Question authority and use your critical thinking skills

One of my readers, Amanda, sent me this exchange that got her labeled a ‘Dissenter’ and ejected from Joe Mercola’s forum. Whey protein, including his, is a highly processed food with additives and flavorings you should avoid. Most Americans are overdosing on protein, but if you feel you need more, I hope you look to whole foods or better products than this. Eat more yogurt, nuts, legumes, and greens–all high in protein–or a whole-foods, plant-source protein powder. I would put you into the forum Amanda was rejected from to see an M.D. and others disagree with Joe’s sales claims, but you are forced to sign up for his newsletter in order to see the discussion.

And regarding the convo below (I have not changed Joe’s misspellings or anything in either party’s words), it’s fine to have heroes as long as we maintain our critical thinking skills, ask questions, and put our own instincts and research first as Amanda is doing here.

Let’s don’t eat “byproducts” of anything.

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

Just discovered that one of my health heroes, Dr. Mercola, is using maltodextrin, a corn by-product, in his Miracle Whey powder. Not just any maltodextrin, mind you, but one produced by a “joint venture” of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), one of the massively corrupt Big Ag companies, and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Company. Ew! Didn’t say this on the label–in fact, the Nutritional Information panel for Miracle Whey was not available in the store.

I received the product and asked why there is maltodextrin in it, when Dr. Mercola writes articles saying not to use it. I received a reply saying basically that THIS maltodextrin is GOOD for me because it’s Fibersol! Oh, phew, I feel better! Another Frankenfood in my breakfast bowl made by ADM, a heavily subsidized Big Ag conglomerate, and a chemical industry company, which I’m sure is concerned only for my health and well-being. Yea! I’m so relieved.

ADM is one of the world’s largest producers of high-fructose corn syrup and many other of the toxic, processed foods that Dr. Mercola is always warning us about. Makes me wonder–does he know anymore what’s going into his products???

Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to be a pain in a–. It’s your health and our environment at stake! We must regularly challenge all authorities–even those we think we can trust.

 

Dr. Mercola  

Joined On 12/1997

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

This has been mentioned dozens of times on the site, you have just never seen it. The maltodextrin content in our products is naturally occurring  digestive resistant maltodextrin, which Is a non-digestible fiber. It is NOT the cheap maltodextrin your are referring to which is easily broken down and will stimulate insulin release.

Our maltodextrin is just another name for a water soluble fiber (long chain saccarides) that naturally occur in maize and other plants. That fiber has shown to help lower blood sugar and blood lipids. And it also works as a pre-biotic food to support health gut flora. Probiotics are essentially important for the digestion and utilization of protein. In fact, probiotics increase the biological value of the protein. This is completely different than the typical NON digestive resistant maltodextrin that is use in many other products that will raise your insulin level and also has MSG.

secretbird  

Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

Dr. Mercola, thanks for your reply. However, you seem to have completely missed my point.

I understand what Fibersol, the type of maltodextrin you include in your Miracle Whey formulation, is and why you’re using it. My problem with Fibersol, and thus your Miracle Whey, is its source.

As I stated in my original post, a quick Google search revealed that Fibersol is a “joint venture” between Archer Daniels Midland–one of the world’s most egregious examples of Big Ag corruption and environmental devastation, and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Corporation, whose name alone is sufficient evidence that their products do not belong in our food supply.

You yourself have been a vociferous and passionate advocate of withdrawing support from Big Ag by using our main power as consumers: not buying their products and eating whole, fresh foods as much as possible. You have also been one of my main teachers and information sources in the health field, and I’ve paid attention when you say to read labels, ask questions, and do research. That’s all I’m doing now.

If I’d known that your product contained maltodextrin, which I didn’t because the Nutritional Information panel is not available in your store (why?), I would have asked these questions earlier and probably not bought the product for ethical reasons–not merely because it contains maltodextrin.

