----- Original Message -----

From: Secret Authors

To: director@gaiaresearch.co.za

Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 10:14 PM

Subject: Unprofessional jealousy leads to unnecessary attacks

Dear Stuart

We have been using Gaia for many years, and are frankly shocked to hear that you have been slandering this company. There are enough people really hurting this world without the good guys attacking each other. We can't all agree with everything others do, but please put these differences behind you and focus on the real bad guys.

Helping to build a peaceful future

Secret Authors

A Response to Gaia "Organics"
We have decided, after many requests from our customers, that it is time for Enchantrix to respond to the allegations of Mr Thompson of Gaia Organics in his literature and on his website.

We do not follow the ethos of fighting fire with fire or 'an eye for an eye', as we would all be blind, but we do think that it is time for a simple, but clear, explanation of how we see the dialogue that has come from Mr Thompson. Mr Thompson reacted very strongly to an article published in Biophile 3 years ago about the dangers of using parabens and sodium laurel sulphate in personal care products. By his own admission he does not use organically certified ingredients.

Please note that Mr Thompson:
* Uses parabens, which are banned by every organic certification body in the world.
* Uses petrochemicals (mostly mineral oil), which are also banned by all organic certification bodies.

He has no definable complaint about our products.

In Europe or America he would be taken to court for claiming to be "organic" with no foundation. We have found that our best response would be to continue manufacturing products that are formulated to international organic standards. Enchantrix manufactures strictly according to Eco-Cert France, which is the strictest organic certification in the EU.

We've cleared preservative efficacy testing and we have also cleared oxidation testing after his claim that our products are oxidizing in the bottle.

Please be assured that we at Enchantrix are deeply concerned about the damage done to our planet and all life on her. We are a transparent company, with nothing to hide or fear. All our ingredients are listed on our products and we are continually researching the latest world trends in the organic cosmetic and household industry, and updating our formulations to ensure that we supply safe, stable and efficacious products. Only a minute % of our ingredients are synthetic, to allow for stable, preserved products, and these are allowed by Eco-Cert France.


----- Original Message -----

From: Stuart Thomson [mailto:director@gaiaresearch.co.za]

Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 11:15 PM

To: Secret Authors; anthea; info@esse.co.za

Cc: info@purebeginnings.co.za; info@esse.co.za; ecocert@global.co.za; Tim Jackson; Chris Erasmus; info@renaissancemagazine.co.za; A Rossouw; Smart Attitude

Subject: What warrants the title of a 'safe natural and/or organic external personal care product'?

Dear Secret Authors [and Mrs Anthea Torr (Enchantrix & Biophile magazine) and Mr Trevor Steyn (Esse Organics) as affected respondents]

This communication is intended to open and stimulate an honest debate around the issues of what actually warrants the title of a 'safe natural and/or organic external personal care product'.

To all recipients, I apologise for the intrusion. Whilst I would appreciate your considered attention, should anyone communicate a wish to be removed from future circulation, I will oblige them.

Secret Authors, thank you for your e-mail communication concerning the Biophile/Enchantrix statement titled: "A Response to Gaia Organics" (retained at the end of this thread).

You wrote: "Dear Stuart (ST). We have been using Gaia for many years, and are frankly shocked to hear that you have been slandering this company. There are enough people really hurting this world without the good guys attacking each other. We can't all agree with everything others do, but please put these differences behind you and focus on the real bad guys."

Secret Authors of the above communication, perhaps you and the authors of the Enchantrix statement provided in your e-mail might wish to consider my factual responses hereto as follows:

Firstly, A) to your appreciated anonymous comments (soft-core issues); and secondly, B) to the nonsense put forward in the statement by cowardly anonymous entities, whose utterances, as opposed to your characterisation of my actions as slanderous, really are, as I shall explain, libellous, and unlike my clearly identified public statements, are purposely made anonymously and thereby difficult to action (hard-core issues). Please note, on a technical point, that your slander comment is itself defamatory, since, as with Enchantrix, it constitutes communication of statements making false claims, expressively stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of myself, my institute and my business, for reasons I shall clearly set out below and formally serve all three respondents hereby. Readers are encouraged to persevere through and so avail themselves to the important information to be revealed in part B

A) Secret Author's comments:

If you are at all informed, which should include familiarity with my catalogues and website as these have evolved over the years, you will know that I have expended much personal effort counter-attacking and fending off the very real dark forces that have made it their business to interfere with the public's right to health freedom, which other than Gaia Organics, was and is unsponsored and is archived in several years of back-issues of Health Counter News, several SABC "Options" programs and even more comprehensively at the following links:



This work continues unannounced (because I now work alone, unfettered by any vested interests) and has, by way of just one example, recently led to the resignation of the Head of the Law Enforcement Unit of the Medicines Control Council / Medicines Regulatory Authority with the Department of Health, under evidence of unlawful harassment and fraudulent regulatory activity. Perhaps one day, if I find the time, I will write up and post this documentation on my website for the public record. Lest I now digress too far, let me however, return to the main topic at hand.

This whole debacle started when Anthea Torr, proprietor of Enchantrix products and proprietor and editor of Biophile magazine, published a strategically selected series of articles in her magazine, maligning three ingredients that I have used for the past 17 years, firstly in my Rainbow Organics and later in what evolved into my Gaia Organics range of products and the proceeds of which exclusively fund the independent activities of my Gaia Research Institute. Apparently anticipating my imminent demise as a result of these articles, though Gaia Organics was not specifically mentioned, Enchantrix did nevertheless unashamedly plagiarise my decade old slogan: "Earth, People and Animal Friendly", merely altering one word in sequence thereof.

I have publicly posted all my correspondence with Anthea Torr and Trevor Steyn here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/biofilth.html and here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/naturebabes.html

My full expose' launch index on personal care toxicology topics is posted here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/personaltoxicol.html


The background to this organic scam was a fraudulent marketing strategy first used by the Neways company in the USA, a mainstream pharmaceutical-based multi-level marketing company wishing to gain an upper hand on their competitors, who set out to falsely malign the most common denominator ingredients used in virtually all personal care products and making available free misinformation packs, free web-space and free web-authoring tools to all their then approximately 40,000 agents, thereby succeeded in flooding and saturating the Internet with scare-mongering propaganda ranging from partial truths to totally fabricated untruths. The list is a variable one, usually comprising of 10 ingredients, my three being the class safest internationally.

Given the sheer mass of repetition of the misinformation involved and a wave of copycat competitors following suite and joining in on this scam, this false propaganda soon became urban legends, increasingly popularly abused by a new breed of vendors, all purportedly formulating and manufacturing products free of a list of allegedly undesirable, if not toxic ingredients, copied closely from the Neways misinformation pack. Chief culprit in South Africa for deliberately spreading this garbage is one Mr Trevor Steyn, who it turns out, not unexpectedly, has considerable vested interests as proprietor of Esse Organics and product formulator of several other ranges, again not unexpectedly all using his lucrative pet strategy, from which he accrues royalties.

Contrary to the pretence that Mr Steyn manufactures his own products and that of others, including Enchantrix, Naturebabes, Pure Beginnings, or that they manufacture theirs, none do so at all. Interestingly, all are or were formulated by Mr Steyn, but most, if not all are manufactured in a single factory that was not owned or managed by Mr Steyn and which manufacturer has now dispensed of Mr Steyn's services and will likely be re-formulating most, if not all but Mr Steyn's range, with my voluntary assistance having already been sought and granted. Regrettably, the old Neways Strategy will still be evident for the foreseeable future, since it is the veritable goose that lays the golden egg and all have nothing special to offer bar their pseudo organic / toxic scams.


Secret Authors, prey tell, how and when have I been "slandering this company"? Why are you, rather than they, taking me to task for such alleged untruths and why only now? Why is it that you place blind faith in such a desperate statement, which is so obviously (at least to me) attempted damage control arising from my numerous factual expose', when all I was doing was simply attempting legitimate damage control arising from their non-factual, indeed fraudulently miscontectual, when not actual maliciously fabricated misinformation? The simple facts of this matter are that when any personal care vendor uses false or miscontextualised information that even indirectly casts aspersions on my integrity or my products, I shall publicly expose their activities.

Clearly, because said and other parties still to be named and shamed, continue to use said misinformation strategy, I am perfectly within my rights to investigate and expose their dishonesty and double standards. It is not my fault if they come off rather badly as a result of something that they have initiated, or continue to come off badly as long as they continue with such mischief. It could even be said that they have done not only me, but also consumers a favour, since it is not in my nature to be hostile, unless attacked first. A review of all my communications will verify this, at least as far as personal care products and hence a potential vested interest might exist. Personally, I believe that I am now offering a valuable service to consumers by said expose'.


So who are "the good guys attacking each other" and who are "the real bad guys"? Simple really. It’s just a matter of determining who is misleading and endangering consumers. Clearly, on the preponderance of the evidence, I am not the bad guy. My products are totally honest, as or more natural, as or more organic, safer and also more efficacious, when these parameters are determined comparatively with those of the 'holier than thou', allegedly superior, but fraudulently 'chemical free' products. These new kids on the block do not have even a rudimentary understanding of real-life toxicology, including that of their own usually far more questionable blindly copied and or hype ingredients, and yet have the cheek to pontificate on those of others.

Lastly, the ill-chosen subject title of your e-mail: "Unprofessional jealousy leads to unnecessary attacks"! These are strong words and under the circumstances, I must insist that you explain yourself, or withdraw the allegation. I have already dealt with the issue of who attacked who, and perhaps also sufficiently on professionalism, but "unprofessional jealously", how do you arrive at that allegation? Unprofessional jealousy of who or what? I am jealous of absolutely no one and certainly of none of the heretofore-mentioned parties. I am not a businessman. I am a professional researcher and activist. The Gaia Organics products merely serve to fund the independence of my institute and of these world class-leading products, I am very proud indeed.

B) Enchantrix's Biophile statement: "A Response to Gaia Organics":

The first paragraph puts this entire statement into perspective. Clearly this is primarily about 'customers' concerns over my various revelations concerning the honesty and safety of the Enchantrix products. Why now? Perhaps my efforts at revealing the pure truths in this matter are finally gaining ground. Perhaps the injustice inflicted upon myself and others whose perfectly legitimate ingredients were so widely and unfairly demonised and maligned, even after I appraised the editor and author (Torr and Steyn) of errors of fact publicly conveyed by them as truth, are finally coming to trial by an affected public jury. Attempting to trash the messenger, rather than rebut the message, is all the confirmation I need to consider my position fully vindicated.

Note the next statement: "By his own admission he does not use organically-certified ingredients". Why use the negatively loaded word "admission". The more correct expression would have been "declared" (that I do not use organically-certified ingredients), but this would have reduced the conclusion of the paragraph to a non-event. Why should I pay some business to issue me with a meaningless certificate and have to pass on the expense to the consumer? There are so many arbitrary and hypocritical double-standards attendant to the largely non-scientific approvals criteria, that certification has itself become a veritable fraud, let alone the ineffectual inspections and oft cheating participants, both at the material supplier and manufacturer levels.

Note that Enchantrix and Esse Organics do not have Ecocert Certification, but merely claim to manufacture "strictly" to Ecocert standards. The simple truth is that they would not meet the corny certification criteria, let alone keep up with all the crap that would be required if they were to receive and maintain organic certification, which is why they have resorted to claiming to have some products certified by the Biodynamic and Organic Certification Authority (BDOCA), who's Mr Tim Jackson confided to me that certifying the likes of Enchantrix and Esse Organics would involve watering down the already less strict BDOCA certification criteria even further. It is clear to me that this whole claimed "Organic" status is nothing but a marketing ploy.

Regarding the next plea to readers, to please note that I (Mr Thomson) use "banned" parabens and petrochemicals, let me deal with these misleading claims and the implicit lies made therein:

1. * "Uses parabens, which are "banned" by every organic certification body in the world."

ST: I have dealt extensively with this here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/parabens.html. Clearly, based on the preponderance of rigorous scientific evidence, it is an incontrovertible fact that laboratory synthesised methyl and propyl parabens are 100% nature-identical and are the safest effective preservatives available. It is also a fact that Ecocert standards allow the use of parabens, including in ingredients. I quote from Ecocert's Standards for Ecological and Organic Cosmetics: “6. The following preservatives can be used: 4 hydroxybenzoic acid, its salts and esters” (parabens). Clearly it is blatant false rhetoric when Mrs Torr and Mr Steyn proclaim parabens to be "banned by every organic certification body in the world". Libel claim no. 1.

