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Michael Allen “Mike” Adams a.k.a. The Health Ranger (born 1969 or 1967 in Lawrence, KS) is publisher of Natural News (formerly News Target) which promotes alternative health and natural lifestyle products online. He is an ardent anti-biotech, pro-organic advocate who claims biotech scientists “are the most despicable humanoids to walk the face of this planet” and that they promote corporate “junk science” and are anti-human. In what Adams calls ‘murder by science’ if the precautionary principle is not observed, he warns that GMOs are a risk to all life that will cause ‘ecocide’ across the plant if allowed to be release.
[Read latest GLP coverage of Mike Adams, May 16, 2014: NaturalNews’ Mike Adams bullies Forbes, GLP, maybe himself for libeling “quack” health practices
Adams conspiracy theories are not limited to GMOs, but, critics say, include anti-vaccine, Obama 'birther,' HIV/AIDS denial and even Global Warming denialism for which Science 2.0 blogger Mark Hoofnagle notes, Adams "anti-government conspiratorial tendencies with his overriding naturalistic fantasy to decide the government (and Al Gore) are conspiring to destroy our power infrastructure with carbon taxes..."
Mike Adams, the self-styled “Health Ranger”, is the founder and owner of NaturalNews. According to his own website his interest in alternative nutrition was sparked by developing type II diabetes. He is a raw foods enthusiast and “holistic nutritionist”. He claims to eat no processed foods, dairy, sugar, meat from mammals or food products containing additives such as MSG and has also contributed to Infowars.com. Adams neither cites nor provides any specifics as to formal education or training he may have other than to claim he “has a four-year bachelor of science degree from a prominent university in the Midwest. He has minors in mathematics and economics.” Adding, he “began to attend college before graduating from high school. His claims his early college coursework included microbiology and genetics” as support for his “strong academic background in the sciences.”
According to his site, Adams got into top physical shape using natural products and exercise after curing himself of diabetes at the age of 30. He believes “the vast majority of all diseases can be easily prevented and even cured without drugs or surgery. His current self-promoted mission is to educate people about their health and uncover the “truth” about “harmful” prescriptions drugs and medical practices. Adams bases his U.S. operations in Cody, Wyoming and Tucson, Arizona while residing in various other reported locations including Austin Texas and Ecuador (see “personal” tab below).
Adams has promoted such causes as AIDS denialism, 9/11 truther conspiracies, Barack Obama citizenship ‘birther’ claims and is believer in ‘dangerous’ chemtrails and the ‘danger’ of vaccines. His site endorses conspiracy theories surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and has endorsed Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business, a movie about Stanislaw Burzynski and his clinic promoting unproven cancer treatments linked to numerous FDA warnings and lawsuits for insurance fraud. Physician blogger Steven Novella characterizes Adams as “a dangerous conspiracy-mongering crank.”Mike Adams Takes On “Skeptics”,
Adams is a self-described holistic nutritionist, an advocate of consumer privacy laws, a supporter of the now-defunct California anti-spam law, and an avid writer and researcher on a variety of topics ranging from alternative health to political conspiracies. In 2014 he launched a “food lab” where he claims to conduct tests the results of which he publishes claiming he finds high heavy metal and other toxin levels in foods and products for which compares with lines of products offered for sale on his website which his tests conveniently claim are free from such products.
He claims that his websites employs 10 people and that he receive income from Google AdWords displayed on each page, although it is unlikely these contextual ads could support such a large staff and the activities engaged in by Adams. In 2007 Adams promised to launch a new US-based 501C3 non-profit charitable organization called “Nutrition For Expectant Mothers” (NFEM) that he claimed would provide free educational materials about nutrition and health to birth centers across North America. Adams appears to have registered www.nefm.org; however, there has been no formal 501c3 tax filings made with the IRS. The site is not yet live and the registration was done through a third-party, off-shore privacy service.