I want to thank you for all you do and for the excellent information you disseminate. Having been ranked as the No. 1 source for health information, it’s essential now that you live up to your own standards.  With great respect,  Amanda de la Garza

Dr. Mercola  

Joined On 12/1997

Posted On Jul 13, 2011

The digestive resistant maltodextrin (from maze) that we use in our whey protein has unmatched nutritional properties particularly regarding the sustainability of blood sugar and blood lipids. It is by all means a water soluble fiber (unlike conventional maltodextrin which is a high glycemic carbohydrate). Unfortunately some unique and valuable products are produced by companies which may not fit your ethical standards but the products that they produce have no substitute – that’s including the gasoline you put in your car, the antibiotics you need to use against infection, etc.

Nutritional information is available for all our products at the bottom of the sales page. Seems you just overlooked it.

secretbird  

Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 14, 2011

Dr. Mercola, with all due respect, your ethical standards are in question here, not mine. I’m not formulating and marketing a product whose second ingredient is a fake fiber co-manufactured by a Big Ag conglomerate and a chemical company.

I strongly disagree with your assertion that your use of Fibersol in Miracle Whey is an unavoidable choice similar to us having to use gasoline for our cars and antibiotics for infection (particularly that last, coming from you!). We have many choices available to us in terms of what we put in our bodies, including whether we eat at McDonald’s or have a grass-fed, organic steak for dinner. Indeed, you yourself were a major influence on my awareness that we must be informed about the sources of our food!

I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’ve been too busy to stay in close touch with your formulation process and supply chain, rather than think that you knowingly chose to include Fibersol-brand maltodextrin, which might rightly be called a “Frankenfood,” in a product that you are now marketing heavily on your web site.

In the former case, I hope that as one of the world’s leading authorities on health, you will do the right thing and reformulate your Miracle Whey to follow the very same good advice you frequently offer your many readers–namely, to avoid Big Ag- and chemical company-created “food products” like the plague that they are.

I have been one of your biggest fans and supporters, Dr. Mercola. All I’m asking is that you uphold the same high standards you’ve encouraged me and millions of others to live by. Thank you for your time, and best regards, Amanda de la Garza

secretbird  

Joined On 4/2009

Posted On Jul 15, 2011

Dr. Mercola, I notice you’ve slapped a “Dissenter Badge” on my posts now, indicating that I post “comments that are in disagreement with the Mercola.com community” and that my comments “should be viewed with caution.”

It’s very telling that such a designation exists in your forum.

Thanks for letting me know exactly where you stand on my request that you observe the same standards you encourage your readers to live by.

I hope that Archer Daniels Midland and the Matsutani Chemical Industry Corporation appreciate your continuing financial support through the inclusion of Fibersol-brand maltodextrin in your Miracle Whey products.

Best of luck with your business.

Received within a half-hour of above post: 7/15: “Content contained within your posting violated our terms of service and your posting has been deleted. Repeat or flagrant offenses of this nature may result in your account being banned.”

47 thoughts on “Question authority and use your critical thinking skills

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  1. He knows what he is doing, it’s all about the bottom line! I don’t believe or trust him for a long time now. He is an alarmist who wants to frighten and scar you into believing him rather than giving you all the science behind it. He slants answers to benefit himself. Good for her for blowing the whistle on Dr. mercola!

  2. Robyn,

    Just curious if you have a list or anything anywhere on what additives and preservatives etc. are definitely ones to avoid and why. So I can best know for myself and be able to explain it all to my kids. The whole label reading thing is still a mystery to me sometimes. Thanks.

    Also just wondering how you are healing from your ATV accident. We haven’t heard anything in a while so I’m hoping you are doing well. You are such an inspiration to so many. Thank you.

    1. Sue, I should write a report about food additives! Putting it on my To-Do list now!! Top things to avoid:

      Monosodium glutamate
      Propylene glycol
      Sodium laureth sulfate

      (Of course, that list could go on and on…..I’m on it.)

  3. This is too funny! A “Dissenter’s Badge”? Really? As if his readers can’t think and he has to tell them “Listen to me – not to her, or her, or him, and you, Green Smoothie Girl get a double wide Dissenter Badge. So there!”

  4. Thanks Robin for posting this and remaining true to your message. I used to receive Mercola’s newsletter and occasionally read his posts. I stopped after his articles about protein in your diet. While I think his underlying message is one I agree with, I think he is an alarmist and that he is focused too much on what he is selling and not always the truth.

  5. Don’t forget his form of B-12! cyanocobalamin! That created my first thought of disception on his part. Now I’m really upset with him! I’m at a loss now because I purchase his CoQ10 and Krill Oil products because I trusted his knowledge! Robyn, do you have any suggestions for substitutes for these??? Also, you are a God send! Thank you for all you do!

  6. Wow – good for Amanda for standing up to the Big Joe! He’s really right on about some things, but as we all know – or should know – he’s just not with it on others. But this takes the cake! toooooo bad for everyone, especially that he even has a dissenter’s badge to give out! How narrow minded can you get??!! I often give him a break when I notice his flaws, realizing he was reared on the stuff in medical school, etc. But this is NOW and he’s not taking responsibility for his actions, due to money being the bottom line, most likely. Only a couple of years ago did he post that he suddenly realized that herbs are considered foods! I though, “duh!” but again, he comes from the corrupt US Medical university background, so it’s been an evolution for him, as for many. I just hope that this little conversation with Amanda will make him rethink his stand on some of these things…..

  7. Thank you Amanda for being a conscious voice for health. You spoke honestly and honorably. Shame on Mercola. .. who incidentally I never liked from the first time I heard him speak. . but I am not surprised by his actions.

    I’m a long term vegan, 27 years now. Over time you’ll see and hear lots of distressing news from people you thought were honorable. . and find out otherwise. The good news is that now more of you are out there.. Always remember to Think for Yourself.. Don’t just trust someone because they are supposedly an authority. .

    Bravo Robyn and Amanda. .

    Chris

  8. Amanda makes some completely wrong conclusions: the dissenter badge is based on the number of thumb downs you receive from other posters. and i pretty much agree with his idea that maltodextrin / fibersol is not this ethical bugaboo she makes it out to be.

  9. I got Dr. Mercola’s newsletter for a short time, but I unsubscribed because I felt he was pushing his products too heavily and to me he is an alarmist. He has some good information, but I think he goes too far.

    After reading Amanda’s exchanges with him, I’m glad I don’t waste my time with him anymore.

  10. Just an informative note: you get a dissenter’s badge if too many of the readers voting on your post(s) in the forum give you a thumbs down. I saw this on someone in the dental field pushing at readers to make sure they got fluoride for their teeth! I think the caution is for folks there who AREN’T knowledgeable who might fall for the typical bs pushed by western medicine and dentists since there has been an increase in these types of individuals in his forums for the past couple years at least.

    Very surprised Amanda was deleted from the forums as she is in no way behaving like a troll or troublemaker. I worked security for a FB group and my “job” was tossing both. They have distinctive styles that are nothing like Amanda simply trying to get some information and then pass on what she had so Dr. Mercola could have a graceful way out to look into it! Wow!

    1. To be fair, Mercola has reposted her comments. However, they did not repost her last two comments, which I believe are important.

  11. Robyn,

    When you write that food additives report, can you address whether propylene glycol is safe topically? I see it in tons of skin products and it’s pretty much the only ingredient in the eye drops my husband uses. I keep reading conflicting info about it…

    Thx

    1. Steff, you absorb into your bloodstream what goes on your skin, so best to avoid that in all ways. They’ll tell you it’s “food grade,” but what does that mean exactly? I haven’t found anything about the designation “food grade” that makes me feel any better about application of that liver- and kidney-damaging chemical on my family’s skin.

