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Dr Oz crosses the line

Usually, Oz just dispenses pointless pap and feel-good noise, but now he’s antagonized the agriculture lobby. On a recent show, he claimed that apple juice was loaded with deadly arsenic — a claim he supported by running quick&dirty chemical tests on fruit juices, getting crude estimates of total arsenic, and then going on the air to horrify parents with the thought that they were poisoning their children.

One problem: his tests weren’t measuring what he claimed. The FDA got word of the fear-mongering he was doing, and sent him a warning letter.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware that EMSL Analytical, Inc. has obtained and tested 50 samples of retail apple juice for total arsenic content on behalf of Zoco Productions. It is our understanding that, based on these test results, you will assert during an upcoming episode of The Dr. Oz Show that apple juice is unsafe because of the amounts of total arsenic found in the samples.

We appreciate that you have made the results of these tests available to us. As we have previously advised you, the results from total arsenic tests CANNOT be used to determine whether a food is unsafe because of its arsenic content. We have explained to you that arsenic occurs naturally in many foods in both inorganic and organic forms and that only the inorganic forms of arsenic are toxic, depending on the amount. We have advised you that the test for total arsenic DOES NOT distinguish inorganic arsenic from organic arsenic.

The FDA has been aware of the potential for elevated levels of arsenic in fruit juices for many years and has been testing fruit juices for arsenic and other elemental contaminants as part of FDA’s toxic elements in foods program. The FDA typically tests juice samples for total arsenic first, because this test is rapid, accurate and cost effective. When total arsenic testing shows that a fruit juice sample has total arsenic in an amount greater than 23 parts per billion (ppb), we re-test the sample for its inorganic arsenic content. The vast majority of samples we have tested for total arsenic have less than 23 ppb. We consider the test results for inorganic arsenic on a case-by-case basis and take regulatory action as appropriate.

The analytical method for inorganic arsenic is much more complicated than the method for total arsenic. You can find the method that FDA uses to test for inorganic arsenic at this web address:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ScienceResearch/LaboratoryMethods/ElementalAnalysisManualEAM/ucm219640.htm

The FDA believes that it would be irresponsible and misleading for The Dr. Oz Show to suggest that apple juice contains unsafe amounts of arsenic based solely on tests for total arsenic. Should The Dr. Oz Show choose to suggest that apple juice is unsafe because of the amounts of total arsenic found by EMSL Analytical, Inc.’s testing, the FDA will post this letter on its website.

His show got this letter that clearly explains why his measurements were invalid a week before the show was aired, and Oz ignored it and went ahead and broadcast a misleading and hysterical piece. Some public schools are already yanking apple juice from their lunchrooms on the basis of Oz’s lies.

Maybe somebody should explain to Oz that arsenic is entirely “natural”. Or maybe some orchard owners ought to get together for a big class-action suit.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. Aquaria says

    Gee, I’m so surprised that he’s as half-assed with science as he is with his medical “advice.”

  2. Patrick says

    The class action lawsuit is a great idea. Get this motherfucker off the air. He’s worse than Jo(h)n Tesh.

  3. says

    Dr. Oz crossed the line over to the Dark Side last season in a manner that makes this latest affront seem trivial by comparison. First, he had a faith healer on his show:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/02/dr_ozs_journey_to_the_dark_side_is_now_complete.php

    and then he topped it off by having psychic scammer John Edward on his show:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/when_faith_healing_isnt_enough_woo_for_d.php

    And that’s not even all. He had Joe Mercola on his show, the “all stars of alternative medicine” (such as Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, etc.). Stick a fork in Oz. As far as being in any way science-based, he’s done.

  4. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    So he’s all pap and shoosh?

    Also, anyone who removes apple juice from the hands of children is an amoral monster. Apple juice is among the greatest goods that humanity can achieve.

  5. Brownian says

    Okay, so maybe Dr. Oz doesn’t know science. But please don’t tell me Maury’s wrong when he uses science to point out he ain’t her baby-daddy after all.

    I’ll be crushed!

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think he will shortly find it isn’t wise to cross the FDA. They have been chastising individuals and companies for a long time now. They are very good at it.

  7. chigau (...---...) says

    According to Pfft, Dr. Oz is a “muslin“.
    Could that have something to do with it?

  8. Jebediah Farnsworth says

    He needs to have his ass handed to him on a silver platter, especially after continuing to push woo and bullshit after Steven Novella was on his quacktastic forum.

    However, the paranoid-delusional asshats who buy into his nonsense will simply attribute the FDA warning letter as a conspiracy to prevent getting the word out by… Big Apple™!

    I really hope that this fiasco will have as much of an effect in the US as the Simon Singh situation did in the UK with respect to “alt. med”, but I am not holding my breath.

  9. kraut says

    Apparently those idiots never learned Paracelsus’ simply rule:

    “All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.”.

    But – it is the CHEMICALS.

  10. Cerus says

    Is apple juice really all that healthy for you? I was under the (uneducated) impression that it was mostly sugar, and not particularly good for children. Any pediatrics here that can weigh in?

  11. rad_pumpkin says

    Huh…there’s arsenic in apple juice. Go figure…

    Oh wait, 23ppb, as in 23ug in one liter? I hate to break it to the good “doctor,” but most toxins aren’t dangerous at that concentration. But go ahead and scare the public…more money for our analytical chemistry department!

  12. astrosmash says

    The FDA covered their asses nicely. Well done. There would most certainly could be a lawsuit brought ahgainst him, by any number of parties.

  13. Intelligentfalling says

    But surely his viewers could just use “the secret” to safely remove the arsenic with the power of positive thinking?

  14. geral says

    I was impressed with the FDA’s response. Typically, we only hear when the FDA fails but it’s nice of them to be pro-active and stop this.

    If only the EPA’s actions were more outspoken and forceful.

  15. unbound says

    Cerus – in terms of vitamins and minerals, apple juice is good stuff (like pretty much any food or drink not made via artificial chemicals or heavily refined products). In regards to sugar, it tends to be pretty high (a cup is about on par with most candy bars)…so not a good drink for diabetics. It is certainly a better alternative to any of the highly processed foods / drinks.

  16. Kieran says

    He is the spawn of Oprah who had the FDA expert in the audience and some out of work actress on stage yammering on about bioidenticals.

  17. Dragon says

    So the FDA’s threat is:

    If you broadcast this nonsense to millions of viewers who will tell their friends, ultimately causing a panic…
    We will post our warning where no one will see it.

    Frankly, the FDA needed to do much, much more preemptively.

  18. Aliasalpha says

    Hmm, I might be evil for thinking this but surely there’s a way to exploit him for being such a dick?

