Meet the "Health Ranger" Who's Using Pseudoscience to Sell His Lies

In modern times, it's no secret that many Americans are slowly becoming unhealthier— sort of. While our life expectancies have shot up about 20 years from 1900 to 2003, obesity has become a national epidemic, and conditions such as diabetes have become much more prevalent over the past 20 years. As this is becoming more widely known, an increasing number of people are looking to live active lifestyles, and this has led to a boom in the health-food and weight-loss industries, and also the alternative health industry. Growing from what was seen as an eccentricity to a trend among millions of people, alternative medicine is now what can reasonably be considered its own small industry.   

However, what many don't seem to realize is that the alternative health industry is also full of pseudoscience, liars, and hucksters who exploit consumer ignorance through misinformation. Before you think I'm accusing your chiropractor of scamming you, I do realize that there are many honest businesses and knowledgeable professionals in the industry that do offer valid health products, medical treatments, and information. However, there are still major players that don't. Out of all of them, there's one who stands out for providing misinformation, spreading and exploiting paranoia, and promoting or selling useless products, and that's Mike Adams and his NaturalNews business.  

Adams, the self-styled "Health Ranger," is the key writer and owner of NaturalNews, a website that's known for posting health "advice" and conspiracy theories, much like the InfoWars of alternative health. Adams' qualifications in the field of medicine or nutritional health, if he has any, are completely unknown. He's an award winning alternative "health" author and journalist that while praised highly in the alternative media and its community, is seen as generally a quack and a shill by science bloggers, and is the type of person that repeats dangerous anti-vaccine stances and misleading anti-GMO arguments.

Adams' reports themselves are prime examples of how he exploits the ignorance of others. In one recent "report", Adams acts as if he has a scoop. To briefly summarize, Adams demonstrates how phosphoric acid affects teeth in an attempt to insert himself into the discussion on the health effects of soda, but Adams' work is really sensationalized "scientific" reporting. For those of you who haven't taken 11th-grade chemistry, there's a gaping hole in the report (aside from an important procedural error). Adams is using a solution of 85% phosphoric acid, and submerged a tooth in it for an entire day. Adams himself acknowledges the solution is much, much, much more acidic than anything found in soda, but still tries to imply that drinking soda and having concentrated phosphoric acid in your mouth for 24 hours is even remotely the same thing. Also, Adams tries to scare even more by comparing Coca Cola Classic's (the most acidic Coca-Cola product) pH of 2.525 to car battery acid, which has a pH of about .08. In reality, a car battery is about 50 times more acidic, and a lemon generally twice as acidic as Coke.  

Just as questionable as Adams' articles are his business ethics. While NaturalNews claims to be nonprofit, that claim is very dubious. A few years ago, Adams made the decision to not only endorse the company "Moxxor, but to form a partnership between it and NaturalNews, and to be a top-level distributor. It's one of those schemes that will leave most people spending more and more money on Moxxor supplements, while getting little back in terms of monetary or health benefits.

Adams and his NaturalNews team is only one of the many organizations that are interested in exploiting consumer ignorance, using misleading business practices, and encouraging (unwittingly, I assume) sometimes dangerous products that may end up hurting consumers. It goes without saying that we should treat health sites and such with a healthy amount of skepticism, and always do research into health matters. That makes it all the more difficult for people like Adams to take advantage of us.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

John Banks

A student that's interested in writing opinion pieces and political journalism. He's also very, very grumpy.

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