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Dr. Oz Tells Critics He ‘Will Not Be Silenced’

Dr. Oz Tells Critics He ‘Will Not Be Silenced’


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Dr. Oz will dedicate an episode of his television program to the group of physicians who question his qualifications

‘We will not be silenced, we will not give in,’ Dr. Oz announced.

Celebrity physician Dr. Oz recently faced a challenge to his credentials when a group of doctors joined forces to call for his removal from the faculty of Columbia University, citing his “disdain for science” and history of endorsing products that lack medical merit.

Dr. Oz, who is the vice chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University, has promised to fight back.

In a statement to both his fans and critics, the doctor reportedly vowed that “we will not be silenced,” and announced plans to air an episode of The Dr. Oz Show on Thursday, April 23, that is dedicated to his rebuttal.

Among his endorsements, Dr. Oz voiced support for a green coffee extract meant for weight loss, research for which was bogus, the study's authors later admitted.

Dr. Oz has also used his platform to create a fearmongering campaign against apple juice, suggesting, against FDA research data, that many brands contained dangerous amounts of arsenic.

During a congressional hearing last summer which investigated these and other claims made by the physician, Dr. Oz admitted that many items “don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact.”


Dr. Oz Addresses Physicians Who Called for His Removal From Columbia University: "We Will Not Be Silenced"—Watch Now!

Dr. Mehmet Oz isn't cowering from his critics.

In an episode airing Thursday, the 54-year-old cardiothoracic surgeon will address the group of 10 physicians that penned a letter to Columbia University requesting the school fire him from his position. Currently he serves as vice chairman of the surgery department. Today received an exclusive clip from the upcoming episode which shows the doctor defending himself.

"These doctors are criticizing me for promoting treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain, something I tell you every day on this program I never do," he says directly into the camera.

But the physicians, who are not affiliated with the Ivy League school, feel that Dr. Oz promotes "quack treatments" on his show, making his position on staff "unacceptable." He has worked there since the mid ➐s.

"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," read the letter, signed first by Henry I. Miller.

The on-air personality, who has repeatedly spoken out against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), faces further scrutiny from the group for his purported "disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine." Dr. Oz, however, won't be put down by naysayers.

"I vow to you right here right now, we will not be silenced, we will not give in," he says in the clip.


Here Are 7 'Miracle' Products Dr. Oz Had Peddled

Last week, 10 physicians penned a letter to Columbia University's dean of health sciences and medicine calling for the university to oust Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is a professor in the surgery department.

The doctors accused Oz, named "America's doctor" by Oprah Winfrey in 2004, of "manifesting an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain." In particular, the doctors said Oz's critiques of genetically modified foods were fear-mongering and slammed him for peddling bogus weight-loss cures. The leader of the group, Henry Miller, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, says Oz has been promoting "new age nonsense" on TV for years.

On Tuesday evening, Oz addressed his critics on air, saying he "will not be silenced" and "will not give in." Spokespeople for Oz have also pointed out that a number of the doctors criticizing him have ties to American Council on Science and Health, a group that advocates on behalf of companies producing genetically modified foods. He plans to address his detractors on a special episode of his show on Thursday.

But Oz is now under the microscope, and it might not be a very good diagnosis. Here are seven scientifically questionable cures Oz has touted.

1. Pure Green Coffee

In 2014, Congress took Dr. Oz to task for promoting ineffective supplements on his show.

Senator Claire McCaskill accused Oz of giving viewers "false hope" for easy weight loss by promoting supplements he knows are ineffective. Oz admitted that he used "flowery language" on the show in describing the weight-loss supplements, but stressed that he believe in the power of the products.

A small-scale study published in 2012 which found that an ingredient in green coffee beans, chloregenic acid, may indeed help people lose a significant amount of weight in 22 weeks. However, a different study in 2013 on the same ingredient found that it actually increased their insulin resistance and did nothing to cause weight loss. There have been no major, long-term studies on the green coffee bean or the efficacy of chloregenic acid for weight loss. Most of the studies conducted involve a small participant pool. Green coffee beans has also never been approved by the FDA as an effective and natural way to lose weight. The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Pure Green Coffee for lying to customers about what the product can do. The suppliers agreed to a $9 million settlement with the FTC.

2. Garcinia Cambogia

"Thanks to brand new scientific research, I can tell you about a revolutionary fat buster," Dr. Oz said on air in November 2012. "It's called Garcinia Cambogia." ‎Oz framed Garcinia Cambogia, a tropical fruit, as a miracle-worker, claiming that it allowed consumers to lose weight without modifying their diet or exercising.