Mike Adams is also executive director of the “Consumer Wellness Research Center” (a.k.a. Terra Christa Communications, Inc.), which was created as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 1995 but has failed to filed IRS tax returns for the group since 2003. The organization, however, continues to promote “grant making” activities listing recipients into 2011 while soliciting donations and listing sponsors on its website. The site proclaims, “The CWC needs your support right now to launch its Prenatal Wellness Program.” Adams corporate sponsor on this site is Integrated Health Products, whose supplements carry the Mike Adams/Natural News Seal of Approval.
In 1998 Adams launched the Y2K Newswire promoting apocalyptic claims of impending disaster offering sales of emergency preparedness products and foods. Similarly, following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, Adams promoted claims of cancer-causing contamination reaching American cities and offering sales of “FDA approved” potassium iodide treatments and storable uncontaminated super foods for purchase from the Natural News online store.
Adams has been described in his own promotional materials as “a pioneer in the application of technology to online commerce.” He claims to have invented the PC’s first permission email marketing software application in 1993 and founded Cody, Wyoming & Tucson, Arizona-based Arial Software — now considered one of the most successful permission email software firms in the world. Adams business interests reportedly include e-mail marketing services used by nutraceutical, alternative health and natural products companies. Publicly Adams is an outspoken opponent of spam (although he is accused of being a spammer himself; see below) and a strong advocate of permission marketing, believing that customer trust is a prerequisite for constructive company / customer relations. Adams claims to be a firm believer in the power of the Internet to add value and meaning to the lives of people everywhere. “The Internet is the medium through which we can collectively improve the quality of life for people everywhere,” he has written. “The Internet allows us to share information, ideas and knowledge at the speed of thought, at virtually no cost.” Truth in Publishing NewsTarget (Natural News) is Adams’ flagship online marketing venture.
Adams runs News Target (Natural News) health Web publishing organization ‘based’ overseas in Taiwan under the name Truth Publishing which lists its address as 2055 N. Kolb Road in Tuscon, AZ (a vacant building currently listed available for lease). Truth in Publishing appears to be a foreign business name which operated in the U.S. under “Webseed” — an Arizona “retail sales” corporation registered in Mike Adams’ wife’s name listing him as president and director at a private mail boxes location. Via Natural News publishing Mike Adams makes a wide range of conspiracy claims ranging from government controlled “weather weapons” to government-corporate conspiracies involving chemtrails and GMOs to commit genocide.
According to reports published by Adams, he became involved with Truth Publishing and became its “primary writer;” however, earlier postings by Adams refer to him as the organization’s founder and CEO. In addition to producing the NewsTarget.com alternative news site, Truth Publishing also publishes an array of cookbooks, natural health guides and other reports and books focusing on alternative health, natural and organic products. Adams claims half a million people read his articles each month. According to Adams, Google Adsense administers all the ads on NewsTarget, and he only earns a modest income from the site and his book royalties. There are several other Web sites with similar natural and alternative health information in the Truth Publishing family of sites, on which Adams is highly visible. However, Adams’ site(s) include a wide range of non-Google promotional advertising banners linked to alternative health sales sponsors whose products are then touted and endorsed by Adams in his various natural and alternative health “news” publications.
Adams cross-posts content and he frequently promotes the work of other alternative health influencers, including frequent pharmaceutical industry critics Dr. Joe Mercola and Sepp Hassleberg, and anti-GMO conspiracy activists such as Jeffrey Smith, who funds his one-man NGO the Insitute for Responsible Technology, and Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association. He similarly supports and joins in lobbying and marketing efforts of such groups as the Organic Consumers Association and Cornucopia Institute (a non-profit front group for Organic Valley Cooperative) extending his reach beyond health to food and nutrition groups. He was a major supporter and noted funder of the California Prop 37 campaign to require labeling of GMO foods.
Adams has been called a “spammer” and fraud artist by “watch-dog groups, who note: “Adams is not a Medical Doctor he has registered or operates a string of fake health advice websites which include prenatalnutrition.org, expectant-mothers.com, NewsTarget.com, HoodiaFactor.com, EmergingFuture.com, SpamAnatomy.com, VitaminFactor.org, CounterThink.com, HealthFactor.info, JunkScience.info, BrainHealthNews.com, LowCholesterolDiets.DietsLink.com, PublicHealthNews.org, PharmaWatch.info, HomeToxins.com, PoisonPantry.org, DepressionFactor.org, webseed.com and ConsumerWellness.org to name a few.
