NaturalNews’ Mike Adams threatens Forbes, GLP for ‘libeling’ what scientists call ‘quack’ health empire

Mike Adams is a science gene-ius. Just ask him. But be careful; the infamous “Health Ranger,” who has acquired a sizable fortune spreading conspiracy theories and selling often dubious and dangerous “cures” on his monumentally popular website, is in a hissy mood.

If Adams is true to his claim that he’s a new man, committed to serving science, he may have no choice but to sue himself for defamation and cyber bullying. But more on that later.

Adams is certainly threatening to sue me and Forbes magazine for an article I posted to the Forbes site on April 3 that mostly replicated an “Inside Story” and a separate detailed fact summary profile of Adams that had appeared on the Genetic Literacy Project website a few days before.

I’ve been quiet about the libel threat for six weeks, but Keith KIoor over at his Discover blog has now broken the news with quotes from various threat letters and a link to a 29-page summary brief that backs up in embarrassing detail—for Mr. Adams—his history of promoting crank cures and silly conspiracy theories. Read it if you have any question about the accuracy of any of the milquetoast criticisms that I noted in my two GLP reports or the Forbes story on Adams for which he’s threatening to sue me. He has also added a bizarre response (and sad–this guy needs friends) from Adams.

Adams may be considered a joke in the science community and among science journalists, but there is no denying his influence. According to Alexa, his website is ranked around 2000 globally and is the 800 most popular website in the United States.

Kloor highlights a lot of the background on Adams’s dicey reputation and the messy details on the suit threats, so no need to go into them here. What’s not mentioned is that the threat letters came via a well-known Washington law firm, Emord & Associates, which specializes in representing the loosey-goosey supplements, “natural products” and alternative medicine industries. Alternative products and medicine purveyors now sell upwards of $30 billion of often useless and sometimes dangerous goods every year in the US alone—products that remain largely unregulated and unlabeled despite their drug-like impact on health—in part because of lobbying by Emord and similar firms. They target the biotech industry (Emord is the law firm providing legal advice to the backers of the Vermont GMO labeling law, claiming its Constitutionality will be upheld in court) and conventional agriculture to present the alternative health movement as whiter than snow. My report, Kloor’s story and hundreds more by the country’s top journalists paint a more realistic picture.

If you’re looking for some background on these fast-growing but notorious industries, I suggest you pick up the powerful book, Do You Believe in Magic: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine by Paul Offit, the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine that has been credited with saving hundreds of lives every day. Offit is also the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Needless to say Dr. Offit knows what he’s talking about; for the most part Adams and his ilk—Dr. Joseph Mercola and his equally dubious website comes to mind (here is his profile on QuackWatch)—are just hucksters, whatever they might believe of themselves.

This is not just my view by the way. My comments pale in comparison to what you can find about Adams on the Internet. Just put “Mike Adams” and “quack” in Google and have a field day (13,800 results). As my original Forbes and GLP stories documented and as elaborated by Kloor, there may be no public figure in this notorious field who has faced more ridicule than Adams. His website has been ‘honored’ as the most quack promoting ‘natural products’ country store on the web. That’s now earned him a place on the Dr. Oz show, which itself seems committed to promoting the most fringe views about health, medicine and food. Adams was a guest on Oz on May 13 in an attempt to promote his new “heavy metals food laboratory.”

Adams told Oz that he wants to “eliminate science illiteracy” because it “really concerns me as a scientist” (Earth to Adams: you’re not a scientist; you are a supplements salesman). He calls for more “science education in America,” which we all support but could put him out of business sooner rather than later if it comes to pass.

Earlier this week after Adams appeared on the Oz show, surgical oncologist David Gorski—MD and PhD—called “one of the quackiest, if not the quackiest site, on the Internet.”

