Natural News isn’t the only website that attacks science and reason on a regular basis. They are legion. I could provide long lists, but I won’t.
The site that appears most often as “evidence” for questionable health claims is mercola.com. Dr. Joseph Mercola is not as vile as Mike Adams of Natural News, but he’s very much an anti-science, anti-health and pro making-things-up-for-money kind of guy. When I see anyone using his website to back up their assertions it’s pretty clear to me that they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Some of the articles on Mercola’s site, Barrett and others say, seem to be as much about selling the wide array of products offered there—from Melatonin Sleep Support Spray ($21.94 for three 0.85-ounce bottles) to Organic Sea Buckthorn Anti-Aging Serum ($22 for one ounce)—as about trying to inform. (Your tampon “may be a ticking time bomb,” he tells site visitors—but you can buy his “worry-free” organic cotton tampons for the discounted price of $7.99 for 16.) Steven Salzberg, a prominent biologist, professor, and researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, calls Mercola “the 21st-century equivalent of a snake-oil salesman.”
He’s turned himself into a celebrity. He’s been on The Dr. Oz Show twice (which pretty much destroyed what was left of Dr. Oz’s reputation as a purveyor of reliable information). He gets nearly two million hits on his website every month. Mercola.com and Mercola LLC brought in just under $7 million dollars in 2010 alone. He peddles fear and misinformation and it’s made him a very wealthy man.
He promotes homeopathy for Autism, is an anti-vaccination warrior and promotes every unproven and disproven nostrum you can think of. No matter what he writes about you can be sure he has a product on his website that you’re going to want once you know the “truth” he’s selling. If a real doctor recommended a treatment and then sold you that treatment he or she would be seen as unethical. Mercola (he’s an osteopathic doctor not an MD) sells you everything he recommends and makes a whole lot of money from it. All the while he preaches that you can’t trust real medicine because, you guessed it, they make a whole lot of money from it. Does this smell of hypocrisy to you too? Of course medical doctors are meant to base their recommendations on science and evidence. No such restrictions apply to Mercola, and he makes the most of it.
So if you are tempted to re-post an article from mercola dot com that someone shared on Facebook, think again. That’s a great way to destroy your own credibility. If you like anything that Mercola says, please do a bit of research and find out if it’s actually true. You may find out what many of us already know. He just makes it up.