a Netflix documentary in which, “leading with curiosity”, they tackle everything from exorcisms to the female orgasm.
Each episode is preceded by a Netflix warning that states: “The following series is designed to entertain and inform – not provide medical advice.”
In his speech, Stevens addressed “misleading claims online”, saying that “myths and misinformation have been put on steroids” by how readily available these claims are.
“While the term ‘fake news’ makes most people think about politics, people’s natural concern for their health, and particularly about that of their loved ones, makes this particularly fertile ground for quacks, charlatans, and cranks,” he added. “And now we have dubious ‘wellness’ products and dodgy procedures available on the web.”
The NHS Chief went on to call out Goop and Paltrow directly: “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.
“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 there is ‘no scientific evidence to suggest there are any health benefits associated with colonic irrigation’.”
The Goop Lab is currently available to stream on Netflix