But a 1998 study begs to differ. When compared with a placebo, Garcinia Cambogia did not notably help participants lose more weight. The study concluded: "Definitive conclusions that Garcinia/HCA supplements are efficient tools against various health problems especially obesity remain to be proven in larger-scale and longer-term clinical trials, despite substantial public interest in such supplements."

3. Raspberry Ketone Diet

Some doctors argue that there is not enough data on the pill's effectiveness, and even less on what happens after people stop taking the pills. Pharmacist Dr. Sarah G. Kahn told Everyday Health that the product is not safe for many people with certain conditions, such as diabetes, heart problems or high blood pressure. She said for people with COPD or asthma, the supplement can worsen their problems.

4. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Dr. Oz called consuming green tea and CLA the most powerful "1-2 punch" for shrinking fat cells.

While there have been studies to show the supplement helps in aiding weight loss, there have been few on the long-term effects, and most of the studies have only been done on animals.

Professor Michael W. Pariza, the man behind the discovery of conjugated linoleic acid, pointed out that there have been no conclusive studies on the effects of CLA on muscle growth. The supplement's effect on people with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, has also not been shown. Most important, while Oz touted it's benefits without any exercise or dieting, Pariza said that CLA is no magic pill, and cannot cancel out bad eating and lack of exercise.

“I think it’s something that can help [with weight loss], but certainly there are no miracles," he said.

5. Safflower oil

Dr. Oz: "There's a new supplement that will help you lose inches off your waist without diet and exercise."

Montel Williams appeared on Oz's show in 2012 to introduce safflower oil, which he claimed would help those who take it lose belly fat without diet or exercise. He told the audience that the supplement helped him lose an inch off his waist in just five days. When he stopped, the inch came back when he started again, he lost the inch. Sounds like a miracle worker, right?

Dr. Oz called it "an ancient secret weapon against fat."

The supplement became hugely popular as a result of this episode. But in 2013, CLA experts came out strong against Safflower oil and denounced its efficacy. The CLA suppliers called out Williams for being a paid spokesperson for Safslim, a brand of safflower oil. The former talk-show host is no longer associated with SafSlim.

Safflower oil contains a minuscule amount of CLA (some .7 mg CLA/g fat), researchers say. Dr. Michael Pariza, the leader in CLA research, said that research only shows that safflower oil might "rearrange" body fat, not get rid of it. In other words, the fat might not be around your waist anymore, but it's just somewhere else on your body. Another CLA researcher, Dr. Mark Cook, backed up this point and added that his studies showed safflower oil did not reduce BMI.

6. Hot Pepper Jelly

Dr. Oz: "Burn away that belly and do it fast . this stuff is a way to ignite your metabolism . that's without doing anything else. I'm not telling you to go running or jogging or weight lift or anything else."

He said on air during the "Dr. Oz's 7 Effective Belly Blasters" special that hot pepper jelly has "worked for a lot of people," yet he gave no specific data or research. That's because there really hasn't been any significant research or studies on the effects.

While hot pepper jelly does have several health benefits and can increase metabolism, it does not speed it up nearly enough to accomplish what Oz claimed. Research on hot pepper by Dr. David Heber and his team at the University of California in Los Angeles found that the substance can help users burn an extra 100-200 calories a day and only has a “modest effect” on weight loss. Without diet or exercise, 100-200 calories is not enough to significantly boost metabolism.

7. Red palm oil

Dr. Oz: "Miracle oil for longevity. . There’s a secret inside the flesh of this fruit, extending the warranty of nearly every organ in your body. This mega-oil may very well be the most the most miraculous find of 2013."

He touted it as a "miracle solution of 2013" and said that it could even prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

However, there is no research on the direct relationship between red palm oil and dementia/Alzheimer’s. In fact, studies have shown that taking Vitamin E supplements, like red palm oil, have no effect on the onset of these conditions. There is also no direct study between consuming red palm oil and gaining medical benefits. A 2005 study concluded that "Vitamin E had no benefit in patients with mild cognitive impairment." What's worse, a 2004 study found that increased intake of saturated fats, like those in red palm oil, can actually lead to "cognitive decline among older persons."

Experts at the University of California Berkley said that there are far better and more natural ways to get your daily doses of carotenoids and vitamin E, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.

The Huffington Post reached out to Oz for comment but has not received a reply.

Clarification: Language has been updated to clarify Henry Miller's position is with the Hoover Institution, located at Stanford University. This post has also been updated to reflect that Williams is no longer a Safslim spokesperson.


