Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ten Doctors Ask Columbia University To Drop Dr. Mehmet Oz From Their Faculty For Promoting Quack Treatments.

Dr. Mehmet Oz partnered up with USANA a while back and has now recently promoted USANA's products on his Doctor Oz Show. According to USANA's president Kevin Guest, USANA pays Dr. Oz an annual fee to advertise USANA products on the show. I believe this is akin to Oz being a paid spokesman for USANA. Dr. Oz uses his stature in the medical industry as a means to get his audience to trust him and the products advertised on his program, whether the products are effective or not. Since he's paid by the manufacturers of product he promotes on his show, it might as well be considered peddling.

USANA is required to put on the label of their supplements "This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease", so it makes it against the law for USANA (or its distributors) to advertise as such. The way around this is to have someone other than USANA or its distributors make all the health claims. That is where Dr. Oz fits in (as well as The Comparitive Guide To Nutritional Supplements).

Interestingly enough, I am not the only one who thinks Dr. Oz is a quack. On April 15, 2015, ten doctors from around the country have signed a letter to Columbia University demanding Oz be removed from their faculty. The letter reads as follows:

Lee Goldman, M.D.
Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine
Columbia University

Dear Dr. Goldman:

I am writing to you on behalf of myself and the undersigned colleagues below, all of whom are distinguished physicians.

We are surprised and dismayed that Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons would permit Dr. Mehmet Oz to occupy a faculty appointment, let alone a senior administrative position in the Department of Surgery.

As described here and here, as well as in other publications, Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine, as well as baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops.  Worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.

Thus, Dr. Oz is guilty of either outrageous conflicts of interest or flawed judgements about what constitutes appropriate medical treatments, or both.  Whatever the nature of his pathology, members of the public are being misled and endangered, which makes Dr. Oz's presence on the faculty of a prestigious medical institution unacceptable.

Sincerely yours,
Henry I. Miller, M.D.
Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy
& Public Policy
Hoover Institution
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Scott W. Atlas, M.D.
David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow
Hoover Institution
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Jack Fisher, M.D.
Professor of Surgery (emeritus)
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA

Shelley Fleet, M.D.
Longwood, FL

Gordon N. Gill, M.D.
Dean (emeritus) of Translational Medicine
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA

Michael H. Mellon, M.D.
Pediatric Allergist
San Diego, CA

GIlbert Ross, M.D.
President (Acting) and Executive Director
American Council on Science and Health
New York, NY

Samuel Schneider, M.D.
Princeton, NJ

Glenn Swogger Jr. M.D.
Director of the Will Menninger Center for Applied Behavioral Sciences (retired)The Menninger Foundation
Topeka, KS

Joel E. Tepper, M.D.
Hector MacLean Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research
Dept of Radiation Oncology
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Oz plans to rebuttal this claim about being a quack on one of his upcoming shows, likely this Thursday April 23. Once the show airs, I'll update this posting with his official response.

Here is Dr. Oz's response given on a news program: