Mike Adams isn’t the “Health Ranger,” he is the “Fraud Ranger.”
Mike Adams, Health Ranger, considers protein powders with lead levels 3x higher than the levels observed during the Flint, Michigan drinking water crisis as being “perfectly safe."
Mike Adams, the so-called “Health Ranger”, is defending brands of products with high lead levels. As the “powerhouse” food researcher behind the Natural News Food Forensic Lab, Mike, we’re surprised and disappointed, but we understand. Oh, the woes of being just another purported media outlet on the take and looking to protect those highly coveted advertising dollars. Evidently, everyone has their kryptonite…and their price.
It is curious that Mr. Adams is so vocal in his opposition of our work… until you realize that he’s created a competitor to our own certification program: LowHeavyMetalsVerified.org, a noble cause that claims to provide the retail industry with a standard for heavy metals. We applaud Mr. Adams on the spirit of his work, though we do see one small problem with his system.
The problem? It GROSSLY under-represents the amount of heavy metals in products. It seems to us Mike’s “system” is the certification equivalent of a “participation” trophy for children – a bar so low everyone makes the cut. How do we know this? Unlike, apparently, Mr. Adams, we have benchmarked data from the past year – not 2013.
LowHeavyMetalsVerified.org awards its highest award “A+++” to brands that have up to 25ppb of lead. Based on our data – which is publicly available on our website, roughly 95% of the hundreds of baby and infant foods we tested would qualify for his “A+++” certification. That seems irresponsible to us-- after all the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and American Academy of Pediatrics are all on record as saying that there’s no safe level of lead. Studies show a direct correlation between an increase in lead exposure in children and an increase in hyperactivity and a decrease in IQ.
As shown in the Clean Label Project 2017 Infant Formula and Baby Food Study, 25ppb is the 96th percentile of lead in baby food. In other words, Mike considers 96% of the entire baby food industry deserving of an A+++. Man, I would have loved to have taken that class in college. And not for nothing, but 25ppb is above the level initially reported during the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Mr. Adams probably doesn’t understand the fact that many of the brands that receive his “A++++” gift do not pass government regulations. What a joke.
Finally, Mr. Adams is living in the past – specifically 2013. Clean Label Project has released the raw data on our website at https://www.cleanlabelproject.org/protein-powder-raw-data/ for those consumers that want to review hundreds of pages of analytical chemistry and statistical reports. Mike – Much like twerking videos, the world has moved on since 2013 and your poor attempt at evaluating protein powder products over five years ago. To set the record straight on our own system: yep, Clean Label Project uses a 5-star rating system. Why? Because it’s the defacto easy way to get a snapshot perspective on the performance of a product relative to the category for busy parents. It’s also the basis for rating innovations like Yelp, Amazon, and Netflix -- and I hear that one or two people use those websites.
Clean Label Project believes that the consumer is the ultimate arbiter of what’s important. Period. He or she knows what considerations are of most value in making the decision to purchase any food or consumer product for themselves or their family.
Clean Label Project believes in a few simple truths:
- Brand Accountability: We believe that brands should know what’s in their products, both the good and the bad. The onus is on brands to ensure product purity, quality, and safety before they release product into the marketplace. Marketing departments sell a false sense of comfort and security. Clean Label Project holds them accountable through competitive data that puts their product test results in comparison to their competitors.
- Consumer Transparency: We believe that consumers make different decisions when armed with data. When it comes to product labeling in America, safety is assumed. While the FDA has been diligent about physical and microbiological/bacterial contamination in America, industrial and environmental contaminants (like heavy metals, BPA/BPS, and antibiotic residues) with a 15-20-year latency before their adverse health effects become evident, are largely unregulated. Clean Label Project fundamentally believes that exposure to less industrial and environmental contaminants are better than more.
- That the very best products deserve to win in the marketplace. The old adage holds true- “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”. Marketing bullshittery is rampant in food and consumer products. Clean Label Project believes that data and science can help brands differentiate themselves from the status quo and empower the consumer to make more informed choices for themselves and their families.
Looks to me like the Health Ranger might want to swap the word “Health” and just be called the “Fraud Ranger”. If/when you are interested in changing the status quo and driving real change in public health, give us a call Mike.
Yours in health,
Jackie Bowen, MPH, MS,
Executive Director of Clean Label Project