The choice of the 'loaded' word "banned" by Steyn and Torr is deliberate and illustrates their utter desperation to create a false negative impression. Perhaps confusion arises from permitted "optional information favouring the claim that parabens has (sic) not been used", but the word "banned" is not used by Ecocert, who make provision for parabens by "special derogation". If the status of parabens were at some stage to change to disapproved or prohibited by certification companies, then that would merely become another example of the arbitrary nature of their standards, particularly now that methyl and propyl esters are being confirmed as naturally occurring in both the plant and animal kingdoms (e.g. both are in cloudberry and royal bee jelly).

2. * "Uses petrochemicals (mostly mineral oil) which are also "banned" by all organic certification bodies".

ST: I have dealt extensively with this here:
http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/mineralvsplantoil.html & http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/organiccontroversyandscam.html.
Once again, Mrs Torr and Mr Steyn have deliberately set out to mislead consumers. The facts are that mineral oil is not "banned" or prohibited. Ecocert standards allow the use of mineral oil. Its use is merely discouraged in line with Ecocert's policy to emphasise raw materials from contemporary plants and animals, rather than from fossils thereof. It is also a fact that mineral oil is a permitted acknowledged useful ingredient in the production of such favoured raw materials. If it were to be prohibited, this too would be merely another example of the arbitrary nature of their standards.

It is an incontrovertible fact that mineral oil and its source raw material, crude oil are 100% natural and organic. In fact, the raw material is more organic than any other. Libel claim no. 2.

The same criteria principles apply to petrochemicals being permitted by Ecocert in the manufacture of acknowledged useful synthesised ingredients, e.g. parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate!!! I dealt with the Torr/Steyn Biophile magazine Sodium Lauryl Sulphate scam here:
http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/cocamidosles.html & http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/cocamidoprobetaine.html, where in particular, I exposed the relative toxicity of their alternatively used cocamidopropyl betaine and rather serious data gaps in the safety research for this Ecocert approved substance.

Yes, I did "react very strongly to an article published in Biophile", in particular over the publication of fraudulently fabricated lies about the research of Dr Green regarding the alleged toxicity of SLS, where Green, rather than condemning SLS, had in fact proved the requisite safety thereof and defended its use. In my initial correspondence with Anthea Torr and Trevor Steyn, I presented the incontrovertible facts and only after my requested correction/retraction of said fraudulent misinformation for the sake of public accountability and editorial integrity was not forthcoming, did I decide to embark on a public expose' thereof and an educational campaign to counter what was clearly a despicably dishonest misinformation campaign in Biophile.

In my correspondence record filed here as "The Biofilth Files: Have You Been Enchantricked" http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/biofilth.html, I wrote as follows:

BEGIN QUOTE Your Biophile article, “rub a dub… danger in your tub” starts with a boldly asserted, even bold fonted quote attributed to Dr Keith Green from the Medical College of Georgia” and attributed to “Research to Prevent Blindness”, which source is not clearly referenced, probably because your writer has never reviewed the actual document from which your mischief claims to launch. Interestingly, Green’s actual published paper makes no reference to any of the claimed harms sensationalising the article. Dr Green simply made the not surprising observation that if there is already injury to the cornea, a long-term high concentration of SLS will slow down healing
In this study, pieces were first shaved off the outer surface of the eyes of rabbits (despicable, but that is how things were done in those days) and it is not surprising that repeatedly adding SLS to these lesions for 3 days interfered with their healing. Dr Green’s study determined that if SLS is applied repeatedly in high concentrations to injured eyes for several days, approximately only 1/1000th could be absorbed into the eye and so retard healing. It also proved that within 96 hours after even such extremely unlikely conditions, healing had occurred and that no trace of SLS could be found anywhere in the test animals bodies. Of the eye itself (other than the lesions) Green stated: "The eye stayed pristine. There was no redness and no irritation. These were not toxic effects." (Chapman J et al, Lens & Eye Tox Res, 6:37-41, 1989)

Paula Begoun, a well-respected cosmetics industry watchdog and certainly not a cosmetics apologist (www.cosmeticscops.com), in an article titled “Myth Busting”, addressed the intensely circulating Internet and e-mail concerns over sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) as follows: “I believe this entire mania was generated by several Neways Websites, and has been carried over as fact into other so-called ‘all natural’ cosmetics lines”.

Begoun tracked down the most insidious and misleading part of what was passed around as truth relating to SLS and SLES, based on the incorrect reporting of a study done by Dr. Green, who both conducted the research and delivered the final report. Green, Regents Professor of Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia, told Begoun way back in 1997 already: "My work was completely misquoted. No part of my study indicated any development or cataract problems from SLS or SLES. The body does not retain those ingredients at all. We did not even look at the issue of children, so that conclusion is completely false, because it never existed.”

Dr Green continued: “Neways took my research completely out of context and probably never read the study at all. The statement like 'SLS is a systemic' has no meaning. No ingredient can be a systemic unless you drink the stuff and that's not what we did with it. Another incredible comment was that my study was 'clinical,' meaning I tested the substance on people, but these were strictly animal tests. Furthermore, the eyes showed no irritation with the 10-dilution substance used! If anything, the animal studies indicated no risk of irritation whatsoever!"

When Begoun enquired as to whether any follow-up studies concerning SLS/SLES had been undertaken, Dr. Green, staking his considerable scientific reputation, pertinently replied: "No- one has done this because the findings were so insignificant." Begoun was also curious as to whether Dr Green had changed shampoo and to this enquiry, Dr Green answered: "No one in my family has changed shampoos and they all contain either SLS or SLES. You may find it interesting to tell your readers that SLS and SLES have a natural source. The sulphates have been used for over 20 years by millions of people daily and weekly with no adverse effects”. END QUOTE


3. Next, a claim: "In Europe or America he would be taken to court for claiming to be "organic" with no foundation".

ST: Again, misinformation deliberately worded to defame me. Whilst it would be correct to state that I could be brought before a court if I claimed that my ingredients and hence my products were "Certified Organic", I am completely within my rights (as equal as Esse Organics and Enchantrix are) to claim that my ingredients and products are organic, which they are, yet I never declare them to be so, except when this issue is raised by them and I accordingly make a comparative statement to the effect that "they are as or more organic than theirs", which they are, but which fact is unimportant to me, since I refuse to prostitute myself on the fraudulent pseudo-'organic' altar, as do the organic whores for pure commercial expediency. Libel claim no. 3.

The facts of the matter are that Mrs Torr and Mr Steyn on the other hand. could legitimately be brought before a court, because they do explicitly claim their products to have organic status, which they don't, and on the sparse case basis that they do, not only they, but also the organic certifier in such instances could be brought before a court, and may well be, by myself, for commercial fraud, which is a serious and punishable offence. To put this matter into proper perspective, I have for the record posted the following self-explanatory statement on my website:

To many laypersons, the word “organic” means “natural”. However, to most well-read or educated persons with some knowledge of chemistry, “organic” means “carbon-based” or “carbon-containing”. Living things are comprised mostly of carbon compounds, so much of what is ‘organic’ to an ‘organic gardener’, is also ‘organic’ to an ‘organic chemist’, those who traditionally worked with substances synthesised within the cells or structures of organisms, dead or alive, but now legitimately include human laboratory synthesised substances from the same sources.

To exclude non-living sourced inorganic carbonates, cyanides, carbides, cyanates and carbon-containing ionic compounds from a definition of “organic compound”, this is specifically defined as compounds containing carbon, nearly bonded to itself and to hydrogen and often also to other elements. Human laboratory synthesised organic compounds may be copies of those occurring naturally: 100% nature-identical or variants thereof; or entirely novel compounds and like nature and money, range in utility from the most toxic and destructive to the most benign and beneficial, which spectrum describes both the natural kingdom and human endeavour.

Except for a few inorganic salts and water, everything you put into or onto your body, be it in past centuries or now - food, medicine, cosmetics and clothing all consists of organic compounds and are organic, but are not necessarily part of a modern marketing scam that claims to be “organic” or to have “organic certification”, when in fact it is only partly so, if at all. All certification companies, for commercial expediency, have deliberate, if not fraudulent, but always seriously compromised standards allowing inorganic, human-processed and even human-synthesised chemicals, besides only requiring varying proportions of strict organic content, which itself is always compromised to start with.

In scientific terms, “organic” is defined as: “Pertaining to carbon-based compounds produced by living plants, animals or by (human laboratory) synthetic processes” and a layperson’s alternative meaning is: “Any produce grown without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides, in soil made rich by composting” (biology-online.org). Another legitimate meaning includes the even longer established scientific use: “Of, relating to, or affecting a bodily organ” (chemheritage.org). Further popular meanings include: “Having properties associated with living organisms”; “Resembling a living organism in organisation”; “Interconnected”; and “Constituting an integral part of a whole”. Clearly the word “organic” is exclusive to no-one.


I, Stuart Thomson, formulate and manufacture my own natural personal care products under the trade name "Gaia Organics", for which I was, a decade ago, granted provisional approval of the trademark “Gaia Organics”, with the proviso that the words not be used separately and apart from the mark, which registration remains incomplete due only to Unilever’s opposition thereto in its ridiculous attempt to register the single word “organics” as its exclusive trademark. I use the word ‘organics’ in the trade name based on perfectly legitimate associations with all the above-listed meanings, without in any way suggesting that my products are “certified organic”, which has a clearly circumscribed meaning, albeit nonsensical and hypocritical.

In terms of commercial law: “The word ‘organic’ in a ‘brand name’ does not inherently imply an organic production claim and thus does not inherently constitute a false or misleading statement" (US National Organic Program/Standards/Labelling -- Preamble/General Requirements). Quite to the contrary, I publicly criticise organic standards as irrational and organic certification as a scam and in particular as it relates to organic ingredients constituting so-called “organic” products. “Certification” criteria are entirely arbitrary, not only between certification bodies (there is no single standard), but also amongst members, many of whom comply with or pay lip-service to such standards purely as a marketing strategy, with the intention of conning consumers to purchase their (rather than another’s) products”.

Clearly, given my prolific condemnation of the term "organic" in terms of Mrs Torr and Mr Steyn's use thereof, I could hardly be accused of deviously pretending to be "organically certified".

4. Regarding their statement that: "Enchantrix manufactures strictly according to Eco-Cert France,... the strictest organic certification in the EU.":

ST: I do believe that I have already shown that said standards are utter nonsense, based on a philosophical rather than a scientific foundation and arbitrarily swayed by both commercial driven bias and compromise, so much so that I can actually confidently proclaim that with the exception of my soaps and cleansers containing Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate, I in fact already manufacture 5/6ths of my personal care range to said standards, without even consciously setting out to do so! Is this not a totally laughable irony? I am not alone in my dissent against such arbitrary absurdities. Even Weleda are upholding their right within their BDIH certification, to use SLES. Are they also scum because they choose to use this safe natural-based substance?

5. Regarding their claim that: "We've cleared preservative efficacy testing and we have also cleared oxidation testing after his claim that our products are oxidizing in the bottle.":

ST: This a very broad assurance that is, for obvious reasons, conveniently very low on specifics. I was not only referring to a sealed container with fresh and undisturbed contents, possibly stored under optimal conditions. I was also referring to products in use in the real world, i.e. opened and vented and with the aperture or retained contents disturbed, possibly making skin contact and introducing decomposing microorganisms. The actual descriptive scenario was "mini compost bins arranged on their dressing-table and bathroom shelf". When I raised this criticism back in 2005, Mr Steyn, in a rare e-mail communication, stated: "Thank you for your input on the potential for lipid peroxidation in the products that I formulate. Although my products were tested for peroxidation at the outset and found to be devoid of peroxides (an impossibility), I am in the process of testing all the products that I manufacture at an independent research facility. I will let you know the results." Well, several years later, I am still waiting.