Analysis

While Dr. Oz makes a point to respond to some of the claims made by the 10 university doctors, he fails to respond to the accusation that he makes statements on his television show that are often false and not supported by medical research. Dr. Oz’s choice to only focus on the part of his critics’ argument that he can easily challenge (the GMO claim) result in him committing a Red Herring fallacy. Even if Dr. Oz did not intentionally avoid the claim that he promotes products that lack scientific evidence, his response to his critics fails because he failed to address this concern. We cannot necessarily conclude that his critics were wrong until Dr. Oz successfully challenges each part of their argument.

Dr. Oz begins by reminding his viewers about the purpose of his work, which of course, begins by refocusing the controversy by trying to convince the audience that his is a good person, who is being unfairly attacked:

“My life’s work has been built around one simple message: You have a right and a responsibility to become a world expert on your own body. And the way you do that is by having access to the best, most current information, multiple points of view and diverse opinions. That is the best you that you can make an informed decision about you and your family’s health. Figuring out how to talk about your health and to talk to you about it can be difficult. And there has been a backlash to my approach from some parts of the medical community…”

Here, Dr. Oz is committing a Red Herring because he is trying to divert the audience’s attention away from the issues raised by his critics. He is saying: “Look over here at my good intentions, and not over there where their may be some evidence to suggest otherwise.”

Dr. Oz’s overall argument can be broken down to this:

Premise 1: I want to make sure that you have access to the best, most current information

Premise 2: You should have the right to make informed decisions about you and your family’s health

Premise 3: I only support GMO labeling (I do not oppose GMOs)

Premise 4: I tell you on my show that I do financially benefit from products I promote

Conclusion: My critics are wrong about everything (opposition to GMOs, special interests, promoting products not supported by medical research)

If you break down his argument, you can see how the reasons to do not necessarily lead or connect to the all parts of the conclusion. If Premise 3 and 4 are true, then it may be true that his critics are wrong about GMO opposition and special interests. However, it does not establish that his critics are wrong about Dr. Oz promotion of non-scientific medical treatments and products.

Even if Premise 1 and 2 are true, this does not mean that his critics are wrong about him being guided by special interests or not using evidence-based medicine. Dr. Oz has failed to establish how his critics are wrong because he has not explained how he is ensuring his viewers have “access to the best, most current information” and are “well informed” to make health decisions. Therefore, Dr. Oz cannot reasonably claim that his critics are entirely wrong.

Appeal to Reason

In responding to his critics, Dr. Oz focuses attention to his good intentions as a way of convincing his audience that the critics are wrong. However, changing the topic of discussion doesn’t count as responding to an argument. Be careful of attempts to ignore the argument (or part of the argument) as a way to refute or challenge the argument, as this is a Red Herring fallacy. The deliberate diversion of attention away from the original topic often happens when the person cannot successfully challenge the original argument. This typically means that the original argument is more reasonable than the challenger wants to admit.


Dr. Oz Plasters Critics’ Faces on Talk Show: 󈫺 Doctors, All With One Agenda”

On Thursday's episode of his eponymous talk show, the famous surgeon dug into the backgrounds and interests of the physicians who called for him to leave Columbia University's faculty.

Hilary Lewis

Deputy Editor, East Coast, THR.com

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Dr. Mehmet Oz took on the physicians who called for his departure from Columbia University’s faculty during Thursday’s episode of his eponymous talk show, plastering their faces all over national TV.

“I have never believed that doctors should fight their battles or each other in public, but now I believe I must,” he said at the top of the show.

Oz had an investigative reporter dig into the backgrounds of the doctors who penned a letter asking for Oz to be removed.

In a video segment about the investigation, reporter Elisabeth Leamy calls his critics, 󈫺 doctors, all with one agenda.” She goes on to explain that at least four of the doctors who signed the letter have ties to the American Council on Science and Health, which has supported GMO foods and taken money from firms behind GMO foods, including Dr. Henry Miller whose support for GMO foods is so strong that he served as the face and voice of a California campaign lobbying consumers to vote against labeling GMOs. Another doctor who signed the letter is connected to the Hoover Institution, Oz’s investigator found, which supports GMOs.

The reporter also found that Miller was a key supporter of the tobacco industry and ACSH president Gilbert Ross is a convicted felon.

After Oz identified the doctors’ primary issue as his support for GMO labeling, he chastised the physicians for their approach.

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Dr. Oz to Address Critics Who Want Him Fired From Columbia

“Public shaming and bullying me is not how it should be done,” he said. “No matter our disagreements, freedom of speech is most fundamental right we have as Americans and these 10 doctors are trying to silence this right.”

The famous physician also responded to the doctors’ specific criticisms. He said he never promotes treatments and cures for personal financial gain. And in response to his critics’ charge that he’s a “quack,” Oz said even his harshest critics at a British medical journal have found that the data doesn’t support this charge.