Adams main site information says: “The NewsTarget Network is owned and operated by Truth Publishing International, Ltd., a Taiwan corporation. It is not recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit in the United States, but it operates without a profit incentive, and its key writer, Mike Adams, receives absolutely no payment for his time, articles or books other than reimbursement for items purchased in order to conduct product reviews.”
However, Adams solicits various advertising fees and sponsorships via Truth Publishing Fulfillment based in Tuscon, Arizona via his website.
The NewsTarget and Truth Publishing domains are in fact registered in Taiwan to:
- Lin, M.
2F, 164 Gong-Yi Rd., Taichung, 404 , Taiwan
+1.886423194924 Fax — +1.886423194924
- Arial Software:
Mike Adams, CEO
Sheh Lio Adams, CFO (his wife)
1501 Stampede Ave, Stuite 9005, Cody, WY 82414
Ph: (520) 615-1954
Adams is the (former) CEO of Arial Software (he says he sold his ownership stake in 2007), which boasted such clients as Microsoft, Ebay, Gas Stations USA, DHL and XM Satellite Radio. The company claimed to have more than 10,000 customers who purchased his e-mail marketing software packages ranging in price from $985 to $5,000. One analysis pegged his company sales at between $10 and $50 million. Arial’s email marketing software has been characterized as “spamware” which the company promotes as features that help marketers avoid sending email that look like and is blocked by spam filters.
Arial Software was the original registrant for Adams “Webseed” venture and webseed.com domain under which he now operates Truth Publishing and Natural News in Tuscon, AZ. Arial Software was acquired by San Clemente Technologies, Inc.
Adam’s claims more than 360,000 “confirmed, double-opt-in” subscribers to his daily newsletter and more than 4 million unique monthly visitors to his website(s). Third party rating service Compete.com estimates NaturalNews.com traffic alone at about 1.4 million visitors per month and ranks the site 1,814 (in the same category range as the Mayo Clinic ranked 1,476). By comparison, the U.S. government’s official cancer website Cancer.gov gets about 1/2 the estimated monthly traffic (700,000) compared with Adams and the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website receives only an estimated 73,000 visitors and is not even ranked.
Beyond Adams various publication and online news syndicates, his articles frequently appear as news service slugged content in alternative and natural health publications, indy news sources and mainstream overseas news publications. Forbes Magazine green technology and environment contributor Jeff McMahon sometimes links to Adam’s stories in his articles and states he is “a reader and a fan of Natural News” while critical of how the site handles corrections.
Adams has been active in various conspiracy campaigns. Adams is a frequent and ardent opponent of vaccinations  promoting claims that flu and other vaccines are dangerous risks to human health and linked to autism and other disorders.. He believes in the danger of chemtrails. Most recently he has focused much of his time on anti-GMO lobbying. Adams was a frequently noted as an influential player drumming up support and funding the Prop 37 anti-GMO labeling campaign in California.
Phil Plait accused Adams of using Sockpuppet (Internet) accounts to inflate vote counts in the Shorty Awards (Joe Mercola was also accused of doing this) specifically in response to a skeptical campaign to upvote Dr. Rachel Dunlop. After he lost as a result of having his fraudulent votes revoked, he posted a number of articles criticizing the Shorty Awards. Dan Berger draws alt-med cartoons for them, though Adams comes up with the concepts.
Among Adams most outspoken critics are David Gorski (Orac) of ScienceBlogs, who says NaturalNews is “one of the most wretched hives of scum and quackery on the Internet,” and called him the most “blatant purveyor of the worst kind of quackery and paranoid anti-physician and anti-medicine conspiracy theories anywhere on the Internet”, as well as Peter Bowditch of the website Ratbags, and Jeff McMahon writing for Forbes. Steven Novella has called NaturalNews “a crank alt med site that promotes every sort of medical nonsense imaginable. If it is unscientific, antiscientific, conspiracy-mongering, or downright silly, Mike Adams appears to be all for it – whatever sells the “natural” products he hawks on his site.”.