Products formulated with excess unsaturated lipids, especially those with sunflower, wheatgerm and almond, let alone flaxseed or hemp oils, but without occlusive mineral oil, simply cannot escape oxidative rancidity and those with e.g. marula oil (+ water), simply cannot escape hydrolytic rancidity. Of course, the only appropriate test would be under real life conditions, on the skin itself, for a reasonable period of time, with unavoidable exposure to heat, UV-light and 21% of oxygen in the surrounding air. Is anyone prepared to meet my challenge to participate in such a realistic comparative test of our respective products? Next could be a comparison of mutagenesis potential. Only then will we have a true measure of the relative risks to consumers.

6. Regarding Enchantrix's claim that: "Only a minute % of our ingredients are synthetic, to allow for stable, preserved products, and these are allowed by Eco-Cert France.":

ST: Laughably, so are mine! No organic certification company in the world has a legitimate monopoly on organic production and manufacturing criteria. I am perfectly entitled to set my own standards criteria, have been doing so for 17 years, and having evolved from where these newcomers are only now on a developmental continuum I shall continue to do so at a higher consumer safety and ecological standard than any certifier in the world, based on clearly more consistent logical scientific criteria, rather than some backward philosophical mumbo jumbo.

7. Regarding Mrs Torr and Mr Steyn's statement that I "Have no definable complaint about our (their) products.":

ST: In the early stages of this dispute, I had no gripe at all with Torr's or Steyn's products. However, as their deliberate misinformation campaign continued unabated, I decided to investigate their broader activities and this logically led to their products and ingredients being investigated and surely not unexpectedly, their hypocritical double-standards exposed, which I continue to do as a consumer service as more information is divulged or discovered. Problem ingredients that I have already identified and dealt with extensively regarding their potential toxicity include:

a) Grapefruit seed extract: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/grapefruitseedextract.html ;
b) Excessive plant oils: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/mineralvsplantoil.html ;
c) Cocamidopropyl betaine: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/cocamidosles.html ;

More recently, I posted brief reviews of a few other high-risk Enchantrix ingredients:
d) Carbomer; &
e) Cetrimonium chloride .

Because of only recent declaration and hence later evaluation of these two (still work in progress), I shall repeat these preliminary Enchantrix ingredient toxicity potential profiles hereunder:

D) Carbomers are synthetic nonlinear polymers of acrylic acid, cross-linked with a polyalkenyl polyether to form a gel and are used in pharmaceutical products as thickening, suspending, dispersing and emulsifying agents. Whilst not skin irritants, Carbomers are membrane disrupters (Kusonwiriyawong C et al, Eur I Pharm Biopharm, 56(2), 2003) and are classified as eye irritants, where contact with and without preservatives, cause toxic effects in the corneal cells and can cause severe eye damage after 30 min of exposure, including dramatic cell-surface alterations (Diebold Y et al, Cornea, 17(4), 1998), which ironically is largely what Steyn fraudulently claimed were the effects of SLS under normal usage. Carbomer gels undergo oxidative degradation when they are exposed to sunlight (Baruzzi M, Nouv Rev Fr Hematol, 11(1), 1971), so their use, like excessive plant oils, is also involved in free radical reactions.

Carbomers routinely contain impurities, including benzene, arsenic and heavy metals, including lead, (CTFA, Submission of data, Cosmetic Ingredient Chemical Description on Carbomers, Nov, 14, 1978), all of which are carcinogens (Report on Carcinogens, 11th Edition, USDHHS, National Toxicology Program, 2004). Attention was called to the presence of benzene, because many of the products may remain in contact with the body, potentially for days at a time throughout the year. Benzene is a known toxin, listed as a known human carcinogen since 1980 and for which, human epidemiological evidence strongly suggests that it is leukemogenic as well. (International Agency For Cancer Research, The evaluation of the carcinogenic risk of chemicals to man: Benzene, IARC Monographs, vol. 7, 203-21, 1974); (Wolman S, Cytologic and cytogenetic effects of benzene, J Toxicol Environ Health, Suppl. 2, 63-8, 1977); (IARC, Chemicals and industrial processes associated with cancer in humans, IARC Monographs, Suppl. 1, 24, 1979); (Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Carbomers, J Amer Col Toxicol, 1 (2), 1982); (Report on Carcinogens, 11th, NTP, 2004).

E) Cetrimonium chloride is a synthetic antiseptic agent with antistatic, emulsifying and detergent properties. It is classified as an irritant, causing sensitisation on skin contact and potentially, serious damage to the eyes. It is very toxic to aquatic organisms. (Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Safety Data: Cetrimonium Chloride, Oxford University, U.K., August 2004) Where it causes contact dermatitis, abnormal keratisation results from direct pathologic effects on lipids and enzymes (Lee J, Am J Dermatopathol, 19(2), 1997). In personal care products, it is classified as an immune system toxicant, causing allergic and sensitising immune responses. (Skin Deep Ingredient Report, Cetrimonium Chloride, Environmental Working Group, 2006) On repeated exposure of the eyes over time, a membrane integrity decreasing apoptotic mechanism occurs at low concentrations and membrane necrosis at higher concentrations, potentially causing corneal damage following long-term use and eye exposure (Jester J et al, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 39(6), 1998); (Debbasch C et al, J Fr Ophthalmol, 22(9), 1999).

The Health & Consumer Protection Directorate-General of the European Commission recently adopted an opinion on Cetrimonium Chloride, a.k.a. Cetrimide, hexadecyl-trimethylammonium chloride and Alkyl Trimethylammonium Chloride, which highlighted interesting data gaps and concerns for this quaternary ammonium compound, which synthetic chemicals that are prohibited as a group by Ecocert. I will just skim the data, which is difficult to extrapolate to consumers, since the concentrations used will be higher than single encounters, but not necessarily multiple encounters as occur in the real world. (SCCP, Opinion (on Cetrimide), COLIPA no. P72, 21 March 2007)

Rabbit skin irritation studies revealed irritation, erythema, oedema, hardening and scaling of the skin. Eye irritation rabbit studies revealed corneal opacity, iritis, conjunctival irritation, swelling and at the highest realistic test doses, irreversible ocular damage (Rupprich N and Weigand W, Genamin CTAC - Prüfung auf akute dermale Reizwirkung/Ätzwirkung am Kaninchen, Hoechst AG, Pharma Forschung Toxikologie, Germany, Unpublished Report No. 84.0447, dated 25.07.1984); (Mayordomo L, Primary skin irritation in rabbits, Test substance: Quartamin 60W25, Centro de Investigacion y Desarrollo Aplicado, S.A.L., Spain, Unpublished Report No. CD-97/5484T, dated 29.04.1997); (Myer J, Rabbit Eye Irritation (low volume procedure, Unpublished report No. 191-1077 dated 23.01.1985, International Research and Development Corporation, Mattawan, MI, USA).

Guinea pig skin sensitisation tests had so many significant shortcomings that they were difficult to interpret (Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, Opinion on Alkyl (C16, C18, C22) Trimethylammonium Chloride, COLIPA no. P72, 21 March 2007) Repeated dose rabbit dermal toxicity studies revealed skin irritation (Spicer E, Subchronic Percutaneous toxicity (twenty-eight days) in rabbits, International Research and Development Corporation, Mattawan, MI, USA, Unpublished Report No. 191-217, 1979). Single patch skin irritation tests under occlusion on human volunteers revealed skin irritation (Röthlisberger R, Epicutaneous patch test - Wellazid 7/0609/05/14/02, Cosmital SA, Marly, Switzerland, Unpublished report No. 169/98 dated 01.09.1998); (Häntschel D, Koleston 99 0-Masse epicutaneous patch test, Single application 24 h patch test, Skin Investigation and Technology Hamburg GmbH, Hamburg, Germany, Unpublished report No. 601-01-0008 dated 24.09.1999)

No adequate in vitro dermal absorption study is available, in particular to evaluate leave-on products. The dermal absorption will very much depend on the state of the skin. When the final formulation is irritating because of the presence of cetrimonium chloride, with or without other quaternary ammonium compounds, the absorption may become quite high. If skin absorption increases, the Margin of Safety will be inadequate, rendering it unsuitable for use in leave-on products. The composition of the final topical product formulation will be of crucial importance for the irritating properties of the product and which will influence dermal absorption. (SCCP, Opinion on Alkyl (C16, C18, C22) Trimethylammonium Chloride, COLIPA no. P72, 21 March 2007)

In mutagenicity studies for genotoxicity, Ames tests, a chromosome aberration test and an in vitro hamster cell transformation assay were negative, but testing was limited to low concentrations due to high cytotoxicity. For carcinogenicity and photo-induced toxicity, no safety data was available. (Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, Opinion on Alkyl (C16, C18, C22) Trimethylammonium Chloride, COLIPA no. P72, 21 March 2007)

Conclusion. Clearly it is Mrs Torr and Mr Steyn that have no definable complaint about my legitimate objections to their harmful, mischievous, fraudulent and actionable business practices.

I rest my case and invite input from all recipients, both privately and publicly for constructive deliberation, via reply e-mail.

There you have it, dear Secret Authors, in black and white (and green, olive and red). Kindly advise me in due course of your refreshed position on this matter following having being more fully informed of the facts as I understand them. I trust that you are all frankly shocked that these companies have been placing unsuspecting consumers at risk (I am assure you will agree if you read the linked pages) and defaming me for blowing the whistle. I trust that you now realise that I am not the bad guy and now recognise whom the bad guys really are. Despicable, isn't it?

To Anthea Torr and Trevor Steyn (which latter's cowardly invisible hand is once again evident), I welcome your comments, if you can keep them factual.

In posting their "Response to Gaia Organics", Enchantrix, not content to let this issue rest, embarked on an action that inevitably elicited a reaction

There is more to come as those perpetrating and perpetuating the Neway's scam against mineral oil, parabens and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate get a good dose of their own medicine, albeit an honest, accurate and real-life in-context dose, which is more than my competitors are dishing out.

Watch this space. The What's New page on my website is here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/whatsnew.html.

In closing, I have provided a short biography below for readers who might not be familiar with my background.

Thank you all for your precious time. I hope you are all the wiser and found this read to be worth the effort that both you and I put into it.

Yours sincerely

Stuart Thomson
Director, Gaia Research


For perspective, I shall present some of my background where it bears on emerging controversies of the relative toxicology / efficacy of "blindly natural organic" vs. scientifically enhanced natural personal care and health products and food production. Whilst my position might at first appear conservative, readers will find that I walk a mature middle-way light-path of truth that meanders intuitively between the extreme polar paradigms that currently dominate as ‘us’ and ‘them’ dichotomies in medicine, agriculture and personal life.

In 1990 I founded the Gaia Research Institute, located in the Garden of Eden, but my journey began 30-years ago as a raw-food vegan, later a fruitarian and after severe pesticide poisoning, a safer lacto-vegetarian. A 21-day water-fast cleared the neurotoxins that accumulated from the piles of fruit eaten daily. Organophosphate insecticides were newly entering the food chain following the phasing-out of DDT, my first serious encounters with toxicology and nature cure, which two phenomena have occupied me professionally ever since as an independent holistic health researcher. I then grew my own organic vegetables and herbs in my yard and even on my roof and later on a smallholding scale for more than a decade. However, after 20-years of experience, I have realised beyond a doubt, that the natural kingdom can be at least as toxic, if not more so, than any man-made chemicals, forcing me into a paradigm consciousness shift.

Back in the early 80's I was a volunteer with Odyssey Magazine, had my first article published in the Feb/March 1984 edition, titled "Vitamin B12: the facts" (defending vegetarianism against medical scare tactics propaganda), was a research associate with Koeberg Alert, escaping to the Garden Route before the nuclear power-station became operational and PW Botha's Military Police were forcing ex-servicemen to conduct township raids. My wife and I spent more than a decade living off the land with milch goats, bees, organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, harvesting herb seeds for an income, out of which Rainbow Organics was born at Rondevlei Herb Farm near the Wilderness, which we successfully managed at that time in the late 80's.