    Maybe bill yourself as a daredevil and your death defying act involves drinking 2 litres of apple juice live on camera

  19. says

    His show got this letter that clearly explains why his measurements were invalid a week before the show was aired, and Oz ignored it and went ahead and broadcast a misleading and hysterical piece.

    So he and his lawyers are also too dumb to worry about being sued for defamation? Difficult to argue good faith in circumstances like this.

    The guy needs a good smackdown, right now.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Frankly, the FDA needed to do much, much more preemptively.

    They can’t act preemptively beyond what they did. But now they can litigate him to the breaking with the US law behind them.

  21. cowcakes says

    Oh FFS don’t let anybody inform him that apples, along with all stone fruits like peaches and cherries, cassava and lots of other foods contain contain amygdalin, that degrades into hydrogen cyanide (HCN) when metabolized. Were all gonna die.

    As an interesting related piece a CSIRO study has found that global warming will actually increase the levels of cyanide, arsenic and other undesirable (for human consumption) chemicals in plants as well as making them less nutritious. More carbon dioxide in atmosphere aids growth, easier growth means more energy can be devoted to defensive mechanisms rather than increasing size etc and diverted from providing as much energy in plant seeds and the like. High levels of cyanide in cassava can already cause poisoning that has outward symptoms similar to rickets. So it could be postulated that climate change will kill us by making our food inedible.

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2891924.htm
    also
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2010/2943500.htm

  22. robb says

    what a jerk. he is a freaking doctor, so you think he might understand the letter the FDA sent and the difference between organic and inorganic As. but no. after reading the letter, he didn’t bother to research it himself. so now, i am wondering if he is just such a total idiot or he is canny and aired the piece knowing it was misleading but raking in $$$ from advertisers and getting boosted viewership.

    anyone care to venture which he is? :)

  23. truthspeaker says

    If he were George W. Bush, his defenders would be explaining to us that just because the FDA told him his information was wrong, that doesn’t mean he was lying when he said it on his show anyway.

  24. cowcakes says

    Ceres, juices such as apple and orange are far better nutritionally, and tastier, if they are in unrefined cloudy form with lots of the solids still in them.

  25. What a Maroon says

    Ceres, juices such as apple and orange are far better nutritionally, and tastier, if they are in unrefined cloudy form with lots of the solids still in them.

    They’re even better if they’re still in the original fruit.

  26. Gregory says

    At that concentration, Doc Oz should be saying that the arsenic is at homeopathic levels, and thus drinking apple juice will prevent arsenic poisoning.

  27. TX_secular says

    If he can be held responsible and face a suit for damages why can’t Bachmann face the same fate? I’d like to see corporations damaged by these types of stupid claims go after these folks.

  28. Aquaria says

    I hate most juices, but will, on occasion, drink some cranberry & lime or apple juice, as long as it isn’t sweetened. Blech.

    I hate most of the other juices, and didn’t give them to my son after he was a baby, when I realized it was both cheaper and healthier for him to give him some fruit and a glass of cool water.

  29. Dragon says

    Oz even defends his show…while obfuscating the FDA statements.

    Dr. Oz Defends Apple Juice Study: MyFoxPHILLY.com

    It wasn’t that the lab did the test wrong. The FDA never implied the lab did anything wrong. It was a preliminary test and you needed to make another freaking test. Hence you used the results wrong, you misleading media whore.

  30. Dryad says

    Not all the info Dr. Oz gives is bad. You gotta take his show with a grain of salt… much like every other TV show on the air these days.

    Living deep into the Age of Information, especially with a lot of it at our fingertips (smart phones, tablets and the like) if you hear something that’s completely off the wall, look it up. Be smart about the info you get and hear.

  31. says

    Dr. Oz is a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation. If he used the practice just for relaxation and stress relief, that would be acceptable, but he seems to buy into the other claims as well.

    TMers claim to reduce levels of violence in the world by positively affecting consciousness on a cosmic level when they meditate. You may recognize this assumption as being similar to Chopra’s “quantum entanglement” claims. Chopra used to be part of Marharishi Mahesh Yogi’s posse until he stepped too far out of line with the TM hierarchy and was, essentially, excommunicated.

    Airing misleading claims about arsenic in apple juice is to be expected from someone whose critical thinking skills were dampened enough to accept health and world-peace claims made by the likes of Chopra. But I don’t think Dr. Oz was always this far off the mark.

    Dr. Oz sees trends in obesity, diabetes, lack of exercise, etc. that are troubling, and I give him credit for trying to address these in a public forum. He needs to get the word out to a really big audience if he’s going to have an effect. I think what’s happened is that Dr. Oz is not an expert when it comes to managing the information-gathering and script-writing side of a TV show. He has let some awful stuff slip right past him. His own woo tendencies are exacerbated by the demand for drama, for emotional appeals, for that Oprah-like audience of tearful and fearful parents. Oz took a good opportunity and either turned it into a disgrace, or through lack of attention, allowed it to become a disgrace.

  32. Happy Camper says

    I would love to see a main stream news magazine like TIME or Newsweek to do a critical investigative piece on OZ and his claims or better yet send the 60 minutes crew after him.

  33. beatty says

    Slightly off-topic, I know Joe Mercola is a bit of a kook, what with his lap-dog like adoration of Ron Paul, as well as several other things / people he admires, but his argument about maintaing proper gut health got me to take probiotics and also drink raw milk (from a licensed farm) got rid of my migraines. I’d had them every day for years, and took every last pill proscribed to me by numerous MDs. The MDs gave me side-effects and little relief. Mercola gave me a no-painer. Got rid of the blurry eyesight too. I am free and clear of all migraines. Have been for years now, thanks to Mercola. I tried explaining this to my own doctor who responded by handing me another prescription even though I was not complaining about anything.

    Gut bacteria is a legitimate field of inquiry in microbiology. Probably other fields as well. Mercola has saved my life.

  34. chigau (...---...) says

    Not all the info Dr. Oz gives is bad.

    Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon.
    Any advice he gives on cardiothoracic surgery is probably sound.

  35. Gnumann says

    Not all the info Dr. Oz gives is bad.

    Given the badness of his bad advice, any good advice he might give is basically worthless, since you can’t trust it.

  36. Dryad says

    Dear Jebediah@40:

    If you, yourself, aren’t going to take Dr. Oz’s words as bible when it comes to health, the oath doesn’t mean much.

    He’s giving us information that we, ourselves, can look up. (Calcium should be taken with Vitamin D. Most people are Omega 3 deficient. You should be getting 25 grams of fiber a day. Stuff like that, you can look up on the internet for your own benefit.)

    And like it or not, alternative medicine is a huge industry, which is what Dr. Oz also dives into.

    Learn2commonsense, friend.

  37. bro boxley OT says

    according to the Diane Sawyer piece on that show last night most of the apples in US apple juice are from china. I dont think the chinese will care as they have large markets elsewhere.

