Dr. Mercola: Marketing Guru Embarasses Himself with Water Ionizer Story

My wife is one of the 1.5 million subscribers to Dr. Mercola’s electronic newsletter that is published 3 times each week. 

Yesterday, she came charging into my study with a fist full of papers and fire in her eyes.   Once I calmed her down a bit and found out that I hadn’t done anything wrong, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then I read over the printout of the recent story by Dr. Mercola and went online and watched the video of the interview that accompanied the story.

A Peek Inside Dr. Mercola’s marketing empire:

According to published facts, in 2004, Mercola’s newsletter had 850,000 subscribers, and 15 employees, including 3 editors working on his newsletter.  Now that the newsletter has almost doubled in size, I imagine his newsletter now employs 25 staff members or more. 

His newsletter is famous for providing a review of 200 medical studies that are released each week. Imagine the pressure placed on Mercoal’s staff to review 200 articles and write 3 newsletter each week.  While 200 reviews is a lot to cover, not many of them make for interesting reading.  So, Dr. Mercola’s staff has to search for “sexy” topics, and very few topics are as “sexy” as the safety of our drinking water.  When you throw in a bit of controversy, the subject makes for more sensational reading.  

Mercola doesn’t do the research himself.  I doubt if he does more than read over what is being publishes.   I know how much effort goes into the research that I do, and I can tell you for sure than no single human being could crank out what the Mercola newsletter cranks out three times per week.   The man is a doctor, a writer, a video reporter, he owns the world’s largest health related website, and his marketing company is huge.   Do you think the guy maybe spreads himself a little too thin?

How can Mercola afford such a large and expensive research staff? 

I did a quick check of Mercola’s website this morning and found 104 featured items, all with product pictures that are easy to purchase with the click of a button.   I have no idea how many hundreds or even thousands of products he actually sells.  What he does tell us is that he would never sell a product he doesn’t use.  Hmmmm.

Here is a clip that I copied from his Affiliate Program listed on his webstite that gives you an idea of what his real motive in all about:

Affiliate Program

Here’s what makes our new affiliate program so powerful:

  • We do the selling for you. Our toolkit will create lifetime commissions for you.
  • As a Mercola.com Affiliate, there is no limit to your commission. Our commissions start at 15% on all products for every customer you refer! This can translate into hundreds of dollars of extra income a month for you!
  • You earn .20 cents per subscriber lead if you choose to offer this option to your clients!
  • Bullet-proof tracking system makes sure you get the commission. System tracks with cookies.
  • Turn-key tools ready for your promotions. We have everything ready for you to generate income and serve the health and wellness of your clients! You’ll receive ready-to-go promotional tools! Not just banners to post up to your site (although you will get banners also). You’ll get everything you need to start generating orders right away!
  • You can always check your stats and visitors in real-time to see how you’re doing.

Sign up for our Affiliate Program NOW

Do you really think Dr. Mercola operates his newsletter for the benefit of mankind?  Everything this man does, he does with an agenda.   Before you start accusing me of “the pot calling the kettle black” please be aware that I don’t sell anything and I don’t get paid for writing this blog. 

Why am I Writing about Mercola?

I’m the first to congratulate Mercola on the information that he provides in his newsletters.  However, his recent attack on alkaline ionized water and the machines that produce them is a disgrace.

You would think that Mercola would rely upon his large and sophisticated research team to actually perform proper due diligence and fact checking before writing about such an important subject as water.  But no, he didn’t do the work.  Instead, he brought in his water ionizer expert Houston Tomasz.  The problem is that Houston Tomasz is the VP of Aquasana water filters and knows absolutely nothing about water ionizers.  But, he does make water filters that Dr. Mercola sells on his website. 

Neither Tomasz or Mercola have ever drank ionized water.  They have never tested the water, and obviously, they have never done any proper research on the water.

Mercola says in his article that he interviewed two other “experts” on the subject along with the infamous Mr. Tomasz.  I wonder if Dr. Mercola will publish the names of the other so-called experts.   I doubt he ever spoke to an actual expert at all, but then Mercola doesn’t always let facts or the truth interfere with what he publishes.  Nobody that knows anything about water ionizers would support Mercola’s ridiculous attempt to self promote himself with a fluff piece like what he reported.

If Mercola really wanted to learn about water ionizers, why didn’t he contact people that actually know something about them.  He could have spoken to Bob Mccauley, or Jay Hare, or myself, or Ronnie Ruiz, or Gavin Davidson, or others who actually know what they are talking about.  Such a complete lack of due diligence leaves no doubt about Mercola’s agenda with his article and video.