The Sunday Times Magazine featured my environmental activism in their Earth Day Special (April 22, 1990). I had my “Pesticide Exposé: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You” scientific review published in The Green Pages in November 1990 and also founded the Gaia Research Institute that year, along with its funding arm, Gaia Organics. In 1990 I also founded the Garden Route branch of Earthlife Africa, placing animal rights forcibly on its National Convention agenda and split the organisation over the sacking of a female activist by a male dominant anti-bunny-hugger leadership faction determined to side-line such issues. By 1995 I had grown my family’s fresh food requisites to strict organic principles for a decade and was the African continent’s acknowledged expert on botanical pesticides (plant toxin based), but was already almost daily reconsidering this clear paradox, informed by pioneering scientific revelations. .

In defence of natural health substances, I formed PHARMAPACT (Peoples Health Alliance Rejecting Medical Authoritarianism, Prejudice and Conspiratorial Tyranny) in 1996, spearheaded the dissident HIV/AIDS debate against the pharma-cartel on TV (Future Imperfect in 1997) and had the honour of being evicted from Parliament on national television (Parliamentary Channel) in the heat of the health freedom battle in 1998. I also organised and participated in several of the popular "Options" programs. In 1998, I submitted a 350-page “Protest: Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies” report to the Minister of Health and in 1999 made a personal presentation to the Medicines Control Council, opposing the proposed pharmaceutical regulatory model for natural health products, plus a 13-page scientific report “Homoeopathy: A Critique” and a 39-page “Traditional African Medicine Genocide” political toxicology report.

In 2001 I had published, in collaboration with University of Toronto researchers: "The Toxicity of Callilepsis laureola, a South African traditional herbal medicine" (Popat A et al, Clin Biochem, 34:229, 2001), my first peer-reviewed paper, which established for the first time in the international scientific literature, the horrendous fact that in South Africa, 10-20,000 Africans die each year from traditional African medicines. In 2002, I published online the first of a 5-part ongoing series titled: “Sutherlandia: Healthy Herb or Potent(ial) Poison?”, detailing the dangers thereof to AIDS and especially to Tuberculosis patients. In 2006, I published two ongoing online reports: “Cancer Hazard of Dermal Natural Progesterone”, and: “Why Commercial Organic Vegetables Are Hazardous To Your Health”, which I consider to be essential reading. Having for so long discovered so many beliefs to be false has left me healthfully sceptical.

Very few among us have devoted decades to critically researching our communal belief systems. I ask nothing in return for free access to the results of my labour, other than an open mind.

Whilst perhaps guilty of indecent intolerance of the stubborn ignorant beliefs of others in my specific areas of research, I nevertheless wish to learn from all who might have something to share and so, I respectfully remain your humble servant.

Stuart Thomson (April 2008)


----- Original Message -----

From: Anthea Torr

To: Stuart Thomson

Cc: Secret Authors ; info@esse.co.za ; info@purebeginnings.co.za ; ecocert@global.co.za ; Tim Jackson ; Chris Erasmus ; info@renaissancemagazine.co.za ; A Rossouw ; Smart Attitude

Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 10:38 PM

Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re What warrants the title of a 'safe natural and/or organic external personal care product?

Dear all,
I have no intention in getting into debate on this at all. If you are interested, you may like to do your own research from independent research bodies, or contact the likes of Soil Association or Eco Cert for further verification.

Stuart please do not copy me on any further correspondence.

Many thanks


Anthea Torr
083 227 0269




----- Original Message -----

From: Esse Organic Skincare

To: 'Stuart Thomson'; 'Secret Authors'; 'anthea'

Cc: info@purebeginnings.co.za ; ecocert@global.co.za ; 'Tim Jackson' ; 'Chris Erasmus' ; info@renaissancemagazine.co.za ; 'A Rossouw'; 'Smart Attitude'

Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 12:59 PM

Subject: Re What warrants the title of a 'safe natural and/or organic external personal care product?


I have not responded to your various attacks for the last two years. I ceased responding when I realized that you would not respond to basic questions in a coherent manner.

You seem to be under the impression that there is some sort of conspiracy against you and that myself and Anthea Torr are focused on the demise of your company. I personally don’t consider your company any sort of competition. You promote the use of ingredients that are used in all the conventional brands on the market and I can’t see how you plan to differentiate your brand from the hundreds of low cost products out there. Mineral oil is exceedingly cheap, so are parabens and sulphated surfactants.

Esse has certified organic with Ecocert and we use high percentages of certified organic ingredients in our products. You seem to see fit to advertise your brand as organic when, by your own admission, you are not concerned about using certified organic ingredients in your products. If anyone is misleading the public it is you. Your convoluted logic - that organic plant matter eventually became crude oil – will not be upheld by very many people.

You contest that Ecocert allow parabens in certified product. They have made an allowance that raw materials may contain parabens but this derogation ends at the end of this year. This was to allow raw material suppliers that still use parabens to switch to alternative preservatives. In 2004 Dr Darbre showed that parabens were present in 24 out of 27 breast cancer tumours. Professor Yoshikawa in 2005 found that methyl paraben in the presence of UV, accelerates the aging process in skin cells. Ecocert have taken this relatively new research into account in their decision making process.

You claim that Esse uses the Neways marketing strategy – our new website doesn’t once mention petrochemicals, parabens or SLS. It will be up and running in about two weeks. Our new marketing material also makes no mention of these ingredients. We rely on the public to do their own research.

You also mention that we use contract manufacturers as if this were a secret. We are a research and development company and the fact that we secured the services of a larger, more professional factory is something that we are proud of.

May I suggest that we meet at some time in the near future so that I can gain some insight into what drives your vitriolic attacks?





Dear Recipients and Respondents

Thank you if you are still here with an open mind.

To new readers, welcome. This thread reads chronologically from the bottom of the page to the present here, starting at numbers marked 1 A; B; C; & D down and then up to the next letter.

This communication contains sensitive information concerning individuals and business entities, which if untrue, would be actionable for damages against me. I believe my research and allegations of fraud to be serious and accurate enough to warrant sticking my neck out with these revelations in the interests of the consumers of such products. It remains to be determined to what extent I will proceed against such individuals and entities, since much depends on their responses or lack thereof hereto. I challenge respondents, both direct and indirect alike, to respond fully and honestly to each and every allegation, failing which I shall consider their silence as tacit acceptance thereof.

I will collate responses for inclusion to all recipients in the database. If you don't trust me to do so, please just reply to all", in which case you will have 2-dozen witnesses of your contribution.

I am very grateful for this opportunity to respond to negative responses to my appeal to debate what warrants the title of a 'safe natural and/or organic external personal care product'. As director of the Gaia Research Institute and proprietor of Gaia Organics, established 19-years ago and along with ‘Canyon Organics’, Cliff Calder's ‘Fragrant Garden’ and later, David Townsend's ‘Townsend's Natural Herb’ and Sue Visser's ‘Nature Fresh’ and others, were pioneers of the natural personal care revolution in this country, it breaks my heart to witness the state of this sector today. I am all for competition, which is good for consumers and other role-players alike, but the new breed of know-it-all pseudo-organic vendors jumping on the "chemical-free", "petrochemical-free", "paraben-free", "mineral oil free" and "sodium lauryl sulphate-free" bandwagon is really starting to piss me off.

If there is one thing that I cannot stand, it is a holier than thou hypocritical opportunist prepared to con their way to the top. Unfortunately, the local "organic" personal care fraternity appear to be largely, if not exclusively just that. The hypocritical double standards and the out and out prostitution of ethics for commercial expediency, at the expense of innocent gullible consumers and ethical service providers are really quite nauseating. (A brief summary of my work over the years appears in grey near the end to serve readers who do not know me by my activism, so as to assess the integrity with which I pursue such issues)

Because I am not a businessman, but rather an independent researcher (35-years in the natural health sector), I had never really concerned myself with the business activities of others in the natural personal care sector, until Trevor Steyn and Anthea Torr got in my face with their propaganda series in Biophile magazine and on their Esse, Enchantrix, Biophile and guest websites and Anthea refused to publish corrections in Biophile when I presented them with evidence of several instances of misinformation. Subsequent to that experience, I responded with a series of factual educational communiqués, including a collection in a printed Consumer Awareness booklet, most of which were hidden under the counter in those health shops, who too, for commercial expediency, claimed to prefer not to confuse customers (with another perspective so that they might make better-informed decisions).

For the most part, I have been content to merely respond to Trevor's nonsense when I encountered his false propaganda littering the Internet and a response opportunity arose, until Anthea's "Response to Gaia Organics" appeared. Challenged by these two on my ingredient formulatory rationale, I have definitively defended these and have thrown down the gauntlet to my challengers to honestly and equally defend theirs. Please excuse the bitchy bits interspersed into the factual debate, which will hopefully make reading this thread worthwhile and which valuable insights are unlikely to be acquired elsewhere.

Once again, I implore implicated role-players to participate fully, honestly and factually, or be exposed as frauds as I have done hereunder with both Anthea and Trevor. This dialogue will likely will form a chapter of my forthcoming book, tentatively titled "Don't Talk Kak: Organics Suck: The Expropriation of Consumer Intelligence". I reserve the right only to edit out frivolous interjections. I also feel that it is only fair to caution all roleplayers participating in this greater misinformation scam, including magazine journalists, whether they participate here or not, that I intend to name and shame all individuals, companies and brands who continue to perpetuate this fraud once made aware hereof, starting with the worst offenders. Admittedly, this will turn out to be a lengthy read, but making the effort will afford many roleplayers an opportunity to reflect on their ethics in the light of the information presented and to reform their activities sufficiently to avoid being formally served as respondents to answer publicly to this fraud. I am continually monitoring, collecting, dating and adding evidence of this scam. The days of claiming to be "chemical-free", "petrochemical-free", possibly "paraben-free" and additionally trashing these and the following and suggesting that being "mineral oil free" and "sodium lauryl sulphate-free" are somehow a virtue, when this is not the case, are drawing to a close, unless of course that can be substantiated against all my evidence to the contrary.

It is grossly hypocritical to hide behind a relative - total paucity of toxicological data for alternatives to targeted ingredients and to use hidden petrochemical inputs permitted by the organic certification scamsters, whilst soap-boxing about theoretical hazards of some natural petrochemical ingredients, whose extensive toxicological databases required to determine and prove safety, are used out of context to malign these. One cannot claim safety for anything without investigating toxicity, which latter involved animal testing, abhorrent as that is and which is why I prefer to honour those animals already so sacrificed and will not use any largely untested ingredients and so potentially expose consumers to real risk, nor sanction animal testing of these.

Ideally, testing should be done on human volunteers, starting with employees and including management and board-members of the manufacturers thereof, but the new rash of pseudo 'natural' and 'organic' vendors, naively assume safety and so without even monitoring for toxicity, rather cowardly see fit to use the uninformed public as guinea pigs instead, both of which are criminal. Having become aware of this danger to consumers, I am obliged to do my civil duty and investigate and expose such activities as I encounter them. Pleading ignorance of the facts will no longer suffice as an excuse and this is why I will not remove from this distribution list, any recipient who is engaging in such activities, including those indirectly accompliced to this scam by way of spreading such fraudulent misinformation, even for indirect commercial expediency, eg magazines (electronic and otherwise), who might do so to attract advertisers participating in this lucrative scam, as is clearly happening with Biophile, Renaissance, Natural Medicine and Odyssey magazines, in spite of their pseudo truth and integrity charade.


Following on from where we left off in Part 1:

The negative responders were Tim and Chris, as well as Anthea Torr, proprietor of Enchantrix and proprietor/editor of Biofilth magazine, Trevor Steyn, proprietor of Esse Organic Skincare.

Tim Jackson, Manager of the Biodynamic and Organic Certification Authority, phoned and crapped me out for my suggesting that the BDOCA certification criteria is less strict than that of Ecocert. Tim's angry ranting rendered it impossible to telephonically discuss my presumption, based on prior communications and subsequent developments and I ended the call after requesting that he communicate his precise objection in writing. Tim is of course perfectly at liberty to discuss this matter in the current forum where the allegedly offending remark was made and I encourage him to do so. I might just add that subsequent developments in the "organic" personal care sector indicate an apparent shift to Ecocert, which to me suggests that Tim may very well have a point, but he ought to articulate it.