  38. Brownian says

    He claims he isn’t fear mongering, yet in the audience on the very same show there is a father showing guilt over giving apple juice to his kids:

    “I’m the guy administering poison to my own children.”

    So his kids are gonna have an edge up on any war-mongering lisping Sicilians in life-or-death battles of wits.

    Oh FFS don’t let anybody inform him that apples, along with all stone fruits like peaches and cherries, cassava and lots of other foods contain contain amygdalin, that degrades into hydrogen cyanide (HCN) when metabolized. Were all gonna die.

    When I was a teen, I got into the habit of eating the cores of fruit such as apples and pears along with everything else. (I don’t like having dirty hands, and this way all I was left holding was the stem.) Of course, everyone and their dog who’s ever seen me eat an apple loves to tell me the seeds are chock-full of cyanide.

    I simply tell them I am anticipating that at least one angry spouse will try to poison me, and so I’m building up a resistance.

    At that concentration, Doc Oz should be saying that the arsenic is at homeopathic levels, and thus drinking apple juice will prevent arsenic poisoning.

    Well played sir.

    Be smart about the info you get and hear.

    Ah, the “just use your common sense” approach.

    Thankfully, we invented science because common sense is worth exactly half of what you pay for it.

  39. Brownian says

    I am free and clear of all migraines. Have been for years now, thanks to Mercola.

    Assumes causality not in evidence.

    Learn2commonsense, friend.

    Aha! I called it!

  40. Brownian says

    I was distracted because Dr. Oz looked very thin and not particularly healthy to me. Or so it seemed compared to when I’ve seen him in the past.

    Take tu quoque and call me in the morning, SC?

  41. says

    One problem: his tests weren’t measuring what he claimed.

    I’m guessing that probably they were, but he didn’t realize (initially) that organic arsenic was all right. Not sure why that is, although I’m guessing that it’s more or less bound up in molecules that either aren’t digested, or are quickly eliminated.

    Seriously, though, how can he think that something like apple juice would be “poison”? We’ve got millions of people quaffing it and not ending up with elevated arsenic levels or the cancers that come from it. OK, maybe it’s still possible that it’s poisonous, yet such considerations ought to at least get him to double check his claims.

    That he didn’t definitely calls into question his regard for the truth.

    Glen Davidson

  42. Ibis3, féministe avec un titre française de fantaisie says

    @chigau Absolutely awesome. But the price tag?? As a sewer (as in sewing, not as in a waste disposal drain), I was looking at the pics thinking, a skirt, some pleats, pockets, rivets… not too difficult. Probably a little more expense than a pair of pants. $60-100 would be reasonable (a little more the tux). But no, they charge $215-330 for the standard models and a whopping $750 for the “tuxedo kilt”!

  43. What a Maroon says

    If you, yourself, aren’t going to take Dr. Oz’s words as bible when it comes to health, the oath doesn’t mean much.

    I don’t know much about Dr. Oz, but it sounds like there’s about as much truth in his words as there is in the Bible.

  44. What a Maroon says

    In fact, now that I think about it, the Bible may be the perfect homeopathic remedy for the truth.

  45. Brownian says

    Oh, SC: I didn’t really think your claim that Dr. Oz didn’t look particularly healthy was a tu quoque, but I couldn’t resist the bad pun.

  46. azkyroth says

    And like it or not, alternative medicine is a huge industry, which is what Dr. Oz also dives into.

    Yes. That’s the PROBLEM.

  47. Sally Strange, OM says

    Clearly, it is the onerous burden of food safety regulations that has prevented the invisible hand of the free market from shoving this joker off of his bully pulpit.

    /gibbertarianized

  48. truthspeaker says

    Apple juice only contains poison if you add yeast and let it ferment for a little while, at which time it will be about 5% ethyl alcohol by volume. Just enough poison for a good buzz.

    (I have not actually done this successfully. I ended up with five gallons of apple cider vinegar.)

  49. says

    Well, I got curious as to why organic arsenic would be given a clean bill of health, and the source that I found identifies the valence as crucial:

    Organic arsenic as arsenates (+5 form of arsenic) and elemental arsenic both found naturally in the earth and in foods do not readily produce toxicity. In fact, they are handled fairly easily by the body and eliminated by the kidneys. The inorganic arsenites or trivalent forms of arsenic, such as arsenic trioxide used industrially and found as a food contaminate, seem to create the problems.

    http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?ID=2004

    So, quickly eliminated seems to be the short answer. Probably because arsenate is common in foods, so that we evolved to eliminate it, while trivalent forms were not much encountered so we didn’t evolve to eliminate it.

    Glen Davidson

  50. undularbore says

    I’m addicted to apple juice! Drink about 2 gallons a week if I have it. I’m almost 40, I’m still alive! Screw you Dr. Oz.

  51. says

    Oh, SC: I didn’t really think your claim that Dr. Oz didn’t look particularly healthy was a tu quoque, but I couldn’t resist the bad pun.

    Ah, OK. That’s what I was hoping, since of course I liked the pun. :)

  52. Sir Eccles says

    I read this story on the BBC yesterday:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14938984

    “Nigeria’s authorities have been forced to reassure the public that a mobile phone number cannot kill, after rumours were spread by text messages.

    Poor education and superstitious beliefs lead some Nigerians to take the messages seriously, correspondents say. “

    I joked to my friends that the USA wasn’t far behind. Anyway, I thought I was joking.

  53. qwertyuiop says

    If there was a justice system worth the name in America, his show would be permanently shut down and he’d be heavily fined and/or imprisoned. Him and all the other quacks promoting unscientific dangerous nonsense. The fact that this quackery gets air time at all is a travesty.

  54. edvard0degas says

    So, let me see if I understand this.

    Dr Oz does bad science for years, accumulates piles of woo (and has wiles of poo) – in general, is just another MD who thinks he’s a scientist. He’s had many shows which are just plain pre-scientific and misguided philosophies that pretend to be science.

    BUT NOW, now! he’s really gone and done it. He “antagonized the agriculture lobby”. He really crossed the line now. Apparently, he’s done the unthinkable and antagonized the agriculture lobby. Yeah, yeah… there is bad science here as well, but, ZOMG! he antagonized the agriculture lobby.

    Let’s pull out the big guns now and crush this guy before he does any more damage. Like maybe causing the FDA to have to look into the concentrated apple juice coming from China. Damn those regulations anyway. The ag lobby and supporting industry should be allowed to get away with whatever crap they want and NOBODY is allowed to say otherwise. That’s crossing the line.

  55. truthspeaker says

    edvard0degas, PZ has criticized Dr. Oz before (for promoting Reiki among other things), and Orac has been criticizing him for years.