Just when I thought that Dr. Oz couldn’t go any lower, couldn’t invite a bigger quack on his show to fawn over and publicize, couldn’t sell out more to the forces of quackery, he does. … [I]t was a fawning puff piece, painting Adams as a “whistleblower” (he’s nothing of the sort; he’s a supplement entrepreneur), as someone who “bucks conventional wisdom” and “researches the truth” in his “quest to be ahead of the curve.” We also learn that Adams is someone whose website gets 7 million unique visits per month, which makes Mike Adams the Dr. Oz of the quackosphere.

Obviously, Adams’ next money-making scheme is to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about supplements, the better to sell his “clean” superfoods, supplements, and other products. His appearance on Dr. Oz’s show is clearly designed to promote his brand, and promote it he did, with Oz’s enthusiastic help. The segment had a scary title about “poison in America’s food.” There was plenty of conspiracy-mongering about companies trying to shut him down and the FDA being clueless….

In any case, a lot of nonsense and kissing of Adams’ posterior are packed into Dr. Oz’s brief segment with him. I never knew Oz could do a colonoscopy with his face, but he’s certainly made sure that Adams doesn’t have a single suspicious polyp all the way up to his terminal ileum.

Read the rest of the Gorski piece. It’s a classic. But you can bypass news filters like me, Kloor, Gorski or Oz and go directly to Adams’s website for a laugh rush. His latest campaign: warning America about falling for science hucksters.Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 9.46.11 AM

Related article:  Kenya paying steep price for precipitous ban on GMO

Which brings me to the title of the piece and the question I posed: Will Adams sue himself for libeling himself? After all, if his goal is to put anti-science purveyors out of business–and those who he claims present “blatantly fictional, distorted or wildly exaggerated” anti-science information—why not go after the person who many scientists and journalists contend is the most egregious perpetrator of “cyber bullying” and “harassment.” If Adam is prepared to mount a campaign, perhaps he should target whatever deranged sounding person wrote the following:

GMO-promoting scientists are the most despicable humanoid creatures to have ever walked the surface of this planet. To call them “human” is an insult to humanity. They are ANTI-human. They are demonic. They are forces of evil that walk among the rest of us, parading as authorities when in their hearts and souls they are actually corporate cowards and traitors to humankind. To pad their own pockets, they would put at risk the very future of sustainable life on our planet…and they do it consciously, insidiously. They feed on death, destruction, suffering and pain. They align with the biotech industry precisely because they know that no other industry is as steeped in pure evil as the biotech industry. GMO pushers will lie, cheat, steal, falsify and even mass-murder as many people as it takes to further their agenda of total global domination over the entire food supply… at ANY cost.

I predict a future where—and for the record I DO NOT encourage this—shipments of GM seeds to farmers are raided and destroyed by activists. I predict Monsanto employees being publicly named and shamed  on websites. I predict—but DO NOT CONDONE — scientists who conduct research for Monsanto being threatened, intimidated and even physically attacked. Again, for the record, I DO NOT IN ANY WAY condone such behavior, but I predict it will emerge as an inevitable reaction to the unfathomable evil being committed by the GMO industry and all its co-conspirators. The “Army of the 12 monkeys” may become reality.

Who wrote that classic example of cyber bullying? Oops. The above screed was written by none other than Adams himself. Yes, science needs you, Mike. Please, send yourself a libel threat letter. Let’s shut that ‘quack’ and cyber bully down.

NOTE: Adam has (sort of) just responded by calling anyone who does not believe in conspiracy theories “mentally retarded” and simultaneously touting as groundbreaking the notorious quackery of anti-vaccine promoter Andrew Wakefield and Gilles-Erich Seralini, the French scientist whose study “documenting” the alleged cancer causing dangers of GMOs was retracted. Read Adams’ latest screed–Why NOT believing in conspiracies is a sure sign of mental retardation]

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Jon Entine, executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, is a senior fellow at the Center for Health & Risk Communication and STATS (Statistical Assessment Service) at George Mason University.