The Enchantrix website (http://www.enchantrix.co.za/certification) under the Bio-org logo still states "We are awaiting certification for our remaining products which we expect to have later this year", as it has done for a couple of years now, without additions. Is this not a fraudulently misleading declaration, intended and serving to suggest that the products are in transition and close to certification? Esse takes this even further, as will be shown in the text below, by claiming a couple of years ago, that the Esse range of products was indeed already Ecocertified. Since I have also copied Ecocert SA with this thread, I for one would appreciate both the BDOCA and Ecocert's input on these points.

Chris Erasmus, proprietor/editor of Odyssey magazine has too much aery faery on his plate to appreciate a distasteful dollop of truth on this topic and has requested that I remove him from the list, presumably so that he may plead ignorance when he covers this topic without regard for the facts in upcoming editions of his corny magazine and so best serve his target advertisers.


ST: You say that you have no intention in getting into debate on this at all. How is it that you justify publishing such maliciously dishonest material, yet accept no moral, nor legal responsibility? Why not make the necessary effort to present the research that you merely allude to, as though that might miraculously serve as rebuttal to my carefully laid out rebuttal to your mischief? Regrettably, in the absence of any substantial rebuttal, I am forced to conclude that you tacitly accept, by default, that my critique of your statements is correct, in which case you are morally obliged to apologise and withdraw it, or append my response to it, or post an adequate rebuttal to mine here in the public interest, as I have done with your patently false statements.


ST: Thank you for finally responding to my challenges after all these years.

While you failed miserably to address points raised in my rebuttal to Anthea's "A Response to Gaia 'Organics'", I shall nevertheless address the crumbs that you did, and your new mischief.

Trevor wrote: "I ceased responding when I realized that you (I) would not respond to basic questions in a coherent manner."

ST: This is a totally ridiculous excuse that does not escape responsibility for the conflict that has arisen from Trevor Steyn's fraudulent mischief littering the Internet. I am aware of only two instances of communication from Trevor and those involved not a single question, but rather 1) (1 July 05) - a still unhonoured undertaking to provide the results of his claimed independent peroxidation tests and 2) (5 July 05) - a still dishonoured undertaking to remove offending material from his website, an undertaking he now repeats, nearly 3-years later.

How can Trevor possibly judge the coherence or otherwise of anticipated replies when he has in fact never communicated the unstated basic questions alluded to, nor afforded me a reasonable opportunity to respond thereto, coherently or otherwise? Unlike Trevor, I have never avoided an opportunity to publicly openly state and debate the facts comprising our respective worldviews.

Trevor wrote: "You seem to be under the impression that there is some sort of conspiracy against you and that myself and Anthea Torr are focused on the demise of your company."

ST: Since my response to this is likely to be protracted (including detailed evidence), I shall deal with this issue as the last item in this response.

Trevor wrote: "I personally don’t consider your company any sort of competition."

ST: Gaia and Esse are incomparable for several reasons, in particular because Gaia's activities are primarily service orientated, whilst Esse's are clearly primarily profit orientated. Nevertheless both have business activities that compete in the "organic" and "natural" personal care marketplace. If Trevor is insinuating that Gaia Organics is no competition because Esse organic skincare products are superior, then he is seriously deluded and even more so if he believes that his past, present and future pseudo-organic certification affords him anything but hyped pseudo-superiority. Furthermore, whereas I am a formulator and manufacturer, Trevor is a mere formulator.

Moreover, Gaia Research is an independent wholistic health research institute with its reports documented in governmental institutional archives and with public welfare published scientific peer-reviewed journal articles, whereas Esse publish fraudulent negative self- promotional commercial propaganda in tacky magazines and on equally tacky websites. As a result, I personally do not consider Trevor's company to be any sort of serious competition.

Trevor wrote: a) "You promote the use of ingredients that are used in all the conventional brands on the market and I can’t see how you plan to differentiate your brand from the hundreds of low cost products out there." b) "Mineral oil is exceedingly cheap, so are parabens and sulphated surfactants."

ST: Well now, we are back to the already discredited Neways scam. Trevor raises new issues, which cannot really be divorced and which in turn raise several other issues, so bear with me.

I use three natural ingredients on a long and variable list of allegedly undesirables. These have been carefully chosen by me on the basis of their utility and fully documented safety data that have established these as class leaders. I linked-out my detailed rational defences of these three ingredients and also my fully referenced critiques of Trevor's unfortunate alternatives in my previous posting below. Trevor has been unable to raise a single valid objection to my use of any of these. Instead, he resorts to the invalid "organic standards" argument, which I too have demonstrated is fraught with illogic and many double standards, as well as several potential real-life hazards for consumers of products following said guidelines, including those of Ecocert.

It is noteworthy that Trevor Steyn has not openly publicly responded to any of my exceptionally well-documented position statements (approximately 100 pages), written largely as a result of his initial and subsequent mischief in Biophile magazine. Oddly, I have him to thank for his initiation and ongoing stimulation that repeatedly distracted me from my other research activities and led to my anticipating and timeously preparing for a broader, international fear-mongering ingredients scam that has now infected the minds of millions of gullible consumers worldwide. As a result of Trevor Steyn's mischief, I now find myself an authority on the very scam he intended pulling on me and others in a less fortunate position to defend their own ingredients.

What really differentiates my product range apart from both Trevor's and the rest of the pseudo-natural and organic ranges is complex and significant. My products are honest, in that there is no attempt to portray them other than for what they are, which is essentially a clear middle way bridging two extreme polarised paradigms, both of which are best only where they so meet and at their worst where they are diametrically opposed. As a result, my products are a combination of the best of both worlds, and none of the extremes that serve to invalidate both, 'integrative' for want of a label. As such, my products are exceptional value for money, since consumers don't pay for expensive ritualistic inputs overseen by expensive middlemen with no advantage.

Trevor Steyn's formulations for Enchantrix, his Esse and others includes sunflower, wheat germ and peach kernel oils, really the cheapest and most oxidatively susceptible plant oils of all. More troubling, from a toxicological perspective is Trevor Steyn's hypocritical use of quaternary ammonium compounds: benzethonium and/or benzalkonium chloride (albeit ripped-off at a premium as grapefruit seed extract), cetrimonium chloride and also the zwitterionic surfactant, cocamidopropyl betaine, all of which class (quaternary ammonium compounds), appears on Ecocert's negative list. The presence of these and the dreaded paraben esters in Trevor Steyn's Esse 'Organic' Skincare products is a fraud of note.

Comparing just these few toxic alternatives to my three allegedly undesirable ingredients rightfully elevates mine to the top of their class in terms of proven safety and efficacy. That my selection is also more cost-effective than Trevor's and his clients, just happens to be a bonus, rather than any overwhelming incentive for me. Most high-end international personal care companies with multi-million Rand research and development laboratories have elected to use these class-leading standards, plus some more questionable one's, including some that Trevor uses. Ultimately, water is still the "cheapest" ingredient of all. I see no one foregoing its use on the basis of its "exceeding cheapness", so please stop being such damn annoying hypocrites!

My logical response to Trevor's suggestion that there is naught to "differentiate your (my) brand from the hundreds of low cost products out there", is to ask what differentiates Trevor's Esse brand from the hundreds of "high cost" so-called "organic" products out there? They are all using similar questionable, often corny hype ingredients and generally similarly have nothing to differentiate them from others in this rather boringly generic category. I have already demonstrated that there is absolutely nothing honest, or special about eco-certified organics. Opposition to petrochemicals per se' is totally ridiculous and grossly hypocritical. A far greater percentage of ingredients that Trevor Steyn formulates for his range and for others on the "organic" bandwagon use petrochemicals in their commercial synthesis than do those in my own ingredient portfolio, yet he, his clients and Ecocert all sham "petrochemical free" status.

I am driven to respond fully, lest I succumb to the habit of tendering one- or two-liners to challengers, as Trevor Steyn tends to unfairly substitute as an excuse for substantiated responses. Anyone who has been around for a while will have learned that purchasing consumer goods on the assumption that quality, safety and efficacy of products is determined by price alone is foolish. To a point it may be valid, but thereafter, said factor tends to diminish, often to the point where price becomes an incumberance to said expectations, like comparing a Rolls Royce with a Lexus, which latter, at half the price is superior in terms of build quality, safety, performance, economy and everything but backward handcrafting and perhaps snob-value.

Furthermore, besides the absence of the superior ingredients: sodium lauryl ether sulphate, mineral oil and parabens and the substitution of these with those demonstrated by me to be rather foolish relatively more risky alternative choices for these, Trevor Steyn's products, and those of some of his clients, are curiously, practically clones of my own, in that besides the corny hyped ingredients (of which there are often so many in one formulation, that none could possible be reasonably active, even synergistically) the actual ingredients forming the active basis of these products are comprised largely of my own chosen ingredients, most adopted 10-20 years ago, when Trevor was still just a kid. These include aqua (but superior filtered "rainwater" rather than more likely contaminated filtered "spring water"); fixed oils of coconut, flaxseed, jojoba and sesame (I stopped formulating with the highly oxidation-susceptible wheatgerm, and peach and apricot kernel oils a decade ago); ascorbyl palmitate, panthenol, retinyl palmitate and tocopheryl acetate; aloe, glycerine, green tea and kaolin; silver chloride and titanium dioxide; citric and salicylic acids; and essential oils of geranium, lavender, lemon balm, orange, peppermint, rose, rosemary, spearmint and ylang ylang (common to both Esse & Gaia).

Further ingredients in the Gaia Organics products that are not in the Esse products include: Bearberry, Bergamot essential oil, BHA, Bioflavonoids, Camphor, Carnation essential oil, Castor oil, Cajeput essential oil, Cedar essential oil, Centella, Citronella essential oil, Co-enzyme Q10, colloidal Copper, Comfrey Allantoin, Diatomaceous earth, Evening Primrose oil, German chamomile essential oil, Ginger essential oil, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Glutathione, Gum Arabic, Gum Benzoin, Heather, Honeysuckle essential oil, Jasmin essential oil, Juniper essential oil, Kelp, Selenium-enriched Kombucha, Lemon essential oil, Licorice, Lime tree, Magnesium peroxide, Malic acid, colloidal Manganese, MSM, Neroli essential oil, bitter Orange essential oil, sweet Orange essential oil, PABA, Palm-kernel oil (& potassium hydroxide), Patchouli essential oil, Pollen, Pyrethrum, Rose essential oil, Sage essential oil, Stinging nettle, Tannic acid, Tartaric acid, Tea tree essential oil; Thyme essential oil; Thymol; Tulip essential oil, Turmeric. Tyrosine; Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Whey, Witch hazel, Zinc oxide and colloidal and chelated Zinc. This is far from the low-end synthetic ingredient portfolio that Trevor maliciously suggests it is. I would confidently pit the naturalness, organic integrity, optimal utility and established safety of these Gaia Organics ingredients against the Esse ingredients and also confidently assert that these provide superior anti-aging / anti skin-cancer performance.

Gaia Organics Aqueous cream (all creams are aqueous) is the 'only' synthesised ingredient using (methyl- and propyl-) parabens and SLS and is restricted to the creams and creamy lotions as clearly listed. I now outsource this so as to provide the consistency and preservation integrity demanded by the export market, which I failed to meet when I was painstakingly producing this myself and could also not cope with export production demand. Since the ingredients are so basic and relatively cheap, I hardly have to monitor its manufacture as would be the case with more expensive raw materials and critically fragile oils for what is essentially nothing more than a stable simple spreading, moisturising and occlusive agent.

Accordingly, my precious and fragile oils are always refrigerated on site under my care and specification and can be formulated into products in small batches so as to maximally avoid peroxidation and rancidity, which is impossible with the bulking cheaper highly oxidation-susceptible oils used by the 'organic' fringe who are unable to substitute those, due to their own stubbornness, with pure oxidation-free and oxidation protective natural organic mineral oil for said basic functions in more complex formulations uncompromised thereby. The Ginkgo is harvested annually from trees in the area and the Centella is wild harvested in the Garden of Eden and as with the Comfrey and Stinging nettle grown in our own garden without chemical input, are freshly processed immediately prior to use. Our unique Selenium-rich Kombucha symbionts are cultured in our own laboratory using our exceptionally potent peasant-grown Green tea and likewise processed immediately prior to use.