  56. Dryad says

    @Brownian:

    I was unaware that you were charged anything when you used common sense. Hmm… I must be racking up one hell of a bill.

    It’s easy logic. If you feel like “it’s too good to be true” or “that can’t be right”, look it up. It’s not hard, not difficult, maybe a bit of a time skin (depending on what you’re researching).

    @azkyroth:

    Why is that a problem? If you’re a chronic pain sufferer (*raises hand*) and you’d rather not be on pain killers for the rest of your life, why is it such a bad thing to look into something alternative to relieve your pain?

    I’m not saying people should quit their daily medicine regiment and go right back to herbs, but if there is a healthy alternative that will give you the same results as the drugs, why is that such a problem?

  57. Anri says

    Sally Strange @61:

    Good point!

    I wonder when our libertarian friends will pop in and explain to us that – were it not for pernicious Big Government Influence – Dr. Oz would be off the air rather than wildly popular, as his medical advice is (at best) crap.

    Anytime now, they’ll make it clear exactly how that would occur.

    Anytime now…

    Really.

  58. says

    Dr. Oz is frankly dangerous. He speaks from a position of authority to most people, who see him as a legitimate medical source. I am constantly having to tell family members that whatever panic they got from his show is not based in reality and solid science.

    I have not actually done this successfully. I ended up with five gallons of apple cider vinegar.

    truthspeaker, you have to make sure you have all the right equipment to make sure it ferments properly without contamination (temperature of where you store it matters as well):
    sterilized sealed bucket
    airlock for outgassing
    sterilizing cleanser
    appropriate yeast
    apple juice without any preservatives
    Optional: additional sugar source to bump up alcohol content

    We’ve been making our own cider for a couple years now. We get our yeast from a local brewing supply store. We use champagne yeast because it yields a much drier cider. You don’t have to go super fancy, but it’s sometimes nice get a kit with a hydrometer to have some idea of the alcohol content at bottling. We picked up a kit similar to this one. We usually get around 73-4 bottles per batch, so the per bottle cost after a few batches is pretty negligible, especially if you reuse beer bottles from friends and family.

  59. says

    Slightly off-topic, I know Joe Mercola is a bit of a kook

    Massive understatement.

    Mercola is a promoter of grade-A Quackery with a capital Q. For example, he promotes Tullio Simoncini’s quackery claiming that all cancer is a fungus that can be cured by injecting it with baking soda:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/a_fungus_among_us_in_oncology.php

    He’s also rabidly anti-vaccine.

    Don’t believe Mercola is pure quack? Search for his name on either my blog or at http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org and see the articles that come up.

  60. truthspeaker says

    slignot – I already have all that equipment for brewing beer. I just haven’t learned all the tricks for brewing cider.

  61. Dryad says

    @truthspeaker:

    Keep at it! It took me a long time to learn how to brew mead properly. But once you have it down, you never forget it.

    Good luck!

  62. says

    @Reverend PJ:

    Yea… but you’re not a TG :\ A utilikilt is a guy thing.

    @edvardodegas:

    It’s cause he went after fuckin’ apple juice, simply the best kind of juice out there!

    I wish I could brew my own beer / apple cider, but I live in a studio and they’d probably not look favorably on it.

  63. truthspeaker says

    Katherine – when I first started brewing beer I lived in a one-bedroom apartment. As long as you can open windows to let the beautiful smell out you should be OK.

  64. says

    Dryad,

    If you’re a chronic pain sufferer (*raises hand*) and you’d rather not be on pain killers for the rest of your life, why is it such a bad thing to look into something alternative to relieve your pain?

    Disproportionate risk. Part of the reason that it takes so long for drugs to be approved is there are rigorous procedures set up to minimize dangers and side effects while establishing efficacy. Alternative treatments are never scrutinized in this way, and any number of supplements or alternative treatments that have shown no or minimal efficacy beyond placebo are being sold to people with no knowledge of their potential hazards.

    Then you have homeopathy, which technically does not have any direct side effects (absolutely true). Because it has no effect beyond hydrating your body (assuming it’s a liquid form, if not it’s more or less pure water dribbled over sugar tablets). The danger here is people use this instead of seeking treatment for real conditions. Whenever I walk by the homeopathic remedy section and see treatments for infection I cringe.

    There are some alternative treatments such as specific herbs that have some effectiveness traded with tolerable side effects, but even these can be subject to contamination. Many medicines coming out of Asia have been found to have heavy metal poisoning. You also have the problem of traditional medicines that use components such as bear bile, which has devastated natural populations and is harvested through brutal and inhumane means.

    So while you’re free to look into a particular alternative route, it’s absolutely essential that you’re at the very least not harming yourself. Education from science-based sources is a must. I can recommend Orac’s blog and Science Based Medicine online and books such as Ernst/Singh’s Trick or Treatment which outlines known side effects and efficacy.

    As an example, my father is using a supplement for arthritic joint pain that has been shown to have efficacy close to NSAIDs*. Because he is allergic to the whole family of drugs. The problem is that since it is a supplement, little to no research has been done on ideal dosing as is done with actual medicine. The supplement he’s on has been reasonably well tolerated, although he had to discontinue it for a while after stomach irritation.

    *Efficacy was in high quality trials conducted by legitimate medical organizations rather than promoted by some alt-med enthusiast

  65. robro says

    Interesting that he focused on the arsenic. If arsenic in apple juice was dangerous, there would be a lot of sick or even dead kids. Apple juice is used in almost all packaged juices. However, according to some doctors, it’s the sugar in juice, and fruit in general, that you need to be careful about. And not just for diabetes, but because the sugar is converted to cholesterol…at least according to my wife’s heart health guru (Caldwell Esselstyne).

  66. anteprepro says

    Edvard: Oz just, in the face of a clear explanation for why he was blatantly wrong, dedicated a show to saying that something Americans consume at a rate of 600 million gallons a year is poisonous. You do understand the seriousness of that, no?

  67. evilDoug says

    There is inorganic arsenic in your computer and your TV and your mobile phone and your pacemaker.

    For at least a couple of decades I have regarded apple juice as the liquid sawdust of the juice business. Just a couple of days ago I looked at the label of some “grape juice” (which I love)- first ingredient: apple juice (which I loathe).

    Oz has joined the yappage trade. The bulk of the audience for that sort of program is idiots.

  68. says

    @evilDoug, I find there is difference between most apple juice commercially available and what I actually like. The super clarified filtered stuff is seems overly sweet and not very flavorful to me. But if you can get good pressed apple juice that’s dark, cloudy and refrigerated, I enjoy it. The Simply Apple that’s been around for a few years is pretty good, although anything local is always better.

