By Megan Cassidy San Francisco Chronicle
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Women who purchased the product from GOOP were instructed to insert the vaginal eggs for a number of medicinal purposes including "increased bladder control."
San Francisco Chronicle
Gwyneth Paltrow's controversial lifestyle and wellness company, Goop, has agreed to refund some customers who purchased its vaginal eggs and pay out $145,000 in a consumer-protection lawsuit settlement, California prosecutors announced this week.
Goop held up its jade and rose quartz eggs as a cure-all of sorts, advertising the items could balance hormones, prevent uterine prolapse, increase bladder control and prevent depression, according to a complaint filed by the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force.
Women were instructed to insert the egg-shaped stones into their vagina and let them sit for various lengths of time. The complaint said none of these claims were backed by legitimate science, calling the representations "false and misleading."
"False claims that assure consumers of specific health outcomes can put the public at risk," said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, whose office is a member of the task force.
The task force is composed of 10 district attorney's offices, including Napa, Marin, Monterey, Orange, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano and Sonoma counties.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen chastised Goop for putting South Bay consumers' health at risk. "We will vigilantly protect consumers against companies that promise health benefits without the support of good science ... or any science," he said.
The $145,000 in civil penalties will be split among the 10 counties, said a spokeswoman for the Alameda County prosecutor's office.
Goop additionally offered to refund customers the full price of eggs if they were purchased between Jan. 12, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2017. The $66 jade egg and $55 rose quartz variety are still available for purchase on the company's website, but they now claim to "increase sexual energy."
The Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend, a $22 liquid that was also noted in the lawsuit, appears to have sold out. Goop currently advertises the concoction as a "floral blend that assists in the clearing of guilt, shame, self-criticism and blame."
As part of the settlement, Goop is barred from making any claims about the effects of its products without scientific backing, as well as selling or manufacturing any misbranded or falsely advertised medical devices, prosecutors said.
Goop issued a statement saying that although the company "believes there is an honest disagreement about these claims, the company wanted to settle this matter quickly and amicably."
The recent suit isn't the first time Goop has taken heat for claims about the effectiveness of its products.
A line of stickers promoted on the company's website last year claimed to use "the same carbon material NASA uses to line space suits," a description quickly refuted by the space agency. Goop later removed the NASA reference from the stickers' description.