A Summary of the Mercola Article on Water Ionizers:

The article starts out well, as Mercola talks about the importance of water and the need to replace soda and other sugar based beverages in our diet with water…..good stuff.   He then continues on talking about the importance of filtering our drinking water as our municipalities do a poor job of removing dangerous contaminants…..more good stuff.  He should have quit while he was ahead.  Unfortunately, providing useful information was not enough for Mercola as there is no money in it and there is no controversy.

Mercola proceeds to start talking about ionized water, which he obviously knows absolutely nothing about, and consequently lays the groundwork for making a complete fool of himself.  

Mercola’s artice is so bereft of real information that he ends up using the old “Snake Oil on Tap” line from the quackwatch guy Stephen Lower as a internal headline in the article.  Lower has been “outted” a number of times and has admitted that the water probably works. I wrote an article about this guy that you can see at:  http://www.waterfyi.com/alkaline-water/exposing-the-quack-behind-the-alkaline-water-quackwatchers/.

He talks about his inability to find a scientific justification for the machines, which means he didn’t do his homework.   He then states that consumers ” fall under the spell of skilled marketers who selectively misuse pseudo scientific information” and twist the around to scare people into buying.  This from the man that has been warned repeatedly by the FDA for making false claims (see  http://www.casewatch.org/fdawarning/prod/2006/mercola2.shtml).

The article then talks about the MLM pricing silliness, which I must agree with, but it fails to reflect all the hard work done by the MLM dealers to make people aware of the product. 

Mercola goes on to admit that many people do notice an improvement in their health initially, but he attributes the improvement to other things and is convinced that drinking ionized water is not a good strategy over the long term.  He then provides a “strong recommendation to avoid alkaline water ionizers”.  The man has never drank a drop of the water in his life and hasn’t done any tests, and hasn’t done any research. 

He goes on to provide a decent explanation of pH, but then seems to lose his concentration or else he is trying to baffle the reader with BS.  He talks about the misguided efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) and then launches into  a list of studies about plants and fish that have absolutely nothing to do with ionized water and human beings. 

He then quotes studies that argue against alkalinity with respect to treating cancer.  Obviously, the man has never seen or learned about the post-mortem results of an organ that was full of cancer, or he just hasn’t done his research. 

There are a few things that Mercola said that I do agree with. 

I agree with his statement that the relationship between alkalinity and cancer has been oversimplified.  The scientific and medical communities are only just beginning to investigate what eastern medicine has known for a long time, so research does need to be done. 

Mercola also stated that alkaline water is not cancer’s magic bullet and he is correct.  However, I have been privy to some pretty incredible results that have been achieved when cancer patients started drinking ionized water.  I don’t think anyone has to drink ionized water, as they can obtain the same positive results through a proper alkaline diet. 

I also agree with his statement that water ionizers are not filters.  While the ionizers all have a filter to remove chlorine from the water, they are not sufficient to remove the many contaminants found in our water supply.  Unfortunately, he goes into an extended discussion about whether or not water filters are certified, which he has done in an effort to scare people into buying his filters….oh well, there goes the roll that he was on.

A Summary of the Houston/Mercola Interview

I wasted 16 minutes of my life watching the interview of Dr. Mercola interviewing Mr. Tomasz, who was never properly introduced in the video.   

Mr. Tomasz has spent 10 years selling water purification systems, but knows absolutely nothing about water ionizers.  Despite his total lack of knowledge or understanding of the subject, Mr. Tomasz tells us that he would never use a water ionizer and that they won’t last long on the market.  The worst part is that Mercola agrees and then tells us that water ionizers could actually be dangerous.  Water ionizers have been around for thirty years in Asia and have helped hundreds of thousands of families.   I have researched long and hard and have never been able to find a formal complaint or lawsuit being leveled against a water ionizer company.  Mercola just looks like an amateur shill.  Both Houston and Mercola embarrassed themselves with their statements, and they will both eventually regret their predictions that water ionizer won’t survive for much longer.

To be fair to Mr. Tomasz, I do agree with his statement that everyone should use a pre-filter to remove contaminants found in our water supply.   I also agree with his statement that water ionizers are not built to take all the contaminants out of the water.  The man does know something about filters.  His statement about the effects of an MLM system pushing the price of water ionizers higher than than they should be is true, but he is certainly not qualified to speak about it as an expert since he knows nothing about the machine.