  69. says

    Thumbs down to this post by PZ Myers. PZ Myers should have done more research before posting his ridiculous opinions about medical science.
    The fact is that there are more scientists who have found unsafe levels of arsenic in many processed foods. If PZ Myers has the time to read what Dr. Oz says on TV then he is wasting his time watching most probably American Idol. I would advice him to read more scientific research articles before writing this non-sense.

  70. truthspeaker says

    Slignot – the juice you describe is usually called “cider” here in the States. Alcoholic cider is called “hard cider”.

    Some apple juices (and other fruit juices) are juice from concentrate with high fructose corn syrup added, but there are better juices available as well.

  71. Waffler, Dunwich MA says

    @Dr. Martha Castro

    The fact is that there are more scientists who have found unsafe levels of arsenic in many processed foods. If PZ Myers has the time to read what Dr. Oz says on TV then he is wasting his time watching most probably American Idol. I would advice him to read more scientific research articles before writing this non-sense.

    This is excellent incoherent blithering! Kudos.

  72. says

    Dr. Martha Casto, MD:
    I would have loved to read more of your inane thoughts, but your web site made my eyes bleed and my computer cry.

  73. DLC says

    Are we talking apple juice or the vaguely apple-flavored sugar solution ? real apple juice is good for you, has much less sugar and a decent shot of vitamins. hell of a lot better for you than most sodas or fruit-flavored drink products.

    For “Dr Castro”: kindly read the FDA letter before posting your response. Second: your concern is noted.

  74. says

    the juice you describe is usually called “cider” here in the States. Alcoholic cider is called “hard cider”.

    I think it may vary based on region. I live in the intermountain West, specifically Salt Lake City. Non-alcoholic apple cider is something I think of as spiced and sometimes hot; it was a constant presence during Halloween events with friends and family for example.

    Simply Apple markets their product as apple juice rather than cider. And I generally don’t hear people refer to alcoholic cider as “hard” although it happens on occassion.

  75. nemo the derv says

    #85 dr castro.

    Got any links to these scientists?
    Not to be confrontational but it’s only fair that you back up your claim.

  76. spamamander says

    Being a Washingtonian, two things:

    Utilikilts are teh sexiness. I love going over to Seattle and taking in some fine, fine man-legs in Utilikilts while in Pioneer Square.

    And apples are… I mean, you can’t mess with apples. It’s sacrilege. I’m not sure what juice brands use Chinese apples but there’s a few plants within 50 miles of me using only local fruit. This is the time of year when the weather is still really warm and the harvest is in full swing, so the air in lots of places smells like warm apples. Not at my house, however- despite having an orchard bordering the back part of the property my lot has a distinctly equine odor from the appy mare and two mini horses staying here for now. Thankfully I love the scent of herbivores too, especially horses.

  77. amphiox says

    Oxygen can kill too.
    Everyone, stop breathing!

    Oxygen is theorized to be the primary cause of aging.

    That makes it’s toxicity 100%!

  78. What a Maroon says

    If PZ Myers has the time to read what Dr. Oz says on TV then he is wasting his time watching most probably American Idol.

    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  79. says

    Thanks for carrying this article to add balance to the Science.

    It is the responsibility of the individual to check expert opinion to see if there are other experts who disagree. Al Gore’s Global Warming scam used to sell his Carbon Credits being just one example of what “everyone knows to be true” simply because Al Gore fronts for Global Warming hoax. There are experts of equal stature who disagree with Global Warming such as weatheraction.com & http://climateaudit.org/ just to name two.

  80. Spector567 says

    @Dr. Martha Casto, MD:
    1. You are a person on the internet not a doctor at this point.

    2. PZ was specifically commenting on the appleas and how the dr. OZ show knowingly and purposly ignored proper scientific proceedure and action in how they measure and recorded the amount of arsinic and knowinlgy ignored the fact that there are 2 different types.

    He did not comment on the overall guidlines or what would be considered a safe level.

    3. This case was reported by multiple news outlets. Just because you watch Dr. oz doesn’t mean everyone else does.

    4. If you have time to post and comment than you should have had time to actually read what PZ said and the statment made by the FDA.

  81. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The fact is that there are more scientists who have found unsafe levels of arsenic in many processed foods.

    Which may be true (citation needed) but has little to no bearing on this particular topic in which the FDA handed Dr. Oz his ass in regards to how he conducted the testing and how he interpreted it.

  82. Midnight Rambler says

    I think it may vary based on region. I live in the intermountain West, specifically Salt Lake City. Non-alcoholic apple cider is something I think of as spiced and sometimes hot; it was a constant presence during Halloween events with friends and family for example.

    In the east (at least New England, where I grew up) cider was pretty ubiquitous as a cold drink in the late summer and fall. I always hated filtered apple juice because it was so sweet and watery. It seems like nobody really drank much hard cider there until about 15 years ago, so “cider” always meant non-fermented.

  83. Just Sayin' says

    Thumbs down to this post by PZ Myers. PZ Myers should have done more research before posting his ridiculous opinions about medical science.

    But “Dr.” Oz doesn’t need to do any research to fool his gullible fans.

    The fact is that there are more scientists who have found unsafe levels of arsenic in many processed foods.

    More scientists than what? More than believe the earth is flat? More than have seen a leprechaun? Do tell!

    If PZ Myers has the time to read what Dr. Oz says on TV then he is wasting his time watching most probably American Idol.

    American Idol is showing clips of Dr. Oz? No wonder the show’s in the crapper!

    I would advice him to read more scientific research articles before writing this non-sense.

    Which ones?

  84. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    stupid blockquote

    The fact is that there are more scientists who have found unsafe levels of arsenic in many processed foods.

    Which may be true (citation needed) but has little to no bearing on this particular topic in which the FDA handed Dr. Oz his ass in regards to how he conducted the testing and how he interpreted it.

  85. azkyroth says

    I’m not saying people should quit their daily medicine regiment and go right back to herbs, but if there is a healthy alternative that will give you the same results as the drugs, why is that such a problem?

    Because if there were a healthy alternative that actually gave the same results it would be able to pass scientific muster. There’s a word for alternative medicine that has been shown to work: “MEDICINE.”

  86. says

    Thanks for carrying this article to add balance to the Science.

    The choice of phrasing you use here pretty much explains, in advance, the rest of your ridiculous post.

    PZ didn’t “add balance to the science”, you moron. The science corrected an inaccurate assertion, made due to a complete lack of understanding of science… in this case chemistry.

    Ironically enough, you can draw a very close parallel to this case and climate-change denialists. Complete and utter lack of understanding and mis-representation of findings, and in some cases flat-out lying, fuels climate-change denialist propaganda… and then actual science has to come along to set the record straight.

    Thanks for giving us all such a great analogy, sovereignjohn… i couldn’t have done it better myself.

