Dr Joseph Mercola on Medika’s Quack Scale

Dr Joseph Mercola scores 5/5 on Medika's Quack Scale

Dr. Joseph Mercola scores 5/5 on our Quack Scale. He represents a very real danger to the general public, and we encourage members of the public to seek alternate medical or health advice and products from reliable, trustworthy sources. Do not follow recommendations from this individual relating to your personal health or the health of others.

If you’re not sure how our Quack Scale works, click here for a detailed explanation

Qualification: Osteopathy

Current Licensing Status: Refer to THIS ARTICLE on the controversy surrounding Mercola’s certification

Resident: Florida

Existing Complaints: None listed in a professional capacity.

Website: mercola.com

Mercola’s most important qualification isn’t any of the medical qualifications he lays clim to on his site. His true calling is marketing and more specifically, online marketing. His clear and firm grasp of the power and reach of the internet early into his career has arguably allowed him to create one of the most dangerous and influential digital health disinformation platforms in the world. Mercola.com is big business, generating millions of dollars every month.

Again, according to his website, mercola.com is now routinely among the top 10 natural health websites on the internet, boasting over a million newsletter subscribers, and garnering more than 10 million page views per month. That’s a lot of potential customers, which is exactly what drives Dr Mercola. His primary concern is financial and has nothing to do with your actual health. A clear indicator of the sales pitch based health practitioner is their pursuit and endorsement of conspiracy theories.

Like it or not, conspiratorialists are seen as gullible and easily led astray. They are, in essence, the perfect customer for unscrupulous salesmen like Mercola. Conspiracy theories and alternate health make excellent bedfellows, a fact not lost on either party. Mercola is the master of manipulation and the average member of the public stands no chance against his refined sales pitch. Create fear and then offer your customer a solution, one you manufacture.

His Covid disinformation campaign has been solely motivated by selling his customer’s fake cures, creating a sense of false safety in the clients he sells to and endangering their lives. In our opinion, his business model, advice, and products are incredibly damaging and dangerous to the health of the general public. Many of his claims are bogus and the benefits claimed for his products, non-existent. Don’t buy into the lies or his products. Again, Mercola has no interest in your long term health, you are merely a potential sale he needs to close!

His anti-vaccination views and support of businesses and organizations that campaign against vaccines should be sufficient to scare off all but the most conspiracy-driven individuals. Disrupting established vaccine programs does nothing more than allowing nearly eradicated diseases the opportunity to gain new footholds and threaten our communities. A resurgence of measles and mumps can be directly attributed to these anti-vaccination groups Mercola is the ultimate digital Quack cum snake oil salesman.

Supporting Articles

Publication – Quackwatch: Author Stephen Barrett, M.D. on July 27, 2020. Dr. Joseph Mercola Ordered to Stop Illegal Claims. Verdict: Guilty of spreading misinformation, misrepresenting the benefits of his products and endangering public health by spreading Covid misinformation.

Mercola Group has been capitalizing on the coronavirus pandemic by advising consumers to purchase vitamins, supplements, and other products sold on its website to prevent or treat the virus. Mercola Group’s website contains many misleading articles, such as “Nutrition and Natural Strategies Offer Hope Against COVID-19,” and a “Coronavirus Resource Guide” compiling various unsubstantiated claims about the COVID-fighting properties of various supplements. It also offers “medical” advice, including the extraordinarily dangerous and unsubstantiated recommendation that individuals actually try to contract COVID-19 after using the supplements it sells to ameliorate the symptoms.

Publication – The Ringer: Author Kate Knibbs,  Jan 5, 2017. The Most Honest Man in Medicine?. Verdict: A definitive NO.

“Joseph Mercola is among the top misinformation vectors of our time when it comes to health, medicine, food, parenting, and more. He promotes chemophobia and spreads fear of chemicals, GMOs, and vaccines, all while peddling alternatives to line his pockets,” pro-biotechnology activist and writer Kavin Senapathy told me. Senapathy has written for Forbes about Mercola’s habit of calling substances dangerous and then selling products containing those substances. “His promotion of pseudoscience helps fuel a culture that turns its nose up at beneficial technologies and medical treatments.”

Publication – Scienceblogs.com: Author oracknows on July 30, 2012. Joe Mercola attacks vaccinations again. Film at 11. Verdict: Mercola’s a slick propagandist. He knows how to come up with the big lie and repeat it relentlessly until it seems like the truth, at least to those who don’t know any better.

Mike Adams has got nothing on Joe Mercola when Joe decides he wants to go on an antivaccine tear, which he did yesterday in a full-throated, lame-brained, full-frontal assault on the pertussis vaccine, entitled Mounting Evidence Shows Many Vaccines are Ineffective and Contribute to Rise of Outbreaks Caused by Mutated Viruses. The article is a black hole of antivaccine misinformation, innumeracy, and pure pseudoscience, all rolled up into a vile little package designed to “go viral” on antivaccine websites, blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds everywhere. Basically, against all evidence, Mercola tries to blame outbreaks of pertussis on the acellular pertussis vaccine itself. I kid you not.


Publication – Center for Science in the Public Interest: Author publication, July 21, 2020. FDA and FTC Urged to Bring Enforcement Proceedings Against Joseph Mercola for False COVID-19 Health Claims. Verdict: The FDA and the FTC are long overdue to protect consumers from this kind of elaborate con job.

“None of the products Mercola Group sells are FDA-approved medical treatments for COVID-19,” wrote CSPI, Justice Catalyst Law, and People’s Parity Project to the FDA and FTC. “Thus, Dr. Mercola’s self-serving and unsupported theory is extremely dangerous to consumers, as well as an illegal disease treatment claim.”

Dr Joseph Mercola.images are all used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, and increase public health knowledge.

Reporting a Healthcare Professional

In the U.S: The American Medical Association lists a very clear and distinct set of guidelines or Code of Conduct for doctors and healthcare professionals. If you feel this code has been breached, or if you have concerns relating to your healthcare provider, you need to get in touch with your state’s licensing board. You can find contact details for all the state boards on this page, The Federation of State Medical Boards

Medwatch is a brand of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and they have teeth with which to bite. You can access their online form for registering a complaint by following this link. At the moment, they’re really hot on fake covid-19 products and treatments and the individuals and websites selling the products or spreading misinformation.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is an excellent place to register your covid related complaints as they have a task team set up specifically to protect consumers against charlatans and quacks. Fill in their online form or call their dedicated National Helpline number. They are also the place to report price gouging and hoarding.

In the U.K: Direct your complaints to the GMC (General Medical Council) via their website, which also makes allowance for Welsh speakers.

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