Although his critics took issue with his support for weight-loss supplements, Oz said that he hasn’t mentioned his support for such products in a year, but he did recently take on the issue of genetically-modified foods in a show devoted to the genetically modified fruit, the Arctic Apple, in which he also reiterated his support for GMO labels.

It’s this position that Oz believes his critics really oppose. In their letter, the doctors refer to his &ldquobaseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops.”

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Dr. Oz to Critics: "We Will Not Be Silenced. We Will Not Give In." (Video)

He devoted another segment to a bill introduced in Congress that claims GMO labeling is not needed.

Earlier Thursday, Oz penned an op-ed for Time magazine’s website in which he defended his support for alternative medicine and lashed out at his critics, repeating much of what he said on his show.


Dr. Oz Takes on His Critics

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Dr. Oz Tells Matt Lauer His Show ‘Will Survive’ Attacks From Other Doctors

On the “Today” show Friday, Dr. Mehmet Oz defended himself by saying his TV show is much more than a medical lecture program, and it “will survive” attacks from other doctors.

“It’s much broader than a medical lecture series,” Oz said. “People don’t want to sit there and be hounded about information that’s irrelevant to their lives, at least they may perceive as irrelevant it’s about celebrating life and getting to them where they live.”

Oz said the doctors who called him a quack have clear GMO biases and that when he covers medical topics, his great medical staff backs him up.

He also defended his TV performance, where he often used words like “breakthrough” and “miracle.”

“I’m proud of all those words,” he said, admitting that the only time he made a mistake was supporting weight loss products.

Addressing the doctors who wrote a letter calling for him to be removed from Columbia University’s medical school board, Oz said, “You’re not going to please everyone, that’s not my goal.”

“My job is to help America understand the opportunity toward health,” he added.

On Thursday, eight members of the Columbia medical faculty authored a USA Today op-ed defending Dr. Oz and his faculty position while also acknowledging he often promotes unproven methods.

“The weaknesses in the professional balance sheet of Dr. Oz’s pixel practice should not, in and of themselves, disqualify him from his day job as a professor in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University,” one part of the op-ed said.


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Dr Oz: “Health Revelations From Heaven & Earth”

Dr Oz then explained that, because he’s a doctor, he likes to find a scientific explanation for everything. But as he said, there are simply some things that cannot be explained through modern medicine. Dr Oz introduced Tommy Rosa who grew up just as any other child in a normal life, becoming an adult who worked hard to earn a living as a plumber. Then, in 1999 at the age of 40, he stepped of a curb and was hit by car. He was declared clinically dead on the scene. That’s when, according to Rosa, everything in his life changed forever.

Rosa was rushed to the hospital where doctors managed to resuscitate him, but as he laid in a coma for weeks, Rosa claimed to have a near-death experience in which he went to heaven. He said he saw the afterlife and was given divine instruction into human spirituality and health. He went on to write the book “Health Revelations from Heaven and Earth.”


How Dr. Oz Is Responding to Criticism of 'Quack Treatments'

Mehmet Oz, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon and host of The Dr. Oz Show, has faced increased scrutiny in recent months and now he's responding to his naysayers in a statement to Time and on his nationally syndicated show.

Mehmet Oz, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon and host of The Dr. Oz Show, has faced increased scrutiny in recent months and now he&aposs responding to his naysayers in a statement to Time and on his nationally syndicated show.

The backstory: Last June, Dr. Oz had to testify in front of a Senate subcommittee on weight loss product scams regarding his on-air endorsement of products like raspberry ketones and green coffee extract. A study published in the December issue of BMJ found that only 46% of the recommendations on his show were supported by evidence (versus 63% on The Doctors).

And just last week, a group of 10 doctors called for Columbia University to fire Dr. Oz, who&aposs also the vice-chair of the department of surgery at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, because he shows "disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine" and promotes "quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain." Columbia responded to the group by saying it&aposs "committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion."

Now, Dr. Oz wants to clear the air. In an exclusive statement to our sister publication Time, he said his aim is "not to practice medicine on air" and that he wishes he "could take back enthusiastic words" he used to describe weight loss supplements. He will also devote two-thirds of his show today to addressing his critics.

"It&rsquos vital that I drive the following point home: My exploration of alternative medicine has never been intended to take the place of conventional medicine, but rather as additive. Critics often imply that any exploration of alternative methods means abandoning conventional approaches. It does not. In fact, many institutions like mine use the names 'complementary' or 'integrative' medicine, which is also appropriate."