Rule No. 1 for being Internet-smart: Never read NaturalNews

imagesNatural News is the worst of the internet.

Would you get your medical advice from a non-medical doctor with inadequate training? How about one investigated by the FBI for supporting killing of scientists? Would you get your news from a site that denies the basic tenets of science and how the universe works? How about a site that promotes policies that can result in death (AIDS denialism, anti-vaccine, homeopathic remedies for deadly diseases such as Ebola)? Is a site led by a alt med salesman that pushes baseless conspiracy theories and calls respected doctors and scientists names (or worse) a reputable source of information?

No. And this is really serious. NO.

Learn the name NATURALNEWS.COM 

and avoid it entirely. They call themselves “The world’s top news source on natural health”. They are the top source for health misinformation and pseudoscience. This is not in doubt:

Natural News: A Truly Deadly Brand of Pseudoscience (Big Think)

Why are so many Facebook friends sharing preposterous stories from Natural News? (Salon)

Don’t believe anything you read at Natural News (Grist)

Mike Adams, a.k.a. the Health Ranger, a health scamster profiled (ScienceBlogs)

Natural News’ Mike Adams libelously attacks Science-Based Medicine’s David Gorski

NN also publishes this disclaimer:

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material.

In other words, treat this site as a joke because it’s not a science, news, or medical site. And, if you do follow the terrible advice or take our word for it and then hurt yourself, we absolve ourselves of everything.

How noble, eh? Sadly, some people really do believe this stuff.

If you read NN, which is possible because the damn thing is very popular, you are indulging in the wrongness; please go prepared for massive doses of nonsense and delusional commentary. If you share any of these stories as useful or true, you need an immediate intervention. Every time you share one of their links, even to make fun of it, you add to their Google search ranking. So don’t do that. Just don’t ever click on that site for anything.

Skeptoid twice named NN the #1 Worst Anti-Science website:

It began as the blog of conspiracy theorist Mike Adams, and is now a massive sales and advertising portal for alternative supplements and crank nonsense. Although the content is overwhelming dominated by police state conspiracy mongering, Adams himself describes his site, bizarrely, thus: “Natural News is a science-based natural health advocacy organization led by activist-turned-scientist Mike Adams, the Health Ranger.”

…Natural News is the single source most often cited by Internet commenters arguing against some science-based point. Yet the site has been harshly criticized for its misinformation by the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, ABC News, The New York Times, ScienceBlogs, Discover Magazine, Quackwatch, The Daily Herald, Grist, CBS News, The Daily Telegraph, Mother Jones, the Austin Business Journal, and innumerable Internet blogs.

There is no disputing NN provides bogus information on health claims. Just yesterday: “Dandelion root far more effective in fighting cancer cells than chemotherapy”. Dangerous shit. They also SELL alternative “treatments” that may or may not harm you but at the very least is a waste of your money and makes Adams money. If you use them as alternatives to real medicine (which is the actual intent, since the site is against mainstream medicine), you could be seriously harmed. Remember, they aren’t responsible for that. You are. Obtain and use health information wisely. also makes a habit out of calling people names and making real doctors and scientists out to be horrible monsters. The wikipedia article on the site it good and note (this is important!) the contents of wikipedia are sourced so you can check them yourself. Those who promote nonsense hate that and will attack Wikipedia editors for printing facts that make them look bad. The truth hurts.

The negative responses to NN are not from people with a grudge, they are from journalists and writers who care about people’s health and a safe, reasonable society. Some writers on NN may believe they are trying to do the right thing by promoting unsupported and dangerous claims for “natural” health but they also have an agenda to make money selling products and ads on the site.

From mic:

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.

Popular doesn’t mean correct, reliable, or even nice. Popular means powerful. You can get power by being a lying bully and pandering to people’s desperation and fears. Those that speak out against NN aren’t intimidated by lying bullies and we deplore those who fear-monger and peddle bullshit.

I encourage you to link to this article when someone you know promotes any story on Natural News.

Natural News should not to be confused with @NatureNews which is the twitter handle of one of the world’s most respected science journals.