36 thoughts on “NaturalNews’ Mike Adams threatens Forbes, GLP for ‘libeling’ what scientists call ‘quack’ health empire”

  1. In my opinion, it should be interesting to see how Adams promotes scientific literacy and how he would reconcile that with such a blatant attempt to stifle information that points out his pseudoscientific quackery.
    Surely he knows that the lawsuit will fail and his intentions seem to be nothing more than to protect his ability to continue to dupe the gullible and discourage those that call him out by abusing the legal system to put financial burdens on tHose who comment against him.
    This really has the potential to backfire on him and I would hope that it does to serve as an example to anyone else who would stoop to such dishonest methods.

    • When he says “scientific literacy” what he means is “I want people to be taught and 100% agree with whatever I think”. It’s a common theme for conspiracy theorists. They say vague statements anyone could agree with but if people don’t take it as seeing things their way they explode because everyone’s against them and it’s some kind of war against the truth.

  2. Isn’t Emord & Associates the same law firm used by supporters of Vermont’s GMO labeling law to claim constitutional muster for it? Sounds like they got what they only wanted to hear.

  3. I really don’t think there is anything you can do or write to make Mike Adams change his mind about how much of an amazing awesome super-scientist mega magic non-bullying scientific doctor he is. Regardless of his insane theories, banana conspiracies and total disrespect for evidence, research, testing and health controls … he most certainly is the woo-doctor of the decade.

  4. I’m glad you’ve gone public with this Jon. But I don’t understand why folks who were with Simon Singh, or with other bloggers who have had stories pulled, seem absent on this.

    • He needs to file for me to take that route. Best for anyone and everyone to WRITE about this in blogs and articles. Adams is trying to mainstream his “quack” views (that’s how scientists and other science journalists describe his website), and his appearance on Dr. Oz is a major step in that direction. My fate is one thing; I’m at least as concerned about how fringe activist/salesmen are undermining science, and that’s what those who care and are in a position to do so need to write about.

  5. Jon I liked your initial piece – but I love this one …I went to a Hay House publishing event with Doreen Virtue and John Holland during which aledged angel expert ( according to Hay House ) told the mother of suicidal child that those who talk of suicide do not do it. They just want attention, they need counseling but they don’t ever do it>” Doreen virtue went on to after the mother of the 20 yr old suicidal black male told her the kid had smoked pot – to tell us all that low vibration pot was factor in this but she offered the Mom help for free via her latest book. A book on Mother Mary that she told the mom if placed unread would help heal the energy of the home and the situation. Medium John Holland sat right on the stage and did absolutely nothing to correct the false info on suicide going out.. not did any Hay House staff member. When I wrote Hay House and John Holland over and over to get them to do something to correct falso info on suicide given in front of 700 people Virtue threatened to sue me and I have witnesses to her statement so I told her bring it on.. she never did. When I did research I found Virtue had posted anti-vaccine posts on flu to the point one mom wrote her on FB and asked her what she felt on vaccines for children. Virtue wrote her back if she had small children now she would not vaccinate them for anything and she would home school them or send to the Waldorf’s. That post was up for I think 8-9 months until the Measles started to sweep. Virtue claims to hear and see people’s guardian angels and Hay House tells people she is real angel communicator and an international angel expert so when she imparts medical info it can be something that people could take as from angels ..Virtue has posts up discouraging people from flu shots and I found how she used Natural News as support on why angels told her to take elderberries..This post could cause people not to get flu shots who might have .. Virtue gave out an “important angel message” in Australia not to get flu shots according to this blogger..

    Jon no mediums is calling Virtue out even when she is selling ” mediumship” for only $400 via dvd via her “Angel University” where you can the via her classes buy the gifts of angels or mediumship ..…. Medium James Van Praagh has a book & deck out w. Doreen Virtue & actively plugs Doreen Virtue as a teacher for them all and his soul sister.

    Jon that I know of JVP did nothing to post that he did not agree with Doreen Virtue’s anti-vaccine quackery even as people across our nation came down with the flu and died and when some got Measles. When he heard of her suicide comment in Seattle he seemingly blew it off carrying not if anyone died due to false suicide info. Money seems his true god .. all while he claims to talks to Heaven..