I didn’t write this article to bash Mercola.  I have read some of his stuff and I like the fact  that he provides free information and he is not afraid to buck the establishment.  He just missed the mark with his article and video on ionized water and I just couldn’t let it go because his opinions are sought after by so many people .   The fact that my wife is now off my case is also a bonus!

29 Responses to Dr. Mercola: Marketing Guru Embarasses Himself with Water Ionizer Story

  1. no coments yet? wow…

    Hey Rob, I would like to invite everyone that has anything to do with water ionizers, sellers and drinkers alike, to come together in a united effort to debunk and confront Dr. Mercola and Houston Tomacz.
    Let’s set up a place on the internet that is totally agenda free where people can submit their testimonial, either written or video, sharing what their own experience is of this wonderful water.
    Caveat would be to not have any plugs for any particular company… Let’s all work together to shine a light on this devious and poorly informed hack piece by the profit motivated Dr. Mercola!

    Best,

    Gavin Dickinson

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Hi Gavin:

      Thanks for the support. I plan do exactly what you suggested. I will be writing an article inviting all dealers and anyone that uses a water ionizer to join in as soon as I finish my next article about Breast Cancer.

      I don’t want or need to attack Dr. Mercola. I have said my piece on the matter. He made a mistake and he will pay for it in terms of lost credibility.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  2. Pingback: scott coombe

    • Hi Scott:

      Thanks for the referral on your blog. We are all in this together

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. Thank You Rob! I was thinking of writing a blog on Dr. Mercola’s comments… now, I’ll just refer them to you. Thanks again and many blessings in your passion here.
    Scott Coombe scottcoombe.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • Hi Scott:

      I can only do so much on my own. It is the trust that people like you put in my blog that will allow the blog to help others.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Dr. Mercola,

    It’s difficult to refer you to as “Dr” these days. I’m going to request you stop sending all your “stuff” to my e-mail, the junk is loading up. It’s obvious you don’t do complete research in your statements, or you wouldn’t be saying some of the things you do!

    SNAKE OIL? Are you going to argue this against all the research that has been conducted and concluded in Japan, Korea, Russia, Italy, and elsewhere in the world, over the past 50+ years?

    Oh, I see….. if people drink the powerful alkaline / ionized water, they’re less likely to need all the supplements you make your living with. Just like all the medical doctors pushing their pharmaceuticals for kick-backs on their production. Now I get it, Dr. Mercola….selfish greed! I agree with the bloggers above. And I belive you have alterior motives lurking behind the scenes.

    You need to research thoroughly. Water is powerful, don’t make light of it. It’s also quite obvious you have not done your own empirical studies by using a powerful unit… otherwise you’ll have felt the benefits and your writing would speak differently. I think you’re on the back end of “knowing” true health…. just copying what others are saying and doing so you can capitalize on the market with your products listed here. I’ve lost respect for “Dr. Mercola”

    Sianara, sushi boy,

    J. French

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    • Hi J. French:

      Thanks for the comments.

      I respect some of Dr. Mercola’s work but he was wayyyyyyy off base with his water ionizer story. I hope he has the courage to learn more about the water and correct his mistake. In the meantime, I recommend that you leave a message on Dr. Mercola’s site, as I doubt he will ever find out about this blog.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. Hey you are great, I live in Arkansas and the man that sold me my machine has a few thousand people under him and this is one of the biggest Kangen Water distributors area around. What Dr mercola said was so unneeded tell him to go after the drug companies. And lots of people are listening to him and will not get the benefits of our water because of him..Please write if you need help

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Hi Pam:

      Thanks for the compliment.

      You are correct about the incredible “reach” of Dr. Mercola’s website and electronic newsletter. You are also correct about the fact that it is very sad that people will be deprived of the benefits of the water because Dr. Mercola didn’t do his research. I hope that Dr. Mercola doesn’t have an ulterior motive, or that would place him in the same league as the pharmaceutical companies.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. Nice work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Hi Dr. Williams:

      I’m sure many of us would like to hear your comments about the water. We would also like to hear about your practice and how water plays a role in the work that you do.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  7. Dear Robert,

    Thank you for your excellent thoughtful rebuttal to Dr. (Ionized water science-empty headed) Mercola. “Shame, shame, shame on him for discouraging so many health seekers with his ignorant rant against ionized water.”

