Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

We all want good, safe products and if you are anything like me, spend a good amount of time looking for a company to really do the research and provide these things at a reasonable price.

I have kept my eye on the Green Polkadot Box, a company promoted by Natural News, the Organic Consumers Association, and the Institute of Responsible Technology, hoping that this company would live up to the hype and start ridding itself of products such as Hain Celestials and Tom’s of Maine, which is now owned by Colgate-Palmolive. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

I just received the following warning from the Cornucopia Institute:

Tell The Honest Company and Tom’s of Maine: Stop the Lies About Carrageenan

June 28th, 2013

The Honest Company recently introduced toothpaste for kids—and included the harmful ingredient carrageenan.  When customer complaints poured in, they responded by telling us we are all “confused” and “misinformed” about the difference between degraded carrageenan and food-grade carrageenan—and that food-grade carrageenan is perfectly safe.

Tom’s of Maine (Colgate-Palmolive) also puts carrageenan in its toothpaste, including kids’ toothpaste, and states on its website that its concerned customers “are under the mistaken impression” that food-grade carrageenan is harmful.

Since young children tend to swallow their toothpaste, it means a daily dose of this harmful ingredient (researchers are even concerned about the minimal amounts of toothpaste residue that adults swallow).

By telling us we are confusing degraded carrageenan with food-grade carrageenan, The Honest Company and Tom’s of Maine are parroting the talking points supplied by the carrageenan industry’s trade lobby group.

There is simply no way around it: dozens of scientific, peer-reviewed studies used food-grade carrageenan and found it caused gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations, lesions and even colon cancer in laboratory animals.  Most of these recent studies were funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.  READ MORE…

I then went to the Green Polkadot Box to see if the company is still selling the Colgate-Palmolive brand, Tom’s of Maine children’s toothpaste. This is what I found still on the site, and still misrepresented as fluoride-free anti-cavity:

 GPB Tom

Click to Enlarge

Here is the real scoop about the ingredients from the Tom’s of Maine site. Notice fluoride and carrageenan, fluoride being first on the list. The picture of the toothpaste tube on the Box’s site matches this one, and this is the Silly Strawberry anti-cavity toothpaste:

 Tom Anti Cavity Ing

Click to Enlarge

But wait! Maybe it’s just an honest mistake. There is another Silly Strawberry without fluoride, NOT anti-cavity, but still containing carrageenan:

 Tom Fluoride Free Ing

Click to Enlarge

So, which do you get when you purchase Silly Strawberry toothpaste from the Box? Your guess is as good as mine, but you can be sure that they both contain carrageenan.

So, let’s just review the Box’s statement on the “About” page:

A Family Enterprise

The Green PolkaDot Box has become a labor of love and family affair for us. Every one of our children—Sariah, Hunter, Dillon, Rachel and Olivia—continue to play key roles in the company. We want you to join our Green PolkaDot family. You can count on us to do the homework to make sure that the foods in our shop are of the highest quality, safe, clean, non-GMO and, whenever possible, organic.

Now, let’s review Cornucopia’s statement about carrigeenan in the children’s toothpaste that the Box sells:

There is simply no way around it: dozens of scientific, peer-reviewed studies used food-grade carrageenan and found it caused gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations, lesions and even colon cancer in laboratory animals.  Most of these recent studies were funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.  

I suggest that more “homework” is needed, don’t you? Until then, please be very careful that what you buy is really what the company says it is and don’t rely on overblown hype and marketing to make your decisions about the safety of those products. Not every company that says it provides “safe” products really “does their homework.”

© 2013 Barbara H. Peterson

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12 Responses to “False Advertising? You Tell Me…”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I did some research online for the Green Polka Dot Box on various web resources. The location is: 896 S Auto Mall Dr, American Fork, Utah, 84003.

    I extrapolated the information from Whois sources and dates back to 2008 from the Internet Archive. The Whois lists Rod A. Smith as Ceo. The date of the creation for the website is listed as 2013, but creation date of 2012 (possible renewal?)Anyhow, a prnewsire news statement was released about the company on May, 28th 2013. However, records go back to 2008 with an incomplete internet archive on the Wayback Machine.