Of the like-minded ingredients, I pioneered (1st in the world - 1996) formulations with kombucha extracts, corresponding to Trevor Steyn's (10-years too late) "cutting edge ingredients", hyaluronic acid and carboxymethyl (beta) glucan, which promise to "ensure that Esse products are always at the pinnacle of what modern skincare can offer". Being cultured on green tea and freshly expressed, Gaia's Kombucha extracts significantly yield high integrity hyaluronic acid, beta glucan and nucleic acids (besides other valuable natural substances) and as such, avoid having to be extracted and stabilised synthetically for commercial storage ability and at a fraction of the cost, Gaia Organics are generous when formulating with these ingredients, rather than token gesturing their use due to any cost considerations. I also pioneered (1st in the world - 1994) formulations with green tea (which makes a mockery of the feeble hyped indigenous rooibos & honeybush teas). I additionally pioneered (1st in the world - 1994) formulations with colloidal and ionic silver (and later also copper, zinc and manganese).

Gaia's second slogan correctly is "We Lead, Others Follow". Trevor Steyn is seriously mistaken when he cockily claims: "I personally don’t consider your company any sort of competition". I make this declaration, not in terms of whose business is the biggest, since Gaia Organics have no intentions of being the biggest, just the best and only for those that really, really want it. This leads to another infuriating instance of Trevor Steyn's negative ingredient profiling. I pioneered (1st in the world - 1991) genuine alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) in product formulations, more that 19 years ago and several years before Estee Lauder launched their glycolic acid based "Fruition". Uniquely tamed with green tea and formulated as a toner, Gaia has been able to optimise the active strength and benefits of its leading-edge fruit acid technology without compromise or adverse effects. From the start, these complex fruit acids were scraped out of wooden barrels used for the manufacture of wine, apple, pear and pineapple ciders and progressively supplemented with pure lab synthesised nature-identical fruit acids, without loss of advantage.

Trevor Steyn is out of line when he states on his website: "The daily use of alpha hydroxy acids is unhealthy and accelerates the aging process. AHAs dissolve the cement that holds cells together and cause the outer layers of the skin to peel off. This is to support claims of wrinkle reduction. The skin will immediately try to maintain a healthy skin thickness by accelerating the rate of division of the basal cells. The same process causes a callous. Each basal cell can only replicate about 74 times (the Hayflick limit). Once enough basal cells reach the limit the skin starts to get thinner and more prone to sun damage, wrinkles and attack by pathogens. AHA’s accelerate the rate of basal cell division and hence accelerate the aging process. By removing the outer layer of the skin, AHA’s also increase the likelihood of sun damage. This outer layer is the skin’s first line of defense against UV damage."

ST: Whilst it is true that premature destruction of cells of the lower epidermis does inevitably draw the skin closer to the Hayflick limit, it might be useful to consider this in some perspective. Human beings are classified as hominoids and as such we are frugivorous (fruit eating) animals by creation and evolution, confirmed by comparative anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. It is a fact that our direct and indirect ancestors over the vast majority of their passage of time on Earth (the past 10,000 years is a mere blink of the eye on a linear continuum) have primarily consumed mainly fruits relative to other foodstuffs and as such, have been naturally bathing the skin in perspiration that was rich in fruit acids, rather than protein digestive waste acids. The use of mild genuine fruit acid products (as opposed to harsh glycolic acid peels) therefore merely serves to perpetuate a naturally healthful skin pH and condition that could otherwise no longer prevail with most modern diets. Trevor Steyn's mischievous reference to the Hayflick limit and his ridiculous and sensational conjecture are laughably simplistic and grossly overstated.

The truth is that the upper epidermis (keratinocytes) is in any event routinely renewed every 24 days on average and the stratum corneum continually sloughs-off (Ralston H et al, Histology 115, Dept Anat, Univ Calif, SF, 2007). The Hayflick limit (i.e. because fibroblast cells only have a finite number of doublings, after which they stop dividing and become senescent) was only studied and determined in dermal fibroblasts in culture, which again hardly approximates real life conditions. Fibroblasts are somatic terminally differentiated collagen- and elastin-producing cells. Tissues that make extensive use of fibroblasts, such as the skin, are well supplied with fibrocytes, which are undifferentiated stem cell versions of fibroblasts, which are reserved for repairing serious tissue damage. Trauma such as impact injury, thermal or acid burns and conceivably also cosmetic treatments, including surgery, laser, dermabrasion and chemical peels are able to significantly impact on the Hayflick limit.

At issue under normal conditions, is not so much that the skin squanders its stem cells and hence the ability to produce new cells, but rather that senescent fibroblasts in the dermis accumulate due to lack of stimuli and that senescent cells that are not replaced, interfere with skin functions. However, when 'appropriately' 'stimulated', e.g. via signalling molecules naturally induced by evolutionary concentrations of fruit acids, fibrocytes actually have the capacity to produce healthy fibroblasts, which in turn, are capable of producing healthy collagen and elastin and so continue to improve the appearance of skin, even in the elderly. (References, too many to annotate this summary)

Getting back now to the non- like-minded ingredients in Trevor Steyn's formulary, one might justifiably question the wisdom of incorporating into products intended for the skin, various substances, including aminoethanols, benzyls, betaines, borates, caprylics, cetearyls, cetrimides, citrates, dehydroacetics, glucosides, methanes, sorbates, sorbitans and stearates, all of which require commercial extraction, processing, synthesis, stabilisation and their own preservation. Given Ecocert's double standards on petrochemicals, what nasties lurk here? Rather large on my radar for upcoming expose' is the toxicity potential of dehydroacetic acid, especially in baby-care products, which is just another example of how irresponsible the generic organic formulation guru is when it comes to the precious health and welfare of others. A veritable repeat of the tragic Naturebabes Eucalyptus oil debacle, which harm continues to this day.

I have already profiled the unacceptable toxicity potential of cetrimonium chloride and carbomer in some Enchantrix products near the bottom of this thread (in red),
and in great detail on my website, considerable toxicological concerns with:
Cocamidopropyl betaine here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/cocamidosles.html & http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/cocamidoprobetaine.html &
Grapefruit seed extract adulterated with benzethonium chloride and other synthetics here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/grapefruitseedextract.html

Also of concern to me is the use of indigenous plant extracts, primarily for their African hype value. Listed are Adansonia Digitata seed oil, Calodendrum Capense seed oil, Eriocephalus Africanus leaf oil, Eriocephalus Punctulatus leaf oil, Kigelia Africana fruit extract, and Sutherlandia Frutescens leaf extract. Whilst the Kigelia is certainly the most promising from a dermatological perspective, it is also likely the most toxic of the group. I have already extensively exposed the considerable hype and the potential toxicity of Sutherlandia here:

I am not being melodramatic in raising such concerns. I am the only activist authority on the subject of the toxicity and mortality statistics regarding Traditional African Medicine and my still unrebutted extrapolations indicate that between 10,000 and 20,000 Africans die each year in South Africa from such plants, who would not have died but for such exposure. My main documents on this topic are here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/trads.html and here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/trads2.html

I note from biographical material, that Trevor Steyn was (perhaps naively, but might still be, given all his pretences) an ethnopirate, i.e. one who steals the intellectual property of, and exploits the traditions of other cultures for one's own commercial gain, which despicable activities of others, I have widely exposed in several reports. Trevor Steyn's Master's degree thesis involved the isolation and identification of potential new pharmaceuticals from indigenous medicinal plants (Advertorial, "Esse is for super-natural", Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Review, March 2006).

Trevor wrote: "Esse has certified organic with Ecocert and we use high percentages of certified organic ingredients in our products." So what? Given my considerable expose' to date, I had expected "ecocertification" by now to rightfully be something not worth bragging about, but it seems I need to put far more effort into my consumer awareness campaign. Perhaps when one has invested much time and money in an exposed fraud, the only commercial option is to still see it through, wave the banner and pass on the expense to gullible consumers.

Trevor wrote: "You seem to see fit to advertise your brand as organic". Trevor must have a short attention span and memory. Just a week earlier, I rebutted this allegation in great detail. Furthermore, unlike him, I don't advertise at all (in its most common understanding, i.e. to increase sales), since I consider advertising to be a desperate form of commercial prostitution. Likewise the statement: "If anyone is misleading the public it is you", is just plain stupid and irritating, considering that I have very openly and publicly demonstrated the exact opposite. Clearly Mr Steyn has nothing intelligent to contribute to this debate and so resorts to already defeated circular arguments, whilst my real concerns and challenges remain cowardly ignored.

Trevor wrote: "Your convoluted logic - that organic plant matter eventually became crude oil – will not be upheld by very many people." Another red herring, this time accompanied by a decree by 'His Worship', without any substantiation at all for his silly position, but dear disciples, blindly believe it and follow the decree you must. You dare not uphold scientific facts, lest you be accused of convoluted logic. I have, on the other hand, more than adequately dealt with the well substantiated science on this topic via a carefully laid out argument of my own here: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/organiccontroversyandscam.html. This prompts a challenge to Trevor to articulate and post his own reasoned counter-argument (rather than a copied opinion). Realistically, this debate will probably remain largely academic, but unfortunately for Trevor and his ilk, the undeniable reality is that crude oil and mineral oil are 100% natural and organic!

Trevor wrote: "In 2004 Dr Darbre of Reading University showed that parabens were present in breast cancer tumours. Almost all breast tumours need oestrogen to grow". So what?? What about the unmentioned literally hundreds of other chemicals measurable in cancerous breast tissue, many at far higher concentrations and having far greater oestrogen mimic potential? Trevor's sweeping propaganda assumptions regarding the oestrogen mimicry potential of parabens is grossly irresponsible and for a supposedly educated person, suggests, along with the allied evidence, that he is well aware of his misrepresentation of the facts and does so for commercial expediency. His convoluted illogical associations of parabens with sperm counts, breast cancer and the tobacco industry would be laughable, were it not so tragic in its desperation to mislead those apparently even more stupid than himself, should he actually believe his own crap.

Let me just put this paraben propaganda and paranoia issue into perspective and so show for once and all why Trevor Steyn is either a deliberate fraudster or is as stupid as his silly rhetoric.


Parabens have safely preserved fruit juice, beer, wine and cosmetics for 60 years. ‘Organic’ vendors have deliberately seeded the circulating misinformation, placed out of context to create the impression of risks that are non-existent in the real world. Ignorant journalists and Internet commerce dominating the search-engines ensure a gullible public that believe and innocently advance this clever commercial strategy. According to plan, consumers avoid these and face far greater risk from alternatives, such as:
grapefruit seed extract (http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/grapefruitseedextract.html)
or alcohol (http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/alcohol.html), which are hundreds-fold more cytotoxic.

It is widespread propaganda that parabens are cancer-causing endocrine disruptors, yet many common phytochemicals, e.g. from soybeans or the mycotoxins on maize, are thousands of times more potent as endocrine disruptors than are the feebly estrogenic parabens. Parabens are the safest preservatives available and are, in fact, widely distributed in many fruits, vegetables and spices and are natural components of black and green teas. Contrary to the vested interest scare tactics, Parabens are not carcinogenic, mutagenic or clastogenic (Final Report, Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, Amended Safety Assessment (of Parabens), June 13, 2006).

The unproven linking of minute amounts of parabens in human breast tumour tissues to causality of breast cancer is grossly unscientific. Darbre, who advanced her over-enthusiasm for this idea without evidence and became a celebrity researcher, has ever since desperately attempted to restore her professional reputation by vindicating her premature conclusion, to no avail, in spite of intensified research. Many far more potent endocrine disrupters in much higher amounts are detectable in human tissues. Darbre now far more reasonably postulates a functional role for the combined interactions of cosmetic chemicals with environmental oestrogens, pharmacological oestrogens, physiological oestrogens and phyto-oestrogens in the rising incidence of breast cancer (Darbre P, Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab, 20(1), 2006).

It is difficult to correct public perceptions once the media lose interest and no longer report on a hypothesis that has turned out to be false. The public deserve to know this and that the p-hydroxybenzoic acid present in most plants is almost as oestrogenic as methyl- and propyl- parabens; that soya and mycotoxins on grains and cereals are 100-1000 times more so and that naturally occurring estradiol (oestrogen) is 10,000- to 100,000-fold more potent still. (Golden R et al, Crit Rev Toxicol, 35(5), 2005) Propyl paraben, the more oestrogenic of the two, has been recently re-evaluated for safety of acceptable daily intakes, which significantly remain unchanged (WHO Tech Rep Ser, 940, 2007).