  87. Vicki says

    Once more, with feeling.

    Part of the problem with using generic “herbs” for pain relief is that you might get anything. Most likely, you’ll get nothing significant except maybe a tasty tisane or something to add flavor to your chicken soup. But if it does have an effect, that effect might be harmful. Plants evolved interesting chemicals to protect themselves, and one form of that is making people who eat the plant sick.

    Another problem is dosage. You can get pain relief from poppy extract, but it’s probably a good idea to talk to a physician so you can regulate dosages, because poppies, or oregano leaves, or other plants aren’t standardized, and too much of the relevant chemical in the plant can be worse than too little.

  88. kantalope says

    Well done Dr. Oz. You have certainly brought in the crazy for us. There is Dr. Castro, who I sincerely hope is using English as a second language after getting medical training in Cuba, AND a climate change denier @97 still raging against Al Gore.

    Well done Dr. Oz, well done indeed.

  89. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Thanks for carrying this article to add balance to the Science.

    It is the responsibility of the individual to check expert opinion to see if there are other experts who disagree. Al Gore’s Global Warming scam used to sell his Carbon Credits being just one example of what “everyone knows to be true” simply because Al Gore fronts for Global Warming hoax. There are experts of equal stature who disagree with Global Warming such as weatheraction.com & http://climateaudit.org/ just to name two.

    You guys just have a big fat hardon for Gore. All that blood rushing from your head to your cocks has caused you to loose any ability to view the evidence and science and make rational, informed or accurate assessments of it.

    It could be cute if it wasn’t so damn sad.

  90. truthspeaker says

    I didn’t learn about global warming from Al Gore. I learned about it from the same scientists he did. Al Gore is not an authority on science and AFAIK doesn’t claim to be.

  91. Brownian says

    It’s easy logic. If you feel like “it’s too good to be true” or “that can’t be right”, look it up. It’s not hard, not difficult, maybe a bit of a time skin (depending on what you’re researching).

    Oh, it’s easy, is it? Why didn’t you say so?

    Here’s a hard question for you:

    Consider how many people still get fucked over by scammers, whether they’re Nigerian would-be princes or Bernie Madoffs. Consider how many people buy lottery tickets, and what proportion of those people who do have too little disposeable income to spend on extreme long shots like the lottery. Consider how many people are injured on the job, or on their way to or from work, because they failed to follow appropriate safety procedures, thinking that an injury won’t happen to them. Think about how many people are innumerate, and unable to make accurate decisions about risk. Think of how, cognitively, we’re biased as fuck, and that includes those of us who know we’re biased as fuck. (Hint: this is why double-blinded clinical studies were invented.) Think of how much a person has to know before that person is even aware of how little they know.

    And after all that—and this is the hard question—tell me why, if your advice is so common and following it so easy, you would even bother to share such fucking useless inanity?

  92. truthspeaker says

    I do have contempt for people who believe Dr. Oz’s bullshit, and I do think people have a responsibility to think critically. I also know damn well that many people won’t, and that even those of us who do can be fooled no matter how diligent we think we are.

    I also think Dr. Oz, as not only a medical doctor but a medical doctor who goes on TV to dispense medical advice, has an ethical and legal responsibility not to dispense bullshit.

  93. lobotomy says

    Has anyone noticed who signed the letter from the FDA?

    Don L. Zink, Ph.D.
    Senior Science Advisor
    U.S. Food and Administration
    Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

    Clearly, Zink is just covering for Arsenic and the other metals…

    We must do something about the metalic lobby.

  94. Brownian says

    We must do something about the metalic lobby.

    Careful what you wish for. My building is replacing everything in the lobby with white marble, and I’ve been stepping over tools too and from work every day for months now.

  95. brokenSoldier, OM says

    So Dr. Castro pontificates on knowing your subject matter prior to posting about it. After my eyes stopped screaming in agony, I saw a quote that made my brain start…

    From now on, no more juices from the store, only the ones I make from my own fruits I harvest from my Victory Garden!

    Sure – all that arsenic is placed in the fruit juice by evil companies, so it couldn’t possibly be in fruit from your garden! Idiot.

    And for anyone defending Dr. Oz, he most certainly lied through his teeth deliberately on that show. After receiving the letter from the FDA, he still made the following statement on the air:

    While we do not know of any cases of poisonings, we do know that arsenic is a substance that shouldn’t be in food and could be associated with various public health problems such as cancer.”

    (emphasis mine)

    The FDA explicitly told him (as he most likely knew already) that arsenic occurs naturally in foods, and he states that arsenic “shouldn’t be in food.”

    He is a liar. QED

  96. Nurse Ingrid says

    Cecil Adams, taking on the question of apple “cider” vs. “juice”:

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/391/whats-the-difference-between-apple-juice-and-apple-cider

    Short answer: even the folks who make the stuff don’t agree.

    Personally, I like the Ned Flanders answer.

    “If it’s clear and yella, you got juice there, fella. If it’s tangy and brown, you’re in cider town.”

    Dumbest mnemonic ever. And yet…I just typed it without having to look it up.

  97. Cooba is best Doces says

    Dr. Martha Castro is grateste Doc from all Doces Cooba!
    Issa she sayit my brodder read American Idol iss no good, please read Dr Oz. I read about the Doces like Mr Oz ona TV, ana I followe issa hers advises. All my fghamlee issa get cancers after but she save them longer froma die.
    Shee issa grateste An she iss says come ona thees place, tell heem PZ mans is she grateste ande he eess reading ronge TV show like my brodders is.

  98. carolw says

    Slightly off-topic, but I recently reread Mary Roach’s “Stiff.” Dr. Oz was quoted in the section about “live” organ donation. He said that sometimes transplant surgeons do drop a heart or liver, but they just rinse it off and go ahead with the transplant.
    Five second rule!

  99. Brownian says

    He said that sometimes transplant surgeons do drop a heart or liver, but they just rinse it off and go ahead with the transplant.

    There is nothing about that that surprises me, nor would I expect them to do anything different.

    Just let me know if the kid from Léolo ever becomes a transplant surgeon.

  100. says

    I’m sure in 130 comments at least 40 people have pointed out that apple seeds are poisonous if eaten in quantity. I guess we had better start yanking the apples.

    That’s what Eve said.

  101. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Good fucking lord. *sigh* This means that my Weekly Phone Call With Mom™ is going to be worse than usual.

    I just don’t get it. My mom used to be smart, but now she’s bought into the alt-med quakery wholesale. What is the draw?

  102. shawnthesheep says

    For those that want to bash the FDA, I say shut up until you lobby the government for better funding. The FDA is a tiny governmental department charged with a humongous task. If you compare the total budget of the FDA to the legal expenses of the corporations they are charged with regulating, you’d be astounded.

