Mercola gets a $5 million slap

Joseph Mercola, the popular quack, has been selling tanning beds with a twist. He’s been claiming that exposing yourself to fairly high intensity ultraviolet light will prevent cancer. That’s right. An exposure that causes a low level of direct DNA damage prevents skin cancer, according to a quack.

The courts weren’t going to buy that nonsense, so Mercola settled a false advertising suit, promised to refund up to $5.3 million in tanning bed sales, and to never do it again. Of course he already has an explanation.

But speaking Thursday, Mercola said he only settled the case as “a business decision,” and stands by his claims that his tanning beds had cancer-fighting benefits and that Americans were suffering from what he called an “epidemic” of under-exposure to ultraviolet light, which he said could be treated by “moderate” sun bed use.

The duck says what?

He also swears he’s not selling these things for the money, but solely to help people.

While he acknowledged Thursday that he’d sold thousands of tanning beds between 2012 and last year, he said his business is not “a tool … to get me a bigger house and car” but rather a means of funding his mission to “inform consumers” about “natural health.”

He said he moved from the Chicago area to Florida, where he owns a waterfront mansion, four years ago because of his belief in the health benefits of the sun.

He’s not in it for the money, but he’s able to shrug off a $5 million judgment and has a waterfront mansion in Florida.

I have suddenly thought of one good consequence of global warming. One.


  1. komarov says

    I have suddenly thought of one good consequence of global warming. One.

    Oh, ooh, is it the hassle this twit will have when he has to move from the old waterfront mansion to a new one a few hundred meters further inland? Although he can probably afford to hire someone to take care of everything for him.

    Almost makes me wish I had no scruples. Life would be so much simpler.

  2. dianne says

    But, but, PZ, don’t you know? Alternative medicine is all about brave maverick doctors (TM) fighting evil big pharma for no reward at all except righteousness! Surely you aren’t saying Mercola is making money off his business! Why, that would be like saying that the preacher of a mega church made money off his establishment. Unthinkable!

  3. James Stilton says

    I love his name though – sounds so much like “Merck.” Maybe he’s a kind of “mini-Merck.” Actually, a lot of what he says sounds like Merck and the rest of the pharma industry. They just jump through more hoops to do somewhat the same thing.

  4. Rich Woods says

    Mercola moves in, the ‘gators move out. “The neighbourhood just isn’t what it used to be,” said one ex-resident, who didn’t wish to be named. “I’m used to living alongside cold-blooded predators, but even I have standards.”

  5. grumpyoldfart says

    stands by his claims that his tanning beds had cancer-fighting benefits

    Found guilty of making a false claim and then repeats same claim outside the court! Funny old justice system isn’t it?

  6. blf says

    stands by his claims that his tanning beds had cancer-fighting benefits

    A mansion in Florida is one of the benefits.

  7. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Perhaps he should take a homeopathic approach–dilute those UV rays in darkness, until only the vibrations are left.

  8. ck, the Irate Lump says

    I was just thinking how similar this was to the Kevin Trudeau nonsense a few years ago. A liar who couldn’t stop lying and eventually landed in prison for his trouble. We can only hope that Mercola will be just as lucky.

  9. mithrandir says

    And of course all this is going to be “Big Pharma conspiracy has corrupted the courts to suppress me” fodder for him and his true believers. Then again, so is anything bad that ever happens to him. If he stubbed his toe, it’d be Big Pharma’s goons rearranging his furniture to trip him up.

  10. robro says

    Moron — Outside my area of expertise, but I think UV radiation is already vibrations, of a sort. What he needs to do is mix it with darkness until nothing is left but darkness, and the residual “memory” of the vibrations. At least then, when he cons people into sitting in his dark contraption, they won’t get skin cancer.

  11. Intaglio says

    A second benefit to sea level rise is that Trump’s mansion on the “sparkling” waters of Long Island Sound will soon be a useful reef for preserving ocean life.