Other critics of Adams’ website include astronomer and blogger Phil Plait, PZ Myers, and Brian Dunning, who listed it as #1 on his “Top 10 Worst Anti-Science Websites” list. Adams is listed as a “promoter of questionable methods” by Quackwatch and Robert T. Carroll at The Skeptic’s Dictionary has said, “Natural News is not a very good source for information. If you don’t trust me on this, go to Respectful Insolence or any of the other bloggers on ScienceBlogs and do a search for “Natural News” or “Mike Adams” (who is NaturalNews). Hundreds of entries will be found and not one of them will have a good word to say about Mike Adams as a source.”
Mentions by scientists
- Brian Dunning, as noted above, pointed out that NaturalNews is very influential, saying “For its frighteningly large influence, and abysmal quality of information, it earns the #1 spot on this list [of anti-science websites." This influence has led peer-reviewed papers to actually mention it, for example, Wayne Parrott of the University of Georgia in the journal New Biotechnology wrote an article defending genetically modified food and, as an example of the allegations he was addressing, included a NaturalNews article.
- Maureen Watson et al. wrote an article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health regarding the HPV vaccine Gardasil in South Australia, and used this article as an example of fear-mongering on this topic.
- Neil Seeman et al. in the Canadian journal Healthcare Quarterly published a study called "Assessing and Responding in Real Time to Online Anti-vaccine Sentiment during a Flu Pandemic." NaturalNews has a long history of criticizing the flu vaccine as ineffective and dangerous. In appendix 1, they outline 20 search results about the safety of the H1N1 vaccine; an article on NaturalNews appeared as #16 on the list.
Some counter conspiracy, conspiracy believers claim Adams is in fact a plant to undermine the natural products industry.
Additional criticism links
- Gallery of Wackos – Mike Adams
- Rational Wiki – Mike Adams, “…even the quacks think he’s a quack”
- Science Blogs Respectful Insolence – Mike Adams articles
- Science Based Medicine – When we should call a quack a quack
- Healthy Wize report “the legend of Mike Adams and the reality”
- Confessions of an #sshole Skeptic, “Mike Adams wants to kill your kids”
- Forbers: A bad week for supplements industry – “… even Internet quack Mike Adams…”
- Skepacabra: Debunking Mike Adams’ 10 Biggest Lies About Healthcare in America
- Encyclopedia of American Loons: #1 Mike Adams
- Free Thoughts: Five worst quacks in the world
- One Bad Apple: “Mike Adams, the self proclaimed Health Ranger, is as insane as he is insensitive”
- Quack Watch – Mike Adams
- Cafe Mom – Mike Adams is a douche
- Skeptoid – Top Ten Worst Science Sites, Mike Adams Natural News #1
- Skeptico – Mike Adams Fails Again
- Rat Bags – “Mike and his site reached the top of the competition by his total disregard for the truth and the imagination he shows in inventing the lies he tells about medicine”
- Before it’s news: “Among cranks, Mike Adams is a living, breathing example of crank magnetism. There’s no form of quackery he doesn’t endorse and/or sell.”
- Natural News’ Mike Adams Adds Global Warming Denialism to HIV/AIDS denial, Anti-vax, Altie-med, Anti-GMO, Birther Crankery by Mark Hoofnagle
- The Legend of Mike Adams and the Reality, by C. Thomas Corriher and Sarah C. Corriher The Health Wyze Report.