    I have been drinking Kangen Water TM ( powerful Ionized water) for 3 years and it has dramatically improved my health by shrinking my enlarged prostate in 90 days which eliminated my incontinence) my acid reflux, back pain, gout and tinnitus. Drinking Kangen Water TM also helped boost my immune system and prevent me from catching colds or the flu for the past 3 years. It made it possible for me to exercise 3 times a week with quick recovery and last but not least all my face wrinkles and chronic eczema have disappeared.

    In addition, I have helped over 100 other people gain remarkable health improvements from drinking ionized alkaline water including better sleep, reduced stress, the reduction and elimination of symptoms of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure and in one extraordinary case where a gentleman eliminated a lymph tumor without chemo or radiation but simply by drinking ionized water.

    Lastly I want to celebrate the efforts of all the MLM business people dedicated to promoting real and proven health improving products out in the market place. It is because of these courageous and dedicated, compassionate economic pioneers that millions of people around the world have been able to learn about the benefits of drinking ionized water because someone had the courage to share the water with them for free. This never happens when you learn about ionized water in a book, website or catalog.

    To devalue the efforts of direct sales professionals by saying that their products are overpriced is to deny their rightful compensation earned through the enormous work and effort that they put out to help educate, motivate and inspire others to improve their health. I salute them all as I salute you for your continued contribution to the health of humanity.

    Jesse Dean

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • Hi Jesse:

      Wow. Our blog just hit a home run when you joined us. It is people like you, who have taken the time to learn about the water and the machines, and who educate others that will make our industry grow. My sincere congratulations to you for all of your hard work.

      When we get our health catagories set up on the blog, I will include your post in each of the catagories you have mentioned. I would be grateful if you could do a small story for each of your clients that have received benefits from the water. Your contact information will be included with each comment if you choose to include the information. The goal is to build a massive testimonial base so that people can read about real life stories about whatever topic they are researching. When inappropriate comments are made by individuals like Dr. Mercola, we will be able to point out the thousands of testimonials on this site.

      You have provided your website and email address which is great. I took a minute to visit your site and noted that you work in Laguna Niguel, California and your phone number is (949) 444-8618. There was a time when I blocked people from advertising their business on the blog, but anyone that offers a contribution like yours is free to promote their business. The goal is to educate others about the water, and it is obvious that you are one of the pros in the business.

      Once again, thanks for your efforts to educate others. Please join us here on the blog any time.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. Here’s my challenge to Doc Merc

    http://ionlife-healthemail.blogspot.com/2010/09/joe-mercola-i-challenge-you.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Hi Ian:

      Thanks for the link to your video where you issue a challenge to Dr. Mercola. I watched the video last week and it is excellent. I love the part where you tell everyone (including Dr. Mercola) that you have been drinking the water for ten years and everything seems to be just fine :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. Hie Rob, Nice chatting with your just now. Well Dr Mercola certainly did not do his homework on proven research about water ionizers. As an academician (and businessman), our academic achievements are based on research publications on peered review international journals and from this water ionizer thingy, I could find lots of journal papers from an acclaimed journals. I could even find it through sciencedirect.com
    anyway there are some research articles through our website at your own disposal if you need some :) http://lvmax.ibz.my/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Hi Hong:

      I enjoyed chatting with you on Skype today. Even though you called from Malaysia, it was if you were sitting in the same room. Maybe I should get a job promoting Skype! I will take a look at the research articles on your site.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. I see now that you refered to a link to Casewatch regarding the warnings the FDA pointed to Dr. Mercola.
    The funny thing is just that Casewatch is owned by Stephen Barett, who is against everything and anyone that is a threat against the pharmaceutical companies and goes by every means possible to achieve his goals to strip off any shred of credibilities of his victims.
    Just wondering if we really should encouraging his site :p

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Hi Dan:

      I was just trying to point out that the good Dr. Mercola has a sketchy history of making claims that can’t be supported and he has caught the attention of the FDA more than once.

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  11. Hi Rob, It has been a little while since we talked. Thank you for writing this article about Dr. Mercola. The Dr. has done some good work, but in this case he really sold out! Check out our new web if you get a chance. Do you still have some of the concentrate that I sent you? Take care, Dan

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • Hi Dan:

      Thanks for joining us here. Yes, I still have some of the E2 concentrate that you sent to me. I haven’t checked it lately, but I can confirm that it maintained it pH and ORP levels well over an extended period of time.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Hi, Rob. First time reader.