    He teaches everyone is psychic but not everyone is a medium but has no problem endorsing her in seemingly fraud against the field itself by his own definition of who is a medium …

    Jon … keep calling out the crap @ Natural News before new agers die due to lack of vaccinations or proper medical care please..The ripple from Natural news is now rippling further in Van Praagh tossing his fans base to Doreen Virtue… with her posts up directing people to see Natural News as where angels would want you to get your health news from. its dangerous as heck and nothing Heaven would approve of in my opinion. Hay House CEO Reid Tracy seemingly cares only for the money to be made whoring angels or he would have come out and publically have corrected Doreen Virtue suicide comment in Seattle Sept 22.2012 – instead he made excuses for money. He knows about her anti-vaccine posts that are up and her wrong suicide info and he still has Hay House plugging her as angel expert and clearly hearing/seeing people’s guardian angels at Hay House events.. Reid Tracy knows Doreen Virtue leads people to Natural News and it seems Hay House does nothing to protect life … even though Ried wrote me and told me Hay House has a policy the readers are not supposed to treat or diagnosis.. but he doesn’t really mean that.. watch..Notice the Hay House logo in a video where Virtue encourages people to see medication from medical doctor as medicating kids into submission . Watch a woman who Hay House claims she is real angel communicator and angel expert who claims she is a ” Christian” plug a reader class where she encourages people to see themselves as not even fully human to the core of their soul ..maybe you are an incarnated angel, or leprachan or wise one or star person ( most likely if you fall for this shit – you are just in need of mental health counseling but if you want angel therapy – you can arrange that through her website or become a certified angel therapist for on sale now only $950 ) – This hard to describe bull makes millions of dollars a year for Hay House so no one calls it out ..Now Internationally known medium James Van Praagh is endorsing it as real…so why wouldn’t his fans take Virtue’s lead seeing her connects to Natural News to take their medical advice from natural News instead of real medical doctors?

      • Jon its now been two years since I watched a fake angel medium give out wrong suicide info. They have never corrected the wrong suicide info … James Van praagh continues to plug Doreen Virtue to his fans caring little it seems if it costs them their rationality, money or possibly even their lives.. A recent video that Doreen Virtue put out plugging one of her classes shows us all how she actively is trying to get people to perceive themselves as incarnated magical beings and not even fully human.

        I know atheists many times think the concept of soul is far out.. But how come we have Dr Brian Weiss .. Plugging via a past life deck a woman who I caught giving wrong suicide info, dangerous anti-vaccine info and that you or I might be incarnated Leprechuans etc….

        How does a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, a MD psychiatrist plug any aspect of Doreen Virtue as real anything to anyone? Let alone sell out past lives now making a deck that I am almost sure they will claim on the deck will some how be highly accurate at telling you your past lives. Leads me to ponder if he even believes in past lives..

        Where are the other psychiatrists to call this out as BS and the whoring out of not only Dr Weiss’s Yale medical degree but also his position as the former Chairman of Psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami… How could this happen that a psychiatrist would endorse someone who encourages people to perceive themselves as not really human?

        When I wrote Dr Weiss telling him of Virtue’s wrong suicide info he did nothing to have it corrected and could not even bother to get back to me . He continued on with the deck with her.. If he believes mediumship is an actual spiritual gift…How could he endorse one selling it online for $400 via DVD w/ certification @ angel university .. James Van Praagh and John Holland and most people who claim to be mediums state everyone is psychic but NOT everyone can be a medium.. so how did Dr Weiss step into twining into what he would have know was fraud either in her certifying people as mediums who are not or in her falsely advertising and not telling people most can not pass the so called quiz?