    Upon further search of Google maps to check out the location in American Fork, Utah to confirm the location of the business myself, I saw that the Google car time stamp is listed as an empty dirt lot for the given address dated July 2012. Across from the lot is plants and another food driven establishment Four Food Groups up the road.

    Green Polka Dot Box is listed on the normal traffic map, but there is an empty lot on the aerial view image from 2013.

    Now how can this be? Are they really representing reality as Google sees it, or is there something obscure going on?

    I also did research on Rod A. Smith and did not find much of a web history or presence.

  2. In my education of clients, I try to teach how to read labels. Christine Farlow has a great pocketbook on additives and her newest book has that many more ingredients listed as toxic that we have taken for granted. I give this to clients working with me.

    I wrote green polka dot box when they were starting and lising companies that I knew were NOT organic. I never pursued joining them because I knew that if they listed one non-organic product more would soon be added.

    Save your seed (above commenter) lists earthpaste but it still has xylitol: Diarrhea and gas are some of the more commonly reported xylitol side effects. Companies always have to put some form of sugar in their products (tells you the addiction in our country) and its so frustrating! I now keep playing with combinations to create my own paste and I have become a fan of my tooth powder: Momorillite clay, neem, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. I swish with H2O2 afterwards and it works great. Sometimes I leave out the cinnamon and clove.

    The more I learn the more I get frustrated with the toxins in our environment and I am moving further and further away from purchasing products of any type and finding healthier alternatives for my body and home. In doing so I am also recommending these options to clients to reverse their health problems so that they can have the energy, get their sleep and reverse hormone imbalances.

    Now, here’s one you can report on next- the personal hygiene products (including pads/tampons) AND toilet paper :)

  3. Here is a report on carrageenan – what it is and what it does:

  4. SaveYourSeed says:

    A sharp eye Barbara; a team can always accomplish more ! Recently found “Earthpaste” by
    Redmond out of Utah and love it- love it ! Salt, food grade Clay, peppermint oil, tea tree oil..
    Safe to Eat. The holistic Dentist in my town recommends Gray Celtic salt w/ Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda & a dab of peppermint oil…grind in a Coffee grinder….store in small jar for use; all good !

  5. Brent Bielema says:

    But what is carrageenan? Isn’t it just seaweed or a seaweed derivative? I have heard warnings about this substance for many years now, and still don’t know what to make of it. The latest is that it was somehow contaminated by Fukushima radiation. But isn’t seaweed supposed to have iodine to help detox from something like that? I think we need more information to make a rational decision, but obviously the fluoride is the must-to-avoid. Thanks for making this available — hopefully Mike will forego the Vilcabamba life and look into this further!!

  6. Brenda says:

    So there you go Barbara a way to make money. You should make toothpaste and sell it. You either make it or run the risk of the junk they sell.

  7. hn says:

    Following Mike Adams and Natural News is just like accepting Colgate Palmolive that also owns Burt’s Bees is Green and Clean.

  8. Yes, Brenda, you can. I mix a container of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and coconut oil into a paste, keep it by my sink and use that. If you need flavored, then just put some peppermint oil in it. Clean, healthy, works better and cheaper than store-bought.

  9. Brenda says:

    What is in toothpaste? Can’t you replace it by using baking soda and avoid toothpaste all together?

  10. Beyond The Facade says:

    just found out that Chipoltle Restaurant uses GMO soybean oil despite their claims of labeling themselves as GMO-free.

    we are being re-educated here and learning a lot –
    the hain’s celestial seasonings was an eye opener!
    excellent transparent investigative work!

  11. wolvenwood says:

    Thanks Barbara! I’m sure we can look to find this kind of thing more often now. I used to follow Natural News but lately I’m not so sure about it. The guy running it seems to be falling for every hype that corporations spout. Makes me wonder if they’re paying him.

  12. Adam Roberts says:

    When you add all this up, along with the seemingly intentional dismissal of various natural cures for most diseases by the “medical science academia”and pharmaceutical companies.. then you see where many of these diseases appear to be MAN MADE.. then you read where they are trying to outlaw vitamins and homeopathic treatments.. it is damned hard to come to ANY conclusion other than THEY WANT US DEAD…please tell me I am wrong!