Actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s health and wellness brand, Goop, has agreed to pay $145,000 in civil penalties over “unsubstantiated claims,” of various products sold online.
According to the complaint filed in Napa County Superior Court, Goop made spurious claims about the health benefits of its vaginal eggs and floral oil blend.
“Goop advertised that the Jade and Rose Quartz eggs could balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control,” an Orange County District Attorney’s office spokesperson said. “Goop advertised that the Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend could help prevent depression.”
“The Orange County DA’s office represents one of 10 California county prosecutors that make up the California Food, Drug, and Medical Device Task Force. The multi-district attorney task force reached a settlement with Goop in which the company “agreed to pay $145,000 in civil penalties, based on limited sales of these products in California,” reports CNN.
In a separate statement regarding the settlement, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said, “It’s important to hold companies accountable for unsubstantiated claims, especially when the claims have the potential to affect women’s health.”
Further, prosecutors announced the lifestyle company is prohibited from stating claims “regarding the efficacy of its products without possessing competent and reliable scientific evidence, and from manufacturing or selling any misbranded, unapproved, or falsely-advertised medical devices.”
The company is offering refunds to customers who purchased the bogus products between January 12, 2017, and August 31, 2017.
In 2017, Skeptic Magazine, described as the United Kingdom’s sole magazine evaluating pseudoscience in everyday life, awarded its inaugural prize for promoting the worst “pseudoscience,” to Goop. “We were surprised at quite how many public vote nominations GOOP received for the ‘Rusty Razor’ award for pseudoscience – it’s certainly a popular win,” said editor Deborah Hyde.
Congrats to @goop for winning our Rusty Razor award of 2017.
— The Skeptic Magazine (@TheSkepticMag) October 14, 2017
The same year, consumer watchdog Truth in Advertising, filed multiple complaints against Goop with a pair of California district attorneys for what it says were “terribly deceptive marketing,” claims it identified in more than 50 instances. “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,” the group’s executive director Bonnie Patten wrote in a statement. “Goop needs to stop its misleading profits-over-people marketing immediately.”
In an August 2017 interview with Girlboss Radio, Paltrow denied Goop engaged in misleading marketing practices, describing the criticism as “deeply unfair.” “We’re very clear on what we’re doing. We stand behind everything we do,” said the actress. “But unfortunately, people who are critical of us sometimes get attention for being critical of us. It gives people a platform.”