        Dr Weiss also does nothing as a MD to call out Ether Hicks telling people medicine is just a dog and pony show working on belief.. while James Van Praagh actively plugs Hicks to his fans! Hicks own husband came down with cancer and died.. unable to cure himself with the power of thought as she claims one can. He used chemo in the end they say.

        Jon how do these people do this to others?
        How do they sleep at night?
        How could a Yale psychiatrist of all things be twined in this shit ?

        James van praagh sent me to see a total fruit loop con artist who gives out wrong suicide info of all thing while pretending she talks to angels.. Doreen Virtue has not bothered to correct her wrong suicide statement in over 2 yrs.. Nor has she taken down her anti-flu shot posts that could cause vulnerable persons who can not live through the flu not to get flu shot.. Do you think the new angels homicidal or just indifferent to the value of human life? If Van Praagh is talking to Heaven and finding it okay to risk human life with no care of what he endorses is real.. “New age Heaven” must be full of utter assholes. These people they don’t care who they harm in their crap… It blows my mind that Hay House would dare plug this and risk human life..

  6. Entine is a whore: a propagandist paid by Big Chem to present a sterilized, one-sided view of the story who bullies and insults those who disagree with him and censors comments on his articles. This comment will be removed just like he deletes comments that bring up things he doesn’t wish others to see.

  7. Mike Adams and his site needs to be shuttered. Although without him and it who could we really write about? Then again there are so many nuts out there. I read his stuff and just laugh about everything he states and posts.

    Thanks for this post and it really hits home. I spend a great deal of time having to re-educate people who have read and believed in this nuts claims.

  8. This writer has let the GMO’s get to it’s head… Sadly, I think such writers would do well to listen more than they write… cuz, it’s painfully obvious where this came from…

  9. Many in the anti GMO and ‘natural’ food movement are bullies. I sort of hope this suit can go to court or at least a counter suit can. Someone needs to stop him and the other fear mongers. Talk about GREEDY, they are more so than any company is, even the hated banks.

  10. I’ve co-presented at vaccine conferences with Paul Offit, and the painful irony of the internet is that people everywhere get vehement about wanting ‘all the information,’ but then there’s no way to screen the legitimate science created and discussed by people who can understand it, from the rest of the content.

  11. holy shit! “the army of the 12 monkeys…” taking inspiration from a Terry Gilliam film where the namesakes were affected and petty environmentalists, that weren’t the main cause for upheaval? …this guy is out to lunch at an organic, vegan, and macrobiotic buffet! …why couldn’t he have picked Time Bandits, instead?

  12. Let’s talk real science from the CDC. This article is one of the most important to read by the CDC. This article is very important which proves they have given us horrible diseases through vaccinations The article reads, “In the past, biologic products have served as vectors for viral diseases. Examples include the contamination of yellow fever vaccine with hepatitis B virus in the 1940s (because a human-derived excipient contained hepatitis B virus), contamination of early polio and adenovirus vaccines with simian virus 40 (called SV40 cancer virus) in the late 1950s and early 1960s, contamination of blood products with hepatitis viruses and HIV, and contamination of dura mater grafts with the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent. In these examples, either human or animal materials used in production usually caused the contamination.”

  13. Let’s talk about more real science from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is from the FDA. PLEASE READ THIS!

    “Our laboratory is developing new approaches, using rodent models to investigate whether the use of tumorigenic cells or cells derived from human or animal tumors for vaccine production pose safety concerns to the recipients of the vaccines. We believe that the risk of using tumorigenic cells to make viral vaccines would increase either by the presence of disease-causing microorganisms (adventitious agents), or from the DNA of the cell. Therefore, we have begun to address each of these concerns. This work requires the development of sensitive animal and cell-culture based assays.”

    However, the growth of some viruses requires the use of tumorigenic cells. Therefore, there is renewed interest in using these cells to develop new vaccines. Over the past several decades researchers have learned much about how cancer develops, and that allows FDA to reopen the question about the safety concerns and address them in a more mechanistic and data-driven manner.