  12. I noticed the maltodextrin in Mercola products several years ago and tried to ask why they use a product with GMO corn when Dr. M is speaking out at length against GMOs. My comments were not published. I phoned and was told they “need to use maltodextrin”. Well, New Chapter uses organic maltodextrin so it is available…at a higher cost of course. New Chapter products are endorsed by Jeffrey Smith and Mercola products are not. I wonder why? Still Dr. M. continues to warn us about all the dire dangers of GMO and tells us what a good job the Institute for Responsible Technology and Jeffrey Smith are doing. How can he look in the mirror?

    Thank you, Robyn for everything! Hope you are healing quickly from your accident.

  13. Good for you! Dr. Mercola is obviously not living up to what he preaches, and unfortunately, we see this far to often, which is why it is up to each of us to do our homework, so we can make informed choices. By the way, there is a totally raw, completely cold-processed whey, made from milk from grass-fed dairy cows that’s available. We’ve been using this product for some time, and have seen many health benefits. The company that produces this wonderful product is One World Whey.

  14. Maltodextrin is a simple harmless additive generally speaking.I can see why the web master stopped the never ending thread.

    There is a lot of miss and diss information on the web.And the raw foodism is full of bogus information.

    I do like Robyn`s approach for she is centered in most of her writings.Jeff.

  15. Other companies, such as HealthForce Nutritionals, manage to make protein powders without maltodextrin. I wonder why Mercola’s company “needs” to use it. Inferior product, I would guess.

  16. Thank you for sharing this! I have been feeling that Dr. Mercola’s emails have been turning into a bunch of very confusing and misleading hype lately. It appears he has sold out to the money game.

  17. Wow, interesting! I’ve been a long-time subscriber and follower of Mercola, but it’s clear that he’s a businessman as well as health promoter. Doctors get sick of the long hours and being nothing but a drug pusher, especially after they’ve spent 10+ years earning their credentials. Meanwhile, they watch high school drop-outs make millions in real estate or peddling a new product on infomercials. So they find some other way… they already command authority in the public eye, so they simply continue to do so, except this time, they are Mr. Nice Guys – they are on our side! They understand our pain, our sickness is not our fault! They will save us from cancer for real now!! (Sorry I got carried away.)

    But instead of maltodextrin as a prebiotic, he could’ve easily used inulin, which is natural, comes from vegetable fibers (i.e., Jerusalem artichoke). It is of course not as sweet as maltodextrin and probably not as cheap.

    The whole thing about liver damage from eating “crap” (food-grade additives)… well truth is we breathe a lot of crap too. I’ve come to the conclusion that the most dangerous substances is unseen: mold. And it’s everywhere. It makes it even more critical that we don’t add to our body burden by eating crap too.

    Robyn, have you addressed the oxalic acid issue of vegetables yet? If you have, can someone post the link to the discussion? I am reading that oxalic acid as well as phytic acid are what causes us to lose minerals and get cavities. My daughter hardly eats any sweets except fruit, no refined flours or on occasion, a little meat every day, drinks no milk -we refuse the bagels and juice every Sunday at the church hospitality table- yet she had 8 cavities…!? She is 6. She ate a ton of nuts & seeds. I did a little research and discovered that raw foodies and vegans are notorious for having bad teeth and gums!!!

  18. Thank you so much for informing us about the Dr’s whey protein. I am so glad that I did not order his product a couple weeks ago. Doctor, you otta be ashamed of yourself. As soon as I write my comment, I will go and unsubscribe to your newsletter. I had a feeling that you were full of crap, and now I know. What else is he trying to hide from us, I wonder!!!!!

  19. I have purchased Mercola’s Miracle Whey and the latest addition Pure Power Protein! After this, I am seriously unsure about these whey products….. I did wonder why maltodextrin was included when I first got them and seemed cluttered with additional ingredients!! I now know of another whey product called ‘Vital Whey’ in Natural by http://www.wellwisdom.com which contains only pure native whey concentrate from grass-fed, hormone-free, GMO-free, pesticide- & chemical-free cows. This product does not contain maltodextrin!! Now I’m wondering about the credibility of his other products….