    I don’t care how much Oz gets right. The stuff he gets wrong is dangerous. And he does it purely for material gain. He is promoting pseudo-science and scaring parents just so he can make an extra buck. That is despicable. He is profiting on the ignorance and suffering of others. Shame on him.

  103. shawnthesheep says

    My partner’s mother just turned 90, and she has become an avid follower of Oz. She is a former nurse and has always been extremely adept at separating good medicine and science from bad. But she has bought into Oz hook, line and sinker. I think it must have something to do with having to face her own mortality and not being happy with the answers she’s getting from traditional medicine.

  104. Pierce R. Butler says

    Glen Davidson @ # 53: That he didn’t definitely calls into question his regard for the truth.

    He has a show on the Fox network. Doesn’t that in itself both call out the question and answer it beyond all doubt?

  105. says

    current tally of morons in thread:

    1 quack
    1 AGW denialist
    1 racist and/or xenophobic ass

    well, the stupid is concentrated, but not as pandemic as usual. I’ll call this average.

  106. David Marjanović, OM says

    Iiiiiinteresting that Cooba is best Doces has exactly the same gravatar as tushcloots.

  107. says

    Poison apples! A classic trope. Poison apple trivia: Alan Turing is supposed to have committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple while doing some amateur chemical experiments extracting cyanide from apple seeds. It’s been argued that he did this deliberately so that his mother would think it an accident.

    I think you are wise to carefully test apples from China. Their regulation is not much good. I was there during the melamine baby formula case, which killed and injured many babies. So don’t go electing politicians who want to gut your FDA…

  108. ichthyic says

    What is the draw?

    I see the same thing here in NZ.

    there is a HUGE market for alt med woo here.

    IMO, and this is risky, but…

    the draw is that there is tremendous fear of getting involved with long waits and potential costs associated with the standard medical profession.

    if you press someone, they will not challenge the efficacy of modern medicine, but many will still choose cheaper and easier methods to treat apparent symptoms.

    It’s a combination of laziness, fear, and lack of ready cash.

    I think I saw someone in another thread on “home birthing” talking about how expensive a hospital birth (around 8k) vs the home-birthing method they chose (around 300.00), and they had rationalized that since nothing went wrong with their home-birth, the two methods must be equivalent in risk, but one was simply much cheaper…

    I think that really wraps it up nicely as an example.

    fear, because they hear of few times when things go wrong in hospital births, instead of the orders of magnitude more times they go right, or bad outcomes entirely averted BECAUSE of being in a hospital setting.

    laziness, because they don’t bother to actually do the work to look at the actual numbers and risks involved with each method, but instead rely on “word of mouth” and “common sense”.

    cash, for obvious reasons. If one option is SO much cheaper than the other, the more expensive one must overcome a HUGE bias against, and the cheaper one a huge bias in favor, before the decision is made to risk a family’s fortunes on the more expensive choice.

    by and large though, one could boil it down to a deliberate choice of ignorance, and willing to take huge risks for slight savings of cash.

    it’s not rational, but it is understandable IMO.

    It also suggests that the entire medical industry should be doing more to clarify what the real risks are, vs the costs, and lay out really what people are choosing to do when they avoid having hospital births.

    until they do, and are willing to confront the irrational nature of the average person’s decisionmaking process wrt to medical care, then this will only get worse, and alt-med will only become more and more pervasive.

    I see the same laziness of thinking with W’s decision to fund religious organizations to provide community services and outreach, without bothering to analyze the risks of doing so.

    I can easily envision government ENCOURAGING alt-med woo for the same reason; because they are TOO FUCKING LAZY to manage the job properly themselves, and so think they can shift the burden of symptom treatment on to the alt-med providers.

    it’s the same thing, IMO.

  109. marella says

    They’re even better if they’re still in the original fruit.

    Fruit juice is one of the greatest cons perpetrated on the unsuspecting public. All fruit juice is bad for you, it is full of sugars especially fructose which is even worse for you than glucose. Even the stuff labelled ‘no added sugar’ usually has pear juice added for extra sweetness.

    Your body expects fruit sugars to come wrapped in fruit, all that fibre slows things down and makes it manageable. As juice you just get a great whack of sugar thrown at your liver and pancreas which both struggle to cope.

    And don’t tell me about vitamins, if you need more vitamins take a pill, at least it won’t give you diabetes.

  110. says

    Marella #141:

    All fruit juice is bad for you, it is full of sugars especially fructose which is even worse for you than glucose.

    Sugar…is bad for you?

    [CITATION NEEDED]

    Your body expects fruit sugars to come wrapped in fruit, all that fibre slows things down and makes it manageable.

    How, exactly?

    As juice you just get a great whack of sugar thrown at your liver and pancreas which both struggle to cope.

    Evidence of this “struggle”, please?

  111. says

    Clearly this is all propaganda by the orange industry (for some reason I just don’t like oranges or orange-flavored things.)
    I drink apple juice pretty often. Especially since I quit drinking soda. Nah, maybe it’s propaganda for the soda industry.
    How many Wizard of Oz references have there been so far? I don’t get any results from searching for “wizard”. Come on, what’s wrong with you people! *splashed with a pail of apple juice* Oh no! Arsenic makes me melt! I’m melting–*hit with a door* I blame my mom.

  112. kantalope says

    Dr. OZ and the weasel wording: wow. Just, wow.

    Q: The FDA criticizes The Dr. Oz Show’s lab results because they reveal total arsenic, not inorganic arsenic vs organic arsenic.
    A: One of the juice companies tested the same juice lots we did and sent us their lab results’ breakdown of organic vs inorganic. The majority of those samples’ total arsenic was the most harmful kind: Inorganic. (This lab report shows As (III) and As (V) – those are inorganic forms of arsenic.) The FDA has this data.

    The University of Arizona also studied this in 2009. They did what The Dr. Oz Show did. They bought items from a supermarket and sent it to a lab to look for arsenic. They found apple juice samples that contained a high level of inorganic arsenic – above the 10 ppb the EPA sets for total arsenic in drinking water.

    http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-oz-answers-your-questions-about-arsenic-apple-juice

    Talk about comparing apples to, well not-apples.

  113. azkyroth says

    It also suggests that the entire medical industry should be doing more to clarify what the real risks are, vs the costs, and lay out really what people are choosing to do when they avoid having hospital births.

    They could also consider applying a little lube while billing patients, so to speak….

  114. says

    From Dr (Fl)Oz response:

    One of the juice companies tested the same juice lots we did and sent us their lab results’ breakdown of organic vs inorganic.

    Which says fuck all about the FDA’s complaint about your erroneous interpretation of your own fucking test results you disingenuous quack.

