Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand, Goop, is under attack again -- this time by a non-profit organization, Truth in Advertising, based in Connecticut. It’s edifying for at least one Goop debunker, Timothy Caulfield, an otherwise unknown law professor and research director at the University of Alberta, Canada.

University professor wants to debunk Paltrow’s "misleading information"

What exactly does a distinguished, university professor have to do with a celebrity’s wellness brand? It turns out that Caulfield has done his homework when it comes to Paltrow’s company, Goop. He published his findings in his 2016 book, "Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?"

What did Caulfield set out to debunk?

He’s opposed to product claims that promise to prevent, cure, treat and reduce symptoms, without any scientific backing. He defines her site as “providing information that is misleading.”

Goop’s products may be harmless but are misleading

Although he admits that many of Goop’s products are in fact harmless, he is staunchly opposed to false advertising, especially when it comes to scientific matters. After all, he is a Research Chair in Health Law and Policy.

And since there is little scientific evidence in the efficacy of some of Goop’s advice, such as vaginal steaming and jade eggs, it’s impossible to say how much harm, if any, these practices can potentially have on naïve individuals.

Who is Caulfield really looking out for?

On the one hand, it looks like Caulfield is on a mission to protect a too-trusting public from the broad strokes painted by a famous celebrity.

He refers to Truth in Advertising’s recent move against Goop as “great, great news…I think it’s fantastic that the attempt is being made and it’s highlighting how this [information] is not accurate.”

On the other hand, one has to ask whether Caulfield’s vested interest in Paltrow’s lifestyle brand has more to do with his own personal interests rather than a concern for the greater good.

He’s admitted to being a celebrity junkie and has likely been following celebrities for quite some time. His book "Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?" might have been his own efforts to both expose and undermine the powerful influence celebrities have not just on the culture, but on himself.

Paltrow and other celebrities are not the real problem

It may seem like a logical step for Caulfield and non-profit groups like Truth in Advertising to demand the truth from celebrities – at least when it comes to health and wellness claims. However, they may be fighting the wrong battle. The problem may not necessarily be the celebrities themselves.

The problem instead is a cultural obsession with celebrities and all they do, whether they actively promote something or not. Consider Katy Perry’s detoxes, or Kim Kardashian’s corsets. These are only two personal choices that have influenced thousands of American women.

Paltrow is not the only person with a successful blog making claims about alternative medicine’s products and practices. Her international status does increase her audience and influence, but isn’t it useless to attack her website?

It’s time to admit that our star-obsessed societies go Gaga for anything a celebrity promotes, true or false.

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