Are the feared parabens in skin care products good (or bad) for consumers? Research has determined that regular application of parabens does indeed lead to mild localised oestrogenic effects, not only via interaction with estrogen receptors, but also via the inhibition of oestrogen sulfotransferase activity. Is any of this desirable? The perhaps surprising answer, given all the negative propaganda is yes, yes, yes! Scientists now confirm that the skin anti-aging benefits of topical products containing parabens are ironically, derived in part, from their localised oestrogenicity. (Prusakiewicz J et al, Toxicology, 232(3), 2007) Let us briefly consider the benefits.

Oestrogens in the skin are important modulators of keratinocytes, fibroblasts and melanocytes and aid in the delay, prevention and reversal of skin aging. It prevents wrinkling that arises from decreased skin collagen, elastin and skin thickness, maintains skin moisture by increasing acid mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid, maintains skin barrier function and accelerates healing (Shah M, Maibach H, Am J Clin Dermatol, 2(3), 2001); (Sator P et al, Exp Dermatol, 13 Suppl 4:36, 2004); (Kanda N, Watanabe S, J Dermatol Sci, 38(1), 2005); (Verdier-Sévrain S, Exp Dermatol, 15(2): 2006); (Stevenson S, Thornton J, Clin Interv Aging, 2(3), 2007).

To the disbelief of many, para-hydroxybenzoic acid is the most widely distributed aromatic organic acid in the vegetable kingdom. All higher plants require it to produce coenzyme-Q for respiration and some as pollinator attractants / defensive chemicals. Paraben in urine from healthy humans is from decomposition of tyrosine (amino acid) and from foods such as carrot, onion, olive, strawberry, cucumber, vanilla, cocoa and tea in the diet. The now feared esters Methyl- and Propyl- paraben are nature-identical anti-microbial agents that actually do exist in nature and are indispensable to consumer safety.

Plants known to synthesise Methyl paraben include Granadilla (A Naidoo, Natural Food Anti-microbial Systems, CRC Press, 2001) and Oca, a tuber widely consumed in South America (Pal Bais H et al, Plant Physiol Biochem, 41(4), 2003). Plants known to synthesise Propyl paraben include Mango (Chirawut B, Sangchote S, 15th Australas Plant Path Soc Confer, Deakin Univ, Geelong, 26-29 Sept, 2005) and Cloudberry (Baardseth P, Russwurm J, Food Chem, 3(1), 1978). Propyl paraben is furthermore synthesised by Verticillium fungi inhabiting decaying vegetation, hence organic soil (El Aissama A, Mycopathologia, 144(2), 1999). Royal bee jelly contains methyl and propyl parabens (Ishiwata H, Yamada T, Food Sanit, 50 (7), 2000).

The ultimate irony is that manufacturers of products containing extracts of these and many other natural resources would be committing fraud if they proclaimed their products to be “free of parabens”. As we stress our skin and age prematurely, we all tend to use progressively more topical skincare products. Unbeknown to most manufacturers and consumers, paraben preservatives actually serve consumers by ensuring that there is sufficient anti-aging oestrogen where and when needed most. Clearly the established benefits by far outweigh any perceived risks. It is time for the “organic” product vendors who malign parabens for commercial expediency to eat humble pie and accept that they have seriously misled consumers about topical parabens. END (Stuart Thomson, Director, Gaia Research Institute, April 2008)

Trevor wrote: "Professor Yoshikawa in 2005 found that methyl paraben in the presence of UV, accelerates the aging process in skin cells".

ST: So what of the context? This was a very crude preliminary experiment having little or no bearing on real-life exposures.


Firstly, the tests were done not on human, or even on animal skin, but on cultured skin keratinocytes. Significantly, these cells were undifferentiated/immature, the matrix devoid of vascularisation and melanisation and were directly exposed to UVB radiation due to the absence of normal stratified keratinisation, functional barrier and surface layers of environmentally weathered, dead and sloughing epidermal cells (stratum corneum). Also absent are layers of reflective sebum and perspiration, to name just a few missing normally protective parameters.

Secondly, these cells were cultured in a Methyl paraben containing medium for 24 hours, neither of which circumstances could ever occur in real-life. Furthermore, it is rare in this day and age to apply a paraben-preserved product intended for daytime use that does not comprise of at least a UV-B screen or filter, which would completely negate any such ill-postulated risk.

The results are not at all unexpected, given the artificial conditions and the fact that each additional insult (e.g. 'paraben' + UVB) is disproportionate and exponential, and in any event, the worst case scenario end result being cell deaths, which self-limits any serious risk. The fact is that any second factor, e.g. pure 'water' + UVB, might have yielded similar/worse synergistic results. The author's conclusion, or at least Trevor's interpretation of it, is clearly premature.

Trevor wrote: "Ecocert have taken this relatively new research into account in their decision making process". Have they now? If so, why are they not even more urgently "banning" oestrogen mimicking phytochemicals, including grapefruit seed extract (which is always contaminated with petrochemical quaternary ammonium biocides) and cytotoxic grain alcohol? What about the safety and acceptability of the clearly inorganic nano-tech Silver chloride and Titanium dioxide composite used in product ranges formulated by Trevor Steyn? These are prohibited in personal care products intended for application around the eyes and lips and in particular in products used by children under three years of age. What of the petrochemical components of these, in particular the dreaded propylene glycol? What of the paraben esters allowed on raw materials? In particular, what of paraben esters repeatedly demonised by Trevor Steyn that are naturally occurring 'in' raw materials, including those in Trevor Steyn's own Esse range? These are all substances "banned" by Ecocert, who conveniently turn a blind eye to their inclusion in 'certified organic' products even for Ecocert's own commercial expediency, rendering Ecocert organic certification an outright fraud. These questions demand honest responses in the public interest. Failing to do so fully in response to these accusations shall be construed as tacit admission of the charges.

Trevor wrote: "You claim that Esse uses the Neways marketing strategy – our new website doesn’t once mention petrochemicals, parabens or SLS. It will be up and running in about two weeks. Our new marketing material also makes no mention of these ingredients. We rely on the public to do their own research." Now Trevor insults me (all recipients hereof) with his expectation that anyone could fall for this illogical excuse for his past and present use of the Neways strategy via an insulting argument to the effect that his new website, to be posted some time in the future, will desist with the provocative behaviour that I have been complaining about for more than 3-years. Way back on 5 July 2005 in a correspondence thread such as the present, also started by me, Trevor conceded: "With regards to the information on the Esse website, changes will be made this week to make the site less controversial. You do, perhaps, have a point. It would be better to define the products by what they offer and not by what they don't." No such changes were instituted. The strategy was just too lucrative to resist.

The fact that Trevor and Anthea, for commercial expediency, reneged on such peace agreements, sought by me to find common ground and avoid in-fighting, is the reason that matters have deteriorated to the point that has now led the Secret Authors to unfairly blame me for the ongoing dispute, when I am in fact the innocent aggrieved party. Thousands of readers of Trevor's fraudulent articles in and on the Biophile magazine and website and repeated elsewhere, has caused irreparable harm to the legitimate ethical businesses of myself and others. Not a single rebuttal, correction or withdrawal has ever been instituted. To add insult to injury, Anthea more recently posts on her website the fraudulent "A Response to Gaia Organics" (posted and rebutted below) and Trevor responds to my rebuttal thereto with the utter rubbish that I am now obliged to rebut via this present precious time-consuming response for public legal record.

Trevor wrote: "You seem to be under the impression that there is some sort of conspiracy against you and that myself and Anthea Torr are focused on the demise of your company." Trevor's articles did not mention Gaia Organics by name. The "Neways Strategy" was intended to disadvantage all their competition. In its current form, as adopted by Trevor's Esse, Anthea's Enchantrix and several others copied on this thread, the adopted strategy indiscriminatively disadvantages any business honestly listing any ingredients that are dishonestly targeted by the misinformative propaganda. This is clearly a harmful business practice and once the perpetrator is reasonably informed of this fact, perpetuation of the practice renders it an actionable fraud. It is my intention that this thread serve as prior cautioning of recipients of my intention to name and shame their activities in this regard and to proceed against them if they do not desist.



Trevor's website dedicates 3 out of 7 sections to the Neways strategy. Thus, 45% of his attention is dedicated to what his products allegedly do not and others allegedly do contain. This is pathological, if not "certifiable", no pun intended. I can't help noticing that I am heading the same way. However, I am rationally legally responding to his irrational fraudulent initiatives.

Contact Us
Esse Salon Products
Controversial Ingredients

Without expanding any links on these pages at this stage, here are the three sections in their entirety:


1) Trevor's Esse "Home Page" (www.esse.co.za), to the total exclusion of any other information, proclaims:

Certified organic ingredients
No parabens, no petrochemicals
Just pure, effective skincare
What goes on, goes in

Click here for a short list of ingredients
that we feel should be avoided.




2) Trevor's Esse "Controversial Ingredients" Page (http://www.esse.co.za/Ingredients.aspx) proclaims:

Controversial Ingredients

"The cosmetics industry has borrowed a page from the playbook of
the tobacco industry by putting profits ahead of public health".

Democrat Senator Edward Kennedy at a hearing on the FDA Reform bill

Your body is very well adapted to its natural environment and is capable of processing the vast majority of the constituents of plants that occur around you.

Your body is not well designed to process synthetic chemicals that it would not encounter in nature.

Esse uses natural ingredients that your skin can use to keep itself healthy. We ensure that these ingredients don't contain traces of synthetic pesticides by insisting on organic certification from ingredient suppliers.

Here's why Esse will not use some ingredients.

1. Parabens
Click here to read more.

2. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate).
Click here to read more.

3. Petrochemicals
Click here to read more.

4. Fragrance/ Parfum and Pthalates
Click here to read more.

5. Other ingredients that Esse avoids

· Ethoxylated ingredients - like the PEG’s or any other ingredient ending in –eth
· Sulphated surfactants – Ammonium Laureth Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate etc.

· Synthetic fragrances.
· GM ingredients.
· Formaldehyde preservatives – Imidizolidinyl urea and others.
· Ingredients that have been tested on animals.




3) Trevor's Esse "Philosophy" Page (http://www.esse.co.za/philosophy.aspx) proclaims:


Esse Ingredients

Esse has committed to the following:-

95% or more of our natural inputs are certified organic
No parabens or formaldehyde-based preservatives
No petrochemicals
No synthetic fragrance or phthalates
No sulphated surfactants like Sodium Lauryl/eth Sulphate
No synthetic colourants
No ethoxylated ingredients (PEG and …-eth ingredients)

Esse Actives

At Esse we focus our research on cutting-edge natural actives to ensure that we are always at the pinnacle of what modern skincare can offer.

Low Molecular Mass Hyaluronic Acid and Carboxymethyl Glucan are used extensively in our range for their combined ability to penetrate, hydrate and protect the skin from the free radicals that cause aging. We have found ethical microbial sources for these two ingredients that do not use any genetic modification or the traditional animal sources.

The Esse Professional range incorporates the use of certified organic omega-3, 6 and 9 oils. In 2004 researchers reviewing the benefits of omega-3’s concluded, “Topical application of products rich in omega 3 fatty acids is a critical step in order to maintain healthy skin, prevent aging, and improve moisture content without adding oiliness to both acne-prone and chronically dry skin.”

Esse Buying Policy

Our rules are fairly simple – if the raw material is available locally and carries organic certification then we buy it regardless of price. If a certified organic raw material is not available locally then we will import.
Wherever applicable we source raw materials from fair trade organizations like Phytotrade.

Animal Testing

Our tests are all done on human volunteers. We don’t test our products on animals and will not source raw materials from companies that do.


We feel that the daily use of alpha hydroxy acids is unhealthy and accelerates the aging process.
AHA’s dissolve the cement that holds cells together and cause the outer layers of the skin to peel off. This is to support claims of wrinkle reduction.
The skin will immediately try to maintain a healthy skin thickness by accelerating the rate of division of the basal cells. The same process causes a callous.
Each basal cell can only replicate about 74 times (the Hayflick limit). Once enough basal cells reach the limit the skin starts to get thinner and more prone to sun damage, wrinkles and attack by pathogens.