    It’s the dirtiest of dirty pool to search for corroborating evidence after your own has been found wanting, and then criticize the FDA for not giving adequate response to a study you did not provide, and did not use to broadcast your erroneous conclusions to a vast audience.

    Whether the FDA would or would not find fault with the tests results you are citing here is not relevant because those were not the data you were using to support your claim at the time of your broadcast! How can they be expected to speak to specific test results they were not even provided with, for the purposes of this particular show? If you had indicated that you were using THAT data to support your claims in your show perhaps they MIGHT have… of course we’ll never know and it’s irrelevant now because the show has aired and the damage has already been done.

    Organic arsenic CAN be harmful.

    Ah yes… the lie masked as truth… the trusted fallback of the seasoned con artist. As has been pointed out, we can also say with a straight face: “Oxygen CAN be harmful”. But of course without proper context, this is meaningless. Organic arsenic CAN be harmful in certain quantities… but of course Dr. (Fl)Oz conveniently fails to mention that nowhere in any of these tests were anything approaching remotely harmful levels of “Organic Arsenic” found. But why let facts get in the way of ratings? He just falls back on the “we still don’t know everything there is to know” dodge so commonly used by AGW denialists and creationists.

    Feh.

  115. says

    Why oh WHY do i have to read PZ Myers or watch PBS for REAL SCIENCE in the media yet on the mainstream commercial channels the science you get is either quackery like dr. oz or very watered down.

  116. AShoggothOnTheRoof says

    if you press someone, they will not challenge the efficacy of modern medicine, but many will still choose cheaper and easier methods to treat apparent symptoms.

    Actually, quite a few insist that Big Pharma only makes drugs that treat the symptoms but not the actual cause because they’re only after your money. I’ve had even a licensed nurse practitioner tell me this (granted, he was also a conspiracy nut who thought that paleontologists spent their time faking fossil discoveries in order to get funding and the Jews controlled the usual list of things that paranoid delusional antisemites think Jews control).

    Haven’t managed to get an answer from anyone about how they know that the alternative medicine producers aren’t just trying to treat the symptoms since they’re just as committed to making money as Big Pharma, though.

  117. ichthyic says

    AShoggothOnTheRoof

    I think I’ve seen that play.

    Is that the one that has the song with the line:

    “If I were a Cthulonic horror, Ya ha deedle deedle ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn deedle deedle dum…”

  118. Brownian says

    Ichthyic, I rofled. I actually rofled at that.

    So I had to explain Lovecraft to the GF™.

    She’ll be eaten last.

  119. McCthulhu awaits the return of the 2000 foot Frank Zappa says

    I just wonder how much of this pap-smear (see pun somewhere else in thread) will be mentioned in your regular run-of-the-mill media or cause some sort of admonishment from whatever medical boards overseeing the not-so-good doctor’s licensing. Ignoring a warning from the FDA in favor of media hype and sensationalism doesn’t seem like the kind of stuff that any area requiring the utmost professionalism would look kindly upon. Or do these sensibilities not apply to Hollywood-ized doctors?

  120. McCthulhu awaits the return of the 2000 foot Frank Zappa says

    Icthyic, I see what you did there. You probably won’t even be eaten last for that one. They will save you for transformation into some sort of winged horror. Awesome stuff.

  121. says

    So, is Oz a “Doctor” like Colonel Sanders is a “Colonel”?

    Mehmet Oz is a real doctor unfortunately, a thoracic surgeon. He is also a woo-peddler and a clown, who thinks showing up on TV in surgical scrubs somehow increases his credibility.

  122. AShoggothOnTheRoof says

    It’s a parody of Fiddler On The Roof.

    Thought it was an appropriate moniker for PZ’s blog.

  123. chigau (...---...) says

    Rorschach
    If Oz were to show up on TV in used surgical scrubs, I’d be impressed.
    I still wouldn’t find him credible.

  124. says

    From DR Ooze site: “The Dr. Oz Show has extended new invitations to the FDA, the juice companies and the Juice Products Association to appear on the show. They all declined the first time. We hope to have them join us in a follow-up broadcast.”

    ‘That would look very good on your CV: not so much on mine.’

  125. David says

    Ok Dr. Oz is no scientist.
    But trusting what the FDA says about just about
    anything is dangerous. These are the people that
    say Aspartame is safe, and the Bovine Growth Hormone
    is safe also.
    Think about it. A US government agency that can be bought
    by the corporate food barons. I don’t trust them as far
    as I can throw a bull elephant.

  126. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But trusting what the FDA says about just about
    anything is dangerous. These are the people that
    say Aspartame is safe, and the Bovine Growth Hormone
    is safe also.

    Prove that they aren’t safe in the amounts normally ingested. Or shut the fuck up. I don’t trust someone who doesn’t understand basic science and toxicology, talking about the subject.

  127. tony clifton says

    after see ing the Dr. Oz report about apple juice,I made sure that my mother-in-law only drank apple juice ,and nothing else, for a week.the old bag is still around,she’s like the Terminator.moral of the story is if apple juice won’t kill Mrs. Crypt Keeper,it’s probably harmless to children.

  128. Ben says

    @ David, Dryad…

    Thanks for interjecting the idea of restraint/common sense before on this thread.

    The point being is that COMPLETELY trusting any source–even an official, scientifically sanctioned one– still MAY need to be taken with some scrutiny. After all, there are all those approved meds that can still have potential issues ( Celebrex, others), meds that have been evaluated as likely market overkill being pumped for profit value (i.e., the certain anti-depressants, combination drugs like Caduet, others), not to mention side effects of drugs. Merely because a substance has a scientific stamp of approval doesn’t necessarily mean ‘no problem’, and just because scientific evaluation clears a substance to a CERTAIN degree, doesn’t necessarily acquit it in any absolute way.

    I agree keeping a rational mind, independent evaluation and investigation are very important–but so is keeping your head on straight and not jumping to conclusions in the other direction.

    I really don’t think the the good Doc is a witch doctor, an incompetent, a (total) media creature; there IS some very good health advice that comes out of shows like this, even presenting scientific/medical/statistical info for the edification of the audience. Appropriate, measured criticism is good; pulling out the pitchforks and torches to storm the castle, ..maybe not so much in this instance. Seems to me there are more important and egregious items to critique.

    Comments?

  129. frankb says

    I have home brewed beer and have all the equipment. But when I fermented cider, it was easy. I bought a gallon of raw cider in a glass jug. I didn’t do any special cleaning. I put in a packet of champagne yeast, stoppered the top with a gas trap, and put it in the frig. When the fermentation slowed down, I tasted it (it was good) and siphoned it off the dregs. I didn’t bother bottling the hard cider, it was gone quickly enough. I did this years ago so my memory may be faulty. Hick!!