Gwyneth Paltrow's controversial lifestyle brand GOOP recently opened it's first popup MRKT store in Toronto’s upscale Yorkville neighborhood and the opening, naturally, came with its share of controversy. While fans of Paltrow and GOOP rushed to the store opening, so did inspectors with Health Canada who promptly removed two products from the shelves due to issues with the packaging, GOOP representatives claim.
According to CBC News, the products removed were two different Beautycounter brand sunscreen products that have not been approved for sale in Canada by Health Canada. The packaging for the products in question state they contain "natural ingredients" and no "questionable chemicals." As CBC points out Health Canada has strict regulations about the testing of natural ingredients and are then assigned a Natural Health number that is to appear on the packaging.
"We learned that two sunscreens with U.S. packaging from a third-party brand were inadvertently sent to Canada," Goop said in a statement about the pulled products. "Canadian regulations require different packaging. The product itself is compliant with Canadian regulations and is the same formula as sold in the U.S. The packaging issue has been fixed, and we have reached out to Health Canada to ensure our entire assortment exceeds their standards."
“All natural health products must have a product license before they can be sold in Canada,” a Health Canada rep explained to HuffPost in an email. “To get a license, applicants must give detailed information about the product to Health Canada, including medicinal ingredients, source, dose, potency, non-medicinal ingredients and recommended use(s).”
CBC pointed out that due to a "loophole" in Health Canada regulations, Canadians can still order the products online as long as they are for "personal use." Dr. Jen Gunter, a Winnipeg-born, U.S.-based obstetrician-gynecologist who has refuted many health claims made by products promoted and sold on the GOOP site feels Health Canada needs to do more to protect consumers against health products purchased online.
"Many studies also tell us that these products don't always contain what they say. Sometimes, they are adulterated," Gunter said. "Maybe they contain an antidepressant or they contain something that could interact with a medication that you're on, and you could have a drug reaction," Gunter added. "Some of these things also could interfere with your medication, and maybe you're on a drug for epilepsy, and maybe it's gonna make that less effective. Maybe you could have a seizure. I think Health Canada should be stepping up. If protecting Canadians matters, then it should matter for all the potential sources that people could be exposed to these products."
The GOOP pop up store in Toronto will be open from June 7 until September 22.