AHA’s accelerate the rate of basal cell division and hence accelerate the aging process.

By removing the outer layer of the skin, AHA’s also increase the likelihood of sun damage. This outer layer is the skin’s first line of defense against UV damage.


ST: I did point out earlier that Trevor's comments raise new issues that in turn raise several other issues. I will keep this response as concise as possible, reserving the right to elaborate later.

I think that the above public record alone definitively confirms Trevor Steyn's use of the Neways Strategy, and also his awareness of the prejudicial impact it has on competitor's businesses. That Trevor has allowed this miscontextualised misinformation to not only be accessible, but actually foisted on the public from his business website and those of others after being advised of the fraudulent nature thereof and after undertaking to remove such information at that time, as also did Anthea, does tend to answer strongly in the affirmative that Trevor and Anthea are focussed on the demise of not only my business, but also those of anyone else honestly listing such deliberately targeted ingredients. That their own products include ingredients made with a host of petrochemicals, including not only the permitted safe parabens and mineral oil, but also undetermined other chemicals of undetermined safety, as well as a host of known toxins and endocrine disruptors, despite intimations and assurances to the contrary, clearly serves to compound said fraud. That they do this pretending to be 'holier than thou', is totally despicable.

Trevor also makes and perpetuates a common error as a matter of fact, which propaganda I am further obliged to correct. In Part 2 above, Trevor states: "Your body is very well adapted to its natural environment and is capable of processing the vast majority of the constituents of plants that occur around you. Your body is not well designed to process synthetic chemicals that it would not encounter in nature." The first sentence is partly true. The second is incorrect. Read together, they are both incorrect. Trevor is either ignorant, or has devious intent. Allow me to summarise from how the acknowledged experts in this field concur that our bodies cope equally well with both natural chemical toxins and synthetic chemical toxins:


I had read Professor Bruce Ames’ groundbreaking seminal research in 1983 (Ames B, Science, 221(4617), 1983) but arrogantly insisted on wrongly believing, as many still do, that our body’s defences somehow coped with natural toxins, yet failed against synthetic toxics. Six years later, Ames argued even more persuasively and concluded that: “Experimental evidence indicates that animal general defences are effective against both natural and synthetic compounds, since the basic mechanisms of carcinogenesis are not unique to either” (Ames B, Chapter 14, ‘Pesticide Residues and Cancer Causation, in ‘Carcinogenicity of Pesticides’, ACS Symposium Series 414, 1989). This point, restated and masterfully elaborated in several published papers over the years, remains unrebutted today, to the point that this contention is now an unchallenged scientifically irrefutable matter of fact.

In Part 3, pp 7782-7786 of their 1990 trilogy in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, titled: ‘Nature's and synthetic chemicals: Comparative Toxicology’, Ames, Margie Profet and Louis Gold wrote as follows:

It is often assumed that because plants are part of human evolutionary history, the mechanisms evolved to cope with the toxicity of natural chemicals will fail to protect us against synthetic chemicals. This assumption is flawed for several reasons. These defenses (sic) are actually effective against both natural and synthetic toxins. Defenses that have evolved are mostly of a general type, since the number of natural chemicals that might have toxic effects is so large. General defenses protect not only against natural but also synthetic chemicals, making humans well buffered against toxins.” (Jakoby W (Ed.), Enzymatic Basis of Detoxification, Vols. I and II, Academic Press, NY, 1980); (Ames B, Magaw N, Gold L, Science, 236, 271-280, 1987); (Ames B, Gold L, Science 238, 1634, 1987)

Plants have been evolving and refining their chemical weapons for at least 500 million years. Humans have not had time to evolve into a ‘toxic harmony’ with plants. Natural selection works far too slowly for humans to have evolved specific resistance to toxins in newly introduced plants. Multiple hazard chemical synergisms occur from both natural and synthetic sources. Anti-carcinogens do not distinguish whether carcinogens are synthetic or natural. (Ames B et al, PNAS, 1990)

Natural and synthetic toxins can have the same mechanisms. For example, the cabbage family vegetables (crucifers) contain indole carbinol, converted by stomach acid to dimers and trimers that bind to the body’s Ah receptor and which, in the presence of eg aflatoxin, causes mitogenesis, just like the synthetic dioxin. The EPA's human ‘reference dose’ of dioxin is 6 femtograms per kg per day, compared with 5 mg of indole carbinol per 100 g of crucifers. The effective dose from a helping of crucifers would be 500- 1,500 times higher than that of dioxin. (Ames B et al, PNAS, 1990)

Wild plants and especially plants bred for ‘organic’ pest resistance contain more natural toxins and have caused unprecedented toxicity problems. ‘Organic farmers’ use natural pesticides that are not as extensively tested as synthetic pesticides, if at all, for mutagenicity, carcinogenicity or teratogenicity. The first rule of toxicology is that all chemicals are ‘toxic’. It is the dose that makes the poison. Animals have a broad array of inducible general defenses to combat the changing array of both natural toxic chemicals and synthetic toxic chemicals. Reference: (Ames B et al, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 87(19) [Part 3], 7782 - 7786, 1990).

Margie Profet, an evolutionary biologist specialising in the detoxification mechanisms used by our immune systems to cope with natural and now synthetic toxins, concurred as follows: “The mammalian immune response known as "allergy" evolved as a defense against the extensive array of toxic substances. By protecting against acute toxicity, allergy may also defend against mutagens and carcinogens." (Profet M, Q Rev Biol, 66(1), 1991) Louis Gold also concurred: “Because defenses are generally inducible and the toxicology of both natural and synthetic chemicals similar, our defenses protect equally well from low doses of both chemicals” (Gold L et al, Science, 258:261, 1992).

Humans have evolved enzymes and ligand-binding proteins to metabolize and eliminate many natural chemicals and have evolved adaptive mechanisms, stress responses and checkpoint pathways to prevent or correct damage. Due to the broad specificities of these proteins and adaptive processes, humans also detoxify and adaptively respond to many synthetic chemicals as well, even though we might never have encountered these chemicals before in our evolution. Nevertheless, a small fraction of old and new chemicals, synthetic and natural, can elude our defenses enough to impact components of our developmental processes, leading to developmental defects. (Scientific Frontiers in Developmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment, Committee on Developmental Toxicology, Board on Environmental Studies & Toxicology, Natl Res Council, National Academies Press, 2000)

Trevor wrote: "You also mention that we use contract manufacturers as if this were a secret. We are a research and development company and the fact that we secured the services of a larger, more professional factory is something that we are proud of."

ST: Trevor Steyn is a mere armchair formulator critic, with no real-life experience to speak of, yet he sees fit to criticise those who clearly have. All Trevor does is the relatively simple task of emulating the formulae of real pioneers, within the nonsensical constrictions imposed by a second party and then has that impersonally manufactured by a third party, or as Trevor, on being so exposed prefers to portray it: "we secured the services of a larger, more professional factory, something that we are proud of." What is there to be proud of? Someone else's 'factory'?

Here at Gaia, my wife and I personally manufacture every single product in our own laboratory, using minimal mechanisation and almost daily handle 100% concentrations of our raw materials with our own bare hands. We have yet to experience any of the imaginary reactions that Trevor loves to suggest results from even normal consumer contact with an ingredient such as SLES, let alone such a worst case occupational scenario and where we additionally even use concentrated SLES to wash-up in our home kitchen and to wash all our laundry. Additionally, we use all our own personal care products and in the light of all this, as well as nearly 20 years of feedback from tens of thousands of customers, we can vouch for the long-term safety thereof. Incidentally, our staff only help to dispense and clean up, with no contact whatsoever. I would suggest to Trevor that achievements such as all this might well be something to be proud of.

Prior to my expose', Trevor Steyn has repeatedly led readers to believe that he in fact manufactures his own products. By way of a few recent examples of such direct claims: 1) In the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Review (March 2006), Trevor states: "My company comprises a formulation and 'manufacturing business' and a skin care range". In the Independent Online (May 2006), Lindsay Ord introduces "Trevor Steyn, who produces a range of chemical-free organic skin care products in his Richmond factory" and Trevor states that he: "Started Esse, a company that manufactures products that are 100 percent natural". In the current Enviropaedia (2007), Trevor states "Esse manufactures high-end skincare products... (that) contain no paraben preservatives, no petrochemical by-products... avoiding all potentially harmful ingredients".

Esse is still listed as a "manufacturer" on searchza.com and urbansprout.co.za. Even I, naively accepting these statements at face value, repeated it as fact on my Gaia Research website. Its all lies with Trevor Steyn and stubborn at that. Several years ago already, the Daily News, Online Edn. July 30, 2003, reported: “After reading the March issue of the Clicks Complementary Health magazine, a consumer, Toni Silverstone, lodged three complaints with the ASA about separate products. 1. In an advertorial about Esse Organic Skincare, she said the use of the words "100% natural" was misleading because a processed product could no longer claim to be natural. Last month, the ASA upheld the complaint and asked the company to withdraw the advertorial in question.”

On go-organic.co.za/forum (5 June 2006), Esse's Dee Steyn states: "We are a local 'manufacturer 'of organic personal care products. Our primary line is a skincare range called Esse Organic Skincare. We have a full range of cleansers, toner, moisturisers, body lotion etc and are certified by Ecocert France. Please look at our website - www.esse.co.za. Regards, Dee." Note the blatant false claim to be certified by Ecocert. An honest typing error perhaps? No. The claim is repeated (14 June 2006), with slight variations: "Natalie; I got your mail from the go-organic forum. We are a local 'producer' of certified organic skincare products called Esse Organic Skincare. We do a full range of skincare products certified by Ecocert France. Please have a look at our website - www.esse.co.za. Regards, Dee." Esse's public lies: 1) manufactures; 2) chemical free; 3) 100% natural; 4) no parabens; 5) no petrochemical by products; 6) avoiding all potentially harmful ingredients; and last, but not least 7) a full range of skincare products certified by Ecocert France! All blatant lies. Trevor Steyn is a fake!

Regarding Trevor Steyn's ludicrous claim to be a "research and development company", not only do I not see evidence of any pioneering research or development at all, but alarmingly, Trevor Steyn's research somehow missed the critical fact that, with the exception of three products, there is at least one Alpha Hydroxy Fruit Acid in every single product in the Esse Organic Skincare range. Yes, the very same AHAs that he has been condemning at every opportunity as "unhealthy and accelerates the aging process", "accelerates the rate of basal cell division and hence accelerate the aging process" and "increases the likelihood of sun damage" etc, etc. Then we have an additional surprise, in that, despite Trevor Steyn's numerous assurances to the contrary, Esse Organic Skincare products have in several instances, actually been formulated with Methyl-Paraben.

Trevor wrote: “May I suggest that we meet at some time in the near future so that I can gain some insight into what drives your vitriolic attacks?”

ST: I have penned dozens of e-mails / letters to Trevor and Anthea and as many reports / position statements on my website in response to their mischief over the years, to no avail. If my response to Anthea's "Response to Gaia Organics" below and my 10-page response above to Trevor's e-mail of 24 April still leaves Trevor with insufficient insight into what drives these communications, then I do not see any point in meeting with Trevor other than in a court of law, or in public debate. At time of writing, Trevor's undertaking 18 days ago to have revised content, sans propaganda attacks on said ingredients up in about 2-weeks having still not materialised, I feel fully justified, in the light of all that has transpired and continues to unfairly prejudice myself and others at Trevor’s hand, to circulate this response, being Part 2 in an ongoing series of expose' and educational reports aimed at correcting said propaganda.

In closing, my express challenge to Trevor Steyn, Anthea Torr and Ecocert as juristic person and witnessed by all recipients of this communication, is that they get off their self-made pedestals and start responding honestly and fully to my critique, or continue to be relentlessly exposed by me in the greater public interest, as the fraudsters that they are. The same applies to all recipients in their various capacities, if and to the extent that such identified fraudulent activities apply to them. These three named respondents are just the beginning of my campaign.

To indirect observers who have braved following the evidence of the truths and untruths presented here, I thank you for your efforts and trust that the exercise is proving informative.

Yours sincerely

Stuart Thomson
Director, Gaia Research Institute





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