  20. Thanks, everyone, for your support on my call-out of Dr. Mercola. It’s essential to keep questioning and doing our own research–particularly when someone we regard as an expert has SO much money at stake. Mercola has helped a lot of people and continues to do so, but we must stop giving away our power and abdicating our responsibility for our own health! We did it (and in many cases are still doing it) with medical doctors, with Big Pharma, and other so-called “authorities.” Don’t even get me started on the government. Now it’s time to take back that power.

    For the record: Mercola says his Miracle Whey uses GMO-free corn. I was surprised to learn that ADM, one of the world’s largest producers of high-fructose corn syrup, has non-GMO corn available. Hopefully, its non-GMO fields are not in close proximity to its millions of acres of GMO corn, which contaminate all life for miles around.

    Also, when I was posting on Mercola’s site, I checked for thumbs-up and thumbs-down ratings on my comments and there never were any of either, so I can only conclude that I received a “dissenter badge” because Mercola or his staff didn’t like my posts.

    Again, thanks for your support and keep asking questions! You might be called a dissenter or a pain in the a–, but so what? Better that than a sheep…. And by the way, in case you haven’t noticed, a true master of any discipline will welcome comments and questions, and is always willing to examine his or her motivations, beliefs, and actions.

  21. Good for you Robyn, standing up for what you believe in. I have received his newsletters for some time now. Although much of it has been informative, sometimes it just goes a little too far. After reading this I decided to post the question on his facebook page, and it was deleted twice. The only thing that surprises me is that I am not banned!

  22. I buy Vital Whey and have been very pleased with it. I had considered Mercola’s Miracle Whey but the price scared me away. I, too, had trouble finding the ingredient list – eventually I found it at the bottom of one of his article pages on the product. I read his articles with interest but am now cautious. I find his products expensive – esp the shipping plus an additional handling charge.

  23. Well done Amanda! You are my hero taking on Mercola like that! I don’t doubt that what Mercola presents to the public is great knowledge. I’m glad he is educating people on how to take control of their own health issues but I’ve always been able to see through his scare tactic and pushes to sell his products. Why? because I used to work for a dr who was exactly the same as Mercola. Although I’m grateful that he puts out good info on the internet, I disagree with HOW he does it: by preying on the fear he evokes in his readers. Yes, he’s a knowledgable dr, but he’s still a business man and using a product that involves a big ag corporation proves that. Very sad.

  24. Miss Amanda de la Garza has formulated her plea with unmatched eloquence, while Dr. Mercola simply ignored her arguments and refused to dignify her with an answer. This is unacceptable behavior for any individual, regardless of their dietary convictions.

    As much as I appreciate healthy food, i cannot stop but wonder if some of the health food gurus out there are not in fact (at least partially) driven by a love for profit similar to the one they criticize in big corporations, which, in their turn, are all too quick to leave us in the dark about what’s in our food. I don’t condone his reaction to this matter, but it is important that he keeps on educating people about the benefits of healthy, responsible eating.

    As far as he is concerned, I guess the old motto “Do as I say, not as I do” stands true yet again.

  25. I like Dr. Mercola articles but I too was questioning why there was maltodextrin in his whey protein product.

    But I thought I was the only one questioning it.

  26. I may be the exception to the rule. I am a male who does not believe that because this site is primarily health info for the female population that I cannot gain from the collective wisdom and experience. I used to take Dr. Mercola’s e letter and quit it a long time ago. To many suspicions and red flags for me. I believe he is involved in self promtion more than research. Let me just say I firmly support Amanda del la Garza did the right thing. She held herself accountable for own health. To much corporate B.S. and worring about the bottom line while we rear a generation of obese kids, because the foods they eat are nutrient deficient. We need more folks to stand up, like those on this site!

