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Jun 19 2014

America’s Doctor at the mercy of a poll!

It’s not going well for him. Shall we make it worse?

Do You Trust Dr. Oz?

Yes 25%
No 75%

33 comments

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  1. 1
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    (from the link)

    “I never told them where to go to buy the products. I wanted to stay above the fray and I felt … that if I talked about specific companies selling high quality products it would seem like I was supporting those companies,” Oz said.

    Dude, you created the fray. You can’t stay above it.

  2. 2
    ironchew

    Depends on the level of “trust”, I suppose.

    Do I unquestioningly absorb all advice from an expert? No, and I shouldn’t; that is an argument from authority. Do I regard his advice as generally true unless proven otherwise in the field of his expertise (heart surgery)? Yes. Am I extremely skeptical of the alternative therapies he advocates on television? Very much so; I take a look at his track record as a celebrity and can come to no other reasonable conclusion.

    The problem is, “trust” is a wishy-washy word that can mean any of those things. I don’t “trust” Wikipedia with absolute certainty — I am well aware of its flaws and self-correcting nature, but I generally regard it as true (or at least not-maliciously-false) unless the way the article was written sets off red flags.

  3. 3
    OldEd

    It’s now Yes: 21%, No: 79%

    As far as trusting him goes, all you have to do is watch his pitch for ten minutes to see that he is a screw-ball huckster peddling crap. They condemn themselves with their own words.

    There oughta be a law….

  4. 4
    Kevin Kehres

    When he first started his TV career, it was with PBS specials. And I was impressed because he communicated health concepts pretty clearly. I’m pretty attuned to woo-woo, and PBS is — sadly — not immune to being sucked in by such stuff in service of fund-raising drives. But Oz’ shows, I thought at the time, were straight down the middle, factual, and not in service of anything other than good health advice.

    Something happened between then and when he got his commercial TV gig. Dunno what, but it’s like the “real” Dr. Oz was kidnapped by aliens. I suspect if we search hard enough, we’ll find the pod somewhere.

    … or we can follow the money.

  5. 5
    Paul

    Oz and similar quacks are no worse than the continual barrage of prescription drug commercials depicting “much improved” victims of one malady or another gleefully smiling and doing everyday happy things while the voiceover drones endlessly on about the potential side effects –”including death”– of the newest overpriced cure looking for a disease.
    I long for the days when prescription drug advertising was limited to publications intended solely for members of the medical profession, and not trying to drum up wild-eyed consumer demand for often inadvisable and dangerous drug therapies. “Ask your doctor…”

  6. 6
    anthrosciguy

    There was no entry for “not as far as I could throw him”.

  7. 7
    Inaji

    Paul:

    Oz and similar quacks are no worse than the continual barrage of prescription drug commercials

    You’re wrong there. While I agree that all the scrip commercials are a bad thing, Dr. Oz and others like him knowingly encourage people to do or use things they know will not help. Dr. Oz says he does it to give people hope, and that’s a terrible thing to do to people in a vulnerable state. Much worse than adverts any day.

  8. 8
    Anthony K

    Oz and similar quacks are no worse than the continual barrage of prescription drug commercials depicting “much improved” victims of one malady or another gleefully smiling and doing everyday happy things while the voiceover drones endlessly on about the potential side effects –”including death”– of the newest overpriced cure looking for a disease.
    I long for the days when prescription drug advertising was limited to publications intended solely for members of the medical profession, and not trying to drum up wild-eyed consumer demand for often inadvisable and dangerous drug therapies. “Ask your doctor…”

    While I agree with you with respect to direct marketing of drugs to consumers, I’d say that Dr Oz and his ilk are somewhat worse because they market while denying that’s what they’re doing. When you see an ad for Cymbalta, you know it’s an ad by Eli Lilly intended to increase the demand for their product. When your doctor prescribes you Cymbalta, there’s a implied trust that she’s advocating for your individual health, rather than increasing a drug company’s bottom line. Dr Oz is coated with a veneer of integrity a 30 second spot of seniors traipsing through a sunlit meadow before the third act of Mad Men doesn’t have. And that makes him some degree of more harmful, though the amount of harm may be hard to quantify.

  9. 9
    michaelbusch

    The poll itself includes some additional text after “Yes” and “No”:

    Yes. He gives the best advice he can and isn’t responsible for what marketers do with his opinions.
    No. He promotes bogus supplements that cost consumers millions.

  10. 10
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Oh look, Natural News tries to deflect and dismiss criticism of Dr. Oz by setting their sights on Senator McCaskill:

    The pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together on U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill’s bizarre attack aimed at Doctor Oz. In a scathing Senate hearing exchange, Sen. McCaskill all but accused Doctor Oz of peddling quack weight loss products — even though Oz actually runs a very meticulous, science-based operation where dietary supplements are heavily researched before being recommended to the public.

    Now Natural News has learned that Sen. McCaskill received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from one of the largest pharmaceutical retailers in North America. According to campaign contribution data published at OpenSecrets.org, prescription drug mega-retailer Express Scripts gave McCaskill over $109,000 in campaign contributions, most of which was routed through lobbyist groups or PACs. (1)

    Sen. McCaskill also accepted over $37,000 from Monsanto, widely regarded to be the most evil corporation in the world and an enemy of sustainable food production, heirloom seeds and traditional American farming methods.

    Strangely, McCaskill also received over $32,000 from Google, Inc., and another $29,000 from Comcast.

    In contrast, Doctor Oz receives no money whatsoever from recommending natural dietary supplements on his show. In fact, he goes out of his way to halt dietary supplement companies from using his name to promote such products.

    Oz is the one operating in integrity here, while McCaskill is hiding her financial conflicts of interest. (Is anyone surprised?)

    Blatant conflicts of interest kept hidden by Sen. McCaskill

    Although these campaign contributions from a major drug retailer clearly present serious conflicts of interest with her line of questioning Doctor Oz, she failed to disclose these conflicts of interest in her conversation. Instead, she intentionally tried to make Doctor Oz look like a “bad guy” for recommending natural weight loss supplements (which he doesn’t even sell, by the way) while in truth, McCaskill was merely working to eliminate the competition of her largest campaign contributors.

    Natural weight loss supplements directly compete with prescription weight loss drugs, of course. But there’s a lot more money to be made in prescription drugs sold by retailers like Express Scripts. McCaskill’s attack was designed to intimidate Doctor Oz into halting his recommendations of natural products, thereby strengthening the near-monopoly of drug manufacturers and their lucrative retailing partners.

    Now we know the rest of the story the mainstream media isn’t reporting. This was never about green coffee bean extracts. Like almost everything else in Washington, it was always about protecting corporate interests at all costs. Even if it means raking an innocent guy over the coals and trying to intimidate him into silence.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/045619_senator_mccaskill_campaign_contributions_pharma_money