Bibliography and Resources
- Mike Adams on Facebook
- Health Ranger on Facebook
- Mike Adams on Twitter
- Health Ranger Website & Biography
- Mike Adams “Counter Think” cartoon publishing site
- Mike Adams Amethios Music Video site
- “Adams Philanthropy” Consumer Wellness website
Mike Adams marketing claim: “Mike Adams is no stranger to traditional Western medicine. The son of a Pfizer contractor and a clinical trial tester for some of America’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, Mike grew up using prescribed pharmaceuticals, trusting doctors and believing what the FDA reported was safe and in the best interests of the country. All that would change when Mike was faced with his own personal health emergency, and the pillars of medicine he once trusted came crumbling down before him. Mike began his mission as the Health Ranger as a response to his own failing health. At the age of 30, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a disease brought on by poor diet and severe lack of exercise. As a high-powered software executive, extreme levels of stress and cholesterol, depression and chronic back pain were common features of Mike’s past. Searching for answers to his health woes, Mike dove into research; he devoured thousands of books on nutrition, pharmaceutical drugs, wellness programs, the politics of food — anything he could find. Mike has now made it his life mission to share the most remarkable discovery he made on his quest: the vast majority of all diseases can be easily prevented and even cured without drugs or surgery. And that’s exactly what Mike did. He cured himself of diabetes in a matter of months and transformed himself into the picture of perfect health in mind, body and spirit.”
Spouse Sheh (Shehorng) Lio Adams, (a.k.a. Shen Horng Adams)–email@example.com–a certified acupuncturist, who also previously resided in Columbia, MOAddress 1: 1501 Stampede Ave, Suite 9005, Cody, WY 82414Ph: (520) 615-1954Address 2: 1820 E River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718Address 3: 3815 Cooper Ln, Cody, WY 82414Address 4: 4340 N. Via Entrada Hermosa, Tucson, AZ 85718 (address listed by Adams and wife in his 2006 business registration filings, sold/purchased Nov 2008 for $685,000)Address 5: 180 W. Magee Road, Ste 116, Oro Valley, AZ 85704 (2014 “physical address” for Sheh L. Adams, registered agent for Webseed, Inc.)emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Business names: Truth Publishing: NewsTarget.com, Webseed, Inc., Arial e-Marketing Software (founded in 1997, sold to CA-based software company)Possible previous Phone Numbers: 1. (307) 587-1338; 2. (307) 587-1339; 3. (307) 680-4304; 4. (503) 690-0589;Possible previous Addresses: 1. 20100 West Union Rd, Hillsboro, OR 97124; 2. 1225 Murray Rd #101, Portland, OR 97229; 3. 1212 Paquin St, Columbia, MO 65201; 4. 11017 53rd St #2, Raytown, MO 64133; 5. 2885 Aurora Ave #32, Boulder, CO 80303; 6. 20100 Union #W, Hillsboro, OR 97124; 7. 11312 32nd Ave, Portland, OR 97222; 8. 76 Ku Ling #2, Carlsbad, CA 92009; 9. 1319 Anthony St #2, Columbia, MO 65201; Actual current formal resident is unclear as in his reporting he frequently notes attending events and doing research (e.g., grocery store visits) in the Austin, Texas area:
- What I learned from this is that I’d rather be an “average” white guy living in an average neighborhood, driving an average car than sticking out like some sort of person who appears to be relatively well off. That’s why today I still live in a modular trailer unit in Austin, I still drive a Toyota pickup truck, I dress like a rancher in blue jeans and flannel shirt, and nobody gives it a second thought when I’m out in public. I blend in, and that’s far wiser than sticking out…
- March Against Monsanto (Austin, TX) – Footage from the … – YouTube, May 26, 2013 – Uploaded by TheHealthRanger, From the front lines of the war against Monsanto and GMOs, here’s footage from the March Against Monsanto …
- Health Ranger speaks at the Anti-GMO rally in Austin, Texas – 2011 … Oct 3, 2011 – A video compilation from the GMO rally in Austin, Texas, where crowds gathered to hear several speakers talk about the dangers of GMOs and …
- The Health Ranger… | Facebook, The Health Ranger is hosting the Alex Jones Show today, May 27th, from 11 am – 1 pm central time (Austin time)
- “Those of us who are in the emergency foods manufacturing industry have a unique duty to help our fellow Americans who are in need,” explained Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, editor of NaturalNews.com. “Our organic food manufacturing facility is in Austin, Texas, so it’s close enough to Oklahoma to be able to rapidly get these foods into the hands of those who can benefit from them.”