    1. Leo, well said, and, we do have men who read the blog regularly–it’s for everyone!–and sometimes they even comment. I wish more did, thank you!

  27. I followed Dr. Mercola’s website for a number of years from the very beginning but have not continued to do so for a long time, due to the heavy commercial element. However, just because a product is produced by ADM does not in itself make it a bad product. You have to take a look at each individual product and judge it accordingly. When a child acts badly you don’t label the child as bad. Rather you label the action as bad. If you take a look at the details of the Fibersol-2 product you can see that it has a number of benefits: http://www.matsutaniamerica.com/fs2/bioavailability.php

    It is not clear whether there are any drawbacks to using the product. My view is to refrain from making judgements without knowing the facts.

    1. Elinore….agreed, “refrain from making judgments without knowing the facts.” Also, know who is providing said “facts” and be discerning. (I have a whole section in the Intro of 12 Steps to Whole Foods about how to develop critical thinking skills to evaluate nutrition research studies or “facts.”)

  28. Hi Robyn, I just found you again after a long time and am really turned on about learning about your 12 step program and drinking green smoothies. I have been drinking green smoothies for almost a week and am blown away about the lack of hunger that I have.

    I was wondering if there is still time in Sept. to get in on the almond buy?

    You can let me know at my email address.

    Thank You,

    Peggy lockard

    1. Peggy, cool! Good stuff! The group buy won’t kick off until around Oct. 15, stand by for more info via newsletter, facebook, and this blog.

  29. My husband and I started taking Dr. Mercola’s astaxanthan and krill oil and started itching like crazy. I wrote to the company and got no response. I’ve been taking supplements for over 30 years and never had any bad reactions. There’s something weird about his stuff.

  30. Just found your website after doing a search on the maltodextrin in Mercola Whey protein.
    Without prejudice. E & OE
    I found that his videos attached to his articles are irritating and how he talks down to us like a teacher repeating everything ( Indoctrination now is what comes to mind)
    The articles are interesting as long as I switch off the horrible audio. I unsubscribed for a while then resubscribed
    Now have unsubscribed in utter disgust at the hypocracy in the name of profit and self interest.
    Is he real person or just a very good hologram??? or very advanced computer generated person alledgedly. I have read that science is many thousand years in advance of main stream so in the realm of things — anything is possible.
    It’s like Aunt Bessie products in England – there is no Aunt bessie to name just one

  31. I formulate products for a nutritional supplement company and I can tell you I would never use Fibersol in one of my products. I met with the rep because when I was hired we had a product that contained Fibersol and I asked him if it was GMO. He said there is no way he could guarantee that their product was not GMO since most corn is these days. That was all I needed to hear. I reformulated the product (a protein shake) right away and there is now no corn in it whatsoever. To say you have to have it is absurd. They use it because it is cheap. I like some of Dr. Mercola’s information but I would never buy his products knowing he sacrifices quality for profit.

  32. Robyn, I came across your article while researching digestive resistant maltodextrin. I too, have learned to research ALL ingredients
    before using from Dr. Mercola. Thank you! when you have learned so much from a person and later see their principles don’t alien with their business is it disheartening, and one might even start to question themselves. But we must remember we are all human and do make mistakes. All the more reason to ALWAY research all products you purchase. I look forward to checking out the rest of your blog. Thank you!

  33. I am in total agreement with Dr. Mercola. Sometimes there are times where you simply must use the BIG BOX companies to get an ingredient that will improve the use of the health product you want. She is missing the point herself that regardless of ethics, your health is important enough that in special situations where everything else has been done to make it the best it can be, you can only agree to get it from this ‘negative source’. In fact Mercola was accurate in the gas and antiobiotics. Is this woman walking everywhere and not buying gas which is directly feeding money to the largest and most organized crime syndicates? I doubt it. Sometimes we simply must relent and that is what separates us from the ‘extremists’ and why her posts have only confused others and labelled her a dissenter.

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