Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Goop’ Once Paid $145,000 In Fines for Making False Health Claims

Gwyneth Paltrow rose to fame as a versatile actress, a slender blonde beauty who starred in films such as Shakespeare in Love and Emma. However, in recent years, Paltrow has focused her efforts on the lifestyle business rather than the film industry.

Her lifestyle brand GOOP was created as a way for Paltrow to curate and share a few of her favorite products and healthy living hacks, and over the years, has grown into a huge brand with a massive following. However, GOOP has been plagued with controversy almost since the beginning, and it isn’t showing any signs of fading anytime soon. 

When did Gwyneth Paltrow found ‘Goop’?

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow | Getty Images/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

In the early 2000s, Paltrow was best known as a popular actress. Her personal life was often in the headlines, as she had a high-profile relationship with Brad Pitt.

However, she always had an interest in the lifestyle space and in 2008, she founded Goop. It began as a simple newsletter that was sent to subscriber’s email inboxes weekly and over time, grew to become an empire.

According to Paltrow, she “created Goop to organize her unbiased travel recommendations, health-centric recipes, and shopping discoveries for friends, and also a place to get her own questions – about health, fitness, and psych – answered.”

Eventually, Paltrow stepped back from acting in order to focus more on developing Goop. She launched a website, has partnered with multiple different businesses and brands, and even holds an annual wellness summit. Fans of the site can purchase a wide variety of products, including $600 sweaters and dietary supplements that claim to give those who ingest them a “mental boost” that can improve memory and attention. 

Why is ‘Goop’ so controversial?

In spite of how popular GOOP has become, it has also received a great deal of criticism from both medical professionals and regular people. One major criticism that has been leveled against the company is that it clearly caters to privileged people.

The price point of many of the items listed for sale on the GOOP website is prohibitively priced, making them out of reach for most ordinary people. Still, Paltrow doesn’t seem bothered by those types of complaints and continues to promote products that speak directly to her as well as the upper-class clientele she attracts. 

The most pervasive complaint that people have regarding GOOP is the questionable medical advice that the site often features. Many of the products featured on the website make bold medical claims, often without substance to back them up.

When the trailer was released for Paltrow’s newest project, a GOOP Netflix series, medical professionals were outraged by the fact that the upcoming series will seemingly be featuring more questionable medical content. Paltrow has continued to defend Goop and the new series, by saying that “we’re very focused, of course, on backing up the things that we talk about with scientific claims when necessary or being able to say like, ‘Hey, this is just for your entertainment.”

When was GOOP fined?

Unfortunately, GOOP has a history of paying up due to their insistence on offering up medical advice. In late 2018, Goop promoted a series of products with claims that medical professionals were able to determine were not backed up with scientific evidence.

Two of the products were vaginal eggs that GOOP claimed would “balance hormones, increase bladder control and regulate menstrual cycles.” The other product was Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend, a product that the company stated would help to prevent depression.

Due to GOOP’s unsubstantiated claims, the company had to pay a steep fine of $145,000 in civil penalties. Still, the company defended their intentions, stating that the fine was simply the result of an “honest disagreement.”

Whether or not GOOP manages to land in more hot water when the new Netflix series debuts remain to be seen. Hopefully, the company will have learned from previous missteps.