Dr Mercola is a star of the anti-vaccination movement. He is that rare beast - a doctor who has a lot of research to support his views. But can you trust the information found on mercola.com?
Mercola.com claims to be the world's number one natural health website and it was an argument with a friend about vaccinations that got me to first click on it in May 2017. There I found a wonderland of advice about every health issue imaginable.
Believing that if we are going to trust advice found on the internet, we need to first evaluate the source of that advice, I decided to examine the site as a whole and analyse what I found, instead of just reading what it published about vaccinations. And as websites change frequently, I took screenshots.
Mercola.com offers access to a whopping 300,000 articles free of charge. Let's start by deconstructing that. Dr Mercola says he started the site in 1997, so that's twenty years. Maybe I am cynical but it is hard to believe that one man found the time to author, or at the very least authorise, 15,000 articles a year. That's 288 a week. 41 a day. Seven days a week. For 20 years without a break.
The website currently has three broad areas of interest – health, pets and fitness. Could Dr Mercola really be an expert in all these areas? Of course not. Actually, at the top of the page there are five categories. The other two are Shop and Contact Us.
Clicking on Contact Us took me to a page that told me I could get instant answers on these categories - Shipping, International Shipping Restrictions, Krill Oil, Miracle Whey ™ Protein Powder, Cookware and Wool Bedding.
How very odd. Dr Mercola claims this is the Number 1 Natural Health Website but the Contact Us page clearly belongs to a marketing site.
I am sceptical about any health product that has the word miracle and click on Miracle Whey ™ Protein Powder and find for a pack of 11 servings the price is $29.97. A note states that the price has been discounted and is 20 % off and I quickly discover that every product that I check appears to have had the price reduced. This seems to be a tactic to make people think they are getting a bargain.
Mercola claims to have "taken one of our most popular whey proteins to the next level with additions like Nature's first milk and the ancient Bolivian complete protein 'Mother Grain'. However, the price still sounds like a lot of money to me. And the spiel sounds like a lot of marketing bullshit.
Miracle Whey ™ Protein Powder is supposed to support your immune health and this is an important - and no doubt profitable - claim on a site that states that immune support is a safer option than "artificial" vaccination.
Let's go now to the Shop. You can buy products in the categories of Supplements, Proteins, Food & Drinks, Personal Care, Home & Garden, Pets, Kids, Fitness, Books & DVDs, Top Products and Sale items. Each of these categories are further broken down into sub-categories. For the hell of it, I count these subcategories and find there are 158. That's not 158 different products, that's 158 different types of products and most of these products are branded with the name Dr Mercola.
Again, the question comes up - wherever did he find the time to research and approve these products? Again, I come to the same answer. It is simply not possible, yet there is a dizzying and dazzling array of products with his name on them. You can even buy Dr Mercola Seasonal Support for pets with seasonal allergies.
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