17 thoughts on “Rule No. 1 for being Internet-smart: Never read NaturalNews

  1. If you ever do have the misfortune of finding yourself on Natural News DO NOT engage in comment threads. However witty or sensible your comments might be, however much you think there might be a remote chance of helping someone else realise that Mike Adams is a hideous little excuse for a human being you will only succeed in making your own head explode with rage and then be blocked. (I’m okay, but just barely.) As if his outrageously libelous insinuations about Dr Gorski were not enough he actually had the unmitigated stupidity to imply that Randi is a pedophile because he once arranged a consensual assignation with a “young” man. Get it? I hope slimy Mike Adams’ quest for attention some day leads to a very lucrative settlement against him.

  2. Mike Adams – 1,600,000+ followers. Sharon Hill – 6,000+ followers. So what are your credentials, Sharon? I would tell people not to follow you but obviously I don’t need to.

  3. Why would you feel the need to tell people not to follow me? You didn’t specify your disagreement.

    BTW, Kim Kardashian West has 45 million followers. What does that matter?

    My credentials? You can view my bio. What are Adams’ credentials? This piece shows clearly why Adams is dangerous and he’s making money off his popular site. Are you saying that because he’s popular that he’s right? That’s not logical. Please flesh out your argument here because I don’t understand the point your are making.

  4. Even if you were right about them I definitely wouldn’t trust modern “science” either. They are funded by big pharma and special interest groups. This site might not have everything right, but I can assure you most modern scientist aren’t really doing scientific studies.

  5. Evidence for this? None. Have you READ Science or Nature lately? How about PLoS? What do you think scientists do in their labs all day? Collect shill checks. I can assure you right back that if they did, they wouldn’t be wasting most of their time trying to scrape up grant money to survive.

  6. Evidence for this?
    Have no idea what you mean.

    Have you READ Science or Nature lately? How about PLoS?
    I think I’ve read like two articles on SoN and never heard of PLos.

    What do you think scientists do in their labs all day? Collect a “shill” check?
    Basically, yes. They work for a corporation( big pharma, etc) or a govt entity. Either way they do not have the freedom to pursue what they would really like to be working on. Take scientist who have figured out that you can cure diabetes with the chemical harmine(sp) from the ayahuasca vine. It replaces the beta cells in your pancreas to allow you to produce insulin. This was once thought impossible. They haven’t figured out how to separate it from the DMT that’s also in the vine. Think they are receiving any funding from the govt or any corporation out there? I’ll give you one guess why that is(hint: can’t patient nature). So, is it really about curing diabetes, or to make sure every America has a little white pill?

    I can assure you right back that if they did, they wouldn’t be wasting most of their time trying to scrape up grant money to survive.
    Couldn’t agree more. Wish they didn’t have to. It would be wonderful to take off the handcuffs of these great minds. Instead we are stuck with this kind of junk, unfortunately.

    “An ongoing US Department of Energy-backed research project led by a US Navy scientist predicts that the Arctic could lose its summer sea ice cover as early as 2016 – 84 years ahead of conventional model projections.”
    The Guardian

    Have a great day and thanks for the reply.

  7. So you have clearly demonstrated your lack of information in this topic. It’s best not to put forward your opinion when you know absolutely nothing about the topic.

  8. A friend referred me to Natural News and I was appalled by the harebrained rubbish on their website. They cite studies that either do not exist, or they completely twist the results to conform to their conspiracy theories. I cut and pasted the abstract to one such study in their comment section, to show that the findings were not even close to what the article had claimed. The comment was deleted, and next time I tried to comment I discovered I had been banned from commenting on their site. So Natural News doesn’t allow someone to post the abstract of an actual scientific study to the comment section of an article that is supposedly about that study.

  9. Sharon, I am a highly scientific oriented person that at 62 years old has also taught me that your highly dogmatist driven view of “Never read NaturalNews” is both un-genuine and rife with hubris. To say ‘Never’ is absolutely unscientific and illiterate as an attitude and view. The Bible has a lot of truth and a lot of crap, some scientifically provable and a lot that’s not, but it does not mean to “Never” read the bible. I don’t take everything NaturalNews posts seriously, anymore than I do the JAMA, Lancet, Sanford Medical reviews, Mayo Clinic reviews, etc., etc. And especially I don’t take the highly conflict-of-interest ridden corporate funded science studies on face value, especially where billions of dollars, executive salaries/bonuses/options and stock holder interests ride on any one of those studies outcomes. One of the things I look for in ANY study report or review of a study(s) is the references, and then review those referenced studies accordingly. Are they themselves of an acceptable scientific nature, are they based on mere meta-studies analysis as so many claiming to be ‘scientific fact’ are, or are they based on actual performed core double-blind studies that include all the scientific criteria for falsification throughout. For instance, the Monsanto funded so-called scientific studies on GM food safety is so rife with hubris and lack of vigorous falsifications for their assertions it’s absurd. There’s no way that 90 day or less rat studies can be considered a gold-standard of scientific fact where safety related studies are concerned. That is a reckless expression of holding thorough scientific inquiry hostage to stock holder interests no matter how one parses it. Every scientist worth their salt knows this at its heart, which is one of the points NaturalNew exposed in their posting regarding this issue regarding ‘actual’ safety of GM foods, and even posted 40 independent/public funded scientific studies that counterfactual the poorly executed and manipulated-for-expected-outcomes Monsanto funded studies. “Science, Sensibility and Practical Skepticism” also includes always realizing the ever important adage, “If the map don’t match the terrain, the map is wrong!” no matter how one might attempt to parse the terrain in comporting to the map.

  10. Sorry, I stand by my NEVER. Check with science-based medicine and Respectful Insolence blogs written by accredited doctors and scientists, of which Mike Adams is neither.

  11. Fair enough! And I will continue to peruse ALL available information for those insightful gems that are far too often hidden in such review/publication as given by NaturalNews. And pleeeaase… Don’t assume I don’t check with science-based medicine and insolence blogs written by accredited doctors, including the preposterous QuackWatch… Again, connecting one’s self at the hip to a a myopic view of the world and cafeteria-selected ‘scientific’ sources is again, rife with hubris and un-genuine of an inquiring mind. But then again, that ‘inquiring’ and questioning aspect of being a skeptic is too often rife with attitude-centric views and leaves those who do so as implausible, no matter how they may parse their argument or views. But then again, that is your prerogative, and if it is your intention to mimic Dr. Stephen Barrett’s QuackWatch orientation then so be it. He’s also one of those ‘NEVER’ sort of fellows whose organization is now involved in a years long legal liable suit battle for the survival of his organization due to maliciously disparaging and making untrue assertions regarding a health program on the basis of hubris and un-genuine perspectives. Oh, and by the way, court records now show that his organization is funded by Big-Pharma… And yours?

    So there is no misunderstanding me. I totally agree with you on people getting medically related advice from medical doctors for medical conditions. Absolutely no argument there. I also agree with the premise of people not solely referring to books and websites, such as WebMD and yes, NaturalNews, for their medical needs. Again, don’t disagree with you regarding this contextual aspect of your posting. But even so, I realize that once someone posts a ‘NEVER’ as boldly as you have on the web, well…… you’re kind of held hostage to holding that point regardless. Sadly, I don’t see that as being “Scientific, Sensible or Practical in Skepticism,” but quite the opposite when all is said and considered.

    We’ll obviously not agree on the ‘never’ point, and that’s ok. Wishing you the best in your endeavors all the same.

  12. I’m with NEVER. While it is certainly true that not every single thing on Mike Adams’ site is pure crap, I’d still never turn there looking for reliable information.

  13. I find your argument confusing and inconsistent and, casting aspersions… I’ve heard that before. Usually it’s done by people who have no worthwhile evidence or defenses for their work.

    I’ve been clear that anyone reading Natural News is wasting their time at least (unless they enjoy laughing at Adams’ conspiracies, but I think that’s a bit cruel) and at worst, they believe what he says. Part of good skepticism is knowing how to filter through the tremendous amount of information sources out there. If we read EVERYTHING, we’d learn nothing and waste our lives. We must seek reliable sources. That doesn’t mean blindly accepting what they say, but it means we don’t use up valuable time picking through 99.99% garbage. Besides, any gem I find on garbage sites will be picked up by reputable sources anyway. Science is the most reliable way of knowing. So I’ll stick to what real researchers and medical professionals say about health care. Thanks for you suggestions but I’m currently satisfied that my choices are the better one.

    By the way, Adams’ site is CHOCK FULL of advertising for useless products. At least pharmaceutical companies test their products and abide by laws, unlike dietary supplements and vitamin companies who can skirt robust clinical trials and validity testing.

  14. Reminder to commenters whose posts are disallowed: you don’t have the right to hijack my site with your unsupported claims about dandelion root and whatnot. Take your pre-scientific stuff someplace else.

Comments are closed.