    Scientific Overview
    The major concerns with the use of novel neoplastic cell substrates are the potential presence of adventitious agents and the unavoidable presence of residual cellular DNA in vaccines.

    Therefore, our laboratory is developing assays to evaluate the safety of novel cell substrates. We have divided this work among five projects: 1) assessing the in vivo oncogenicity of cell-substrate DNA; 2) developing in vitro assays to quantify the elimination of biological activity of DNA; 3) determining whether the tumorigenicity of a cell substrate affects the safety of vaccine manufactured in them; 4) developing methods to detect adventitious agents; and 5) developing methods to detect neutralizing antibodies to viruses.

    The variety of cell substrates used to manufacture licensed vaccines is limited to primary avian or monkey cells, diploid cells, and one continuous cell line, Vero. This repertoire is insufficient for the production of the next generation of vaccines.

    All of the mammalian cell substrates being evaluated are neoplastic, since they are immortal, and some are tumorigenic. The fear that components from the production-cell substrate could induce cancer in vaccine recipients was the main reason that tumorigenic cells were proscribed for vaccine manufacture for over 40 years. This proscription was partly due to the inability to identify the risk factors; yet even after they were identified, there was a lack of assays that could quantify the risk from these factors. Bottom line is we are being injected with cancer cells, because continuous and immortal cell lines are cancerous.

  14. Let’s talk about how vaccines are made and what are in them. Vaccines are biological blood products as listed by the FDA. Let’s take the Varicella Virus Vaccine which is a Live Virus Vaccine. The growth mediums and process ingredients are human embryonic lung cell cultures, embryonic guinea pig cell cultures, WI-38 female human diploid cell cultures from aborted fetus, MRC-5 male human diploid cell cultures,from aborted fetus, sucrose, phosphate, glutamate, processed gelatin, urea. The ingredients added to the vaccine after the growth of the viruses are sucrose, hydrolyzed gelatin, urea, sodium chloride, monosodium L-glutamate, sodium phosphate dibasic, potassium phosphate monobasic, potassium chloride, residual components of MRC-5 cells (DNA, protein), neomycin, bovine calf serum, sodium phosphate monobasic, EDTA, fetal bovine serum. To find vaccines that have aborted fetal cells in them, please go to this site. I also believe that God never would never approve us being injected with the blood, DNA, viruses, bacterias, and foreign proteins from the animals, insects, and rodents they are growing the viruses in, i.e., The many viruses that each animal carries, i.e., African Green Monkey (Vero Cells), cow / bovine products, Cocker Spaniel Cells, chicken, pig, sheep, insects products, mouse brain, and male and female aborted fetus cells, and more than one species are in some vaccines (Be sure to scroll down and read II. GLOSSARY AND DETAILS FOR INGREDIENTS of what are in the vaccines and details about the ingredients.)

    and also from the CDC

  15. This is a must see by CBS News! How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders? For years some parents and scientists have raised concerns about vaccine safety, including a possible link to autism and ADD. Many independent experts have sided with government officials and other scientists who say there’s no possible connection. But how “independent” are they? CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson shares here’s what she found.

    They’re some of the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety: the American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit.

    But CBS News has found these three have something more in common – strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend.

    The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for
    conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters. The totals are kept secret, but public documents reveal bits and pieces.

    A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine – which makes $2 billion a year in sales.

    A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck’s HPV vaccine – which made $1.5 billion a year in sales.

    Another top donor: Sanofi Aventis, maker of 17 vaccines and a new
    five-in-one combo shot just added to the childhood vaccine schedule last month.

    Every Child By Two, a group that promotes early immunization for all children, admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too – but wouldn’t tell us how much.

    A spokesman told CBS News: “There are simply no conflicts to be unearthed.” But guess who’s listed as the group’s treasurers? Officials from Wyeth and a paid advisor to big pharmaceutical clients.

    Then there’s Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety.

    He’s gone so far as to say babies can tolerate “10,000 vaccines at once.”

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