    This whole blog somewhat puzzles me.

    There (in medical sciences) needs to be an explanation for why this altered water should work. I can only supply a few explanations myself, because I won’t resort to testimonial or magic thinking. I’ll only ask three questions, so as not to make this unendurable.

    1. Physiologically, how does the digestive system distinguish alkaline water from tap or distilled water?

    2. Chemically, aside from making an acidic water and a basic water and discarding the acidic water, how do these machines produce steady supplies of alkaline water?

    3. Nutritionally, what makes replacing caloric drinks with alkaline water more healthy than replacing them with tap water?

    Thank you for any responses, I’m looking forward to reading them.

    - Tom

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Hi Tom:

      Good questions.

      1) I’m not a doctor or biochemist, but I will try to answer this to the best of my ability. The digestive system doesn’t distinguish types of water. The cells of the stomach wall act as a buffer system for the body. The pH of the contents of the stomach are typically somewhere in the vicinity of 4.0 When the pH of the contents of the stomach varues from that level, the cells of the stomach wall act via bio feedback, if that is the right word, and produce HCl. The more alkaline the contents (ie alkaline water), the more HCl produced to lower the pH of the contents of the stomach. When the HCl is produced, the biproduct produced is an alkaline buffer which enters the intestines. It is the alkaline bicarbonate that is a key to increasing the alkalinity which provided benefit to the body.

      2) Electric water ionizers create a temporary and unstable increase in pH through the use of electrolysis in the presence of minerals and salts or bicarbonates. It is the reaction with the charged particles that creates the ionization. When water reacts with naturally occuring minerals, it will ionize on its own and create a more stable pH based upon the presence of the minerals, which break and unbreak the weak hydrogen bond between hydrogen and water in what Craig Hoffman elequently describes as the Dissassociation Dance.

      3) From a nutritional intake in terms of minerals absorbed, there is no difference. The difference is in the amount of free hydrogen created which that body uses to combat free oxygen, commonly known as free radicals.

      I suspect you are a quack watcher based upon your statements and you are trying to bait me with your questions. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I just do my best to research and talk to people and to keep an open mind. I also have nearly three years of personal experience with the water and have spoken to hundreds who have benefitted from the water. While some people choose to ignore anecdotal evidence, others actually try things and experience the results.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  13. So what is the best water ionizer for the average home user for a decent price? Also what about the water purifiers( not sure thats the right word) that makes water more or less alkali?

    John

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Hi John:

      There are lots of good machines on the market so it depends upon your needs:

      * counter top or under counter
      * municipal water or well water or some other supply
      * hard or soft water or somewhere in between
      * do you have fluoride or chloramines or lead or mercury in your source water
      * do you want acid water for cleaning or just drinking water
      * do you want to use electricity (electrolysis) or do you favor a more natural ionization
      * are you looking to improve your health gradually, or do you have a major disease that needs aggressive water treatment right away
      * what’s your budget

      As you can see, the answer always depends upon the needs of the user. If you want to talk in person, email me at contact@waterfyi.com and I will do my best to answer your questions and point you in the right direction

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Although I have never used kangan water, I do understand the concept. I usually accomplish the same results with vinegar . A tea spoon in a glass of water is my formula. You only need to monitor the ph of your body and make the changes with the vinegar as needed. I am a plumber by trade and have customers that buy Dr. Mercolas products and they are raving fans. But you are right, Mercola is a marketer and rebrands other companies product lines to his own. Oh and by the way, I am going to get the kangan system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Hi Eugene:

      There are a lot of different home recipes out there. My Dad, who was a medical doctor used baking soda to stabilize. A lot of people take apple cider vinegar to quiet there stomaches if they are prone to acid reflux…I have tried it and it works but it almost made me vomit.

      I like a lot of the information that Mercola produces but his “formula” is really transparent and offensive to anyone that is paying attention.

      Good luck with the Kangen system. If your heart is set on getting an Enagic brand, I reccomend that you buy it on eBay as you can get perfectly good ones for about half price.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  15. Totally agree with your observations of Dr. Mercola. I have found several articles on topics that I am familiar with that were totally off and can only assume that many other articles are also not correct.

    Just an added note – if anyone questions or criticizes Mercola in the comments after an article, the comment and all those responding to the comment will be deleted – almost immediately. (So he most probably has even more people working for him than what you assume.)

    I deleted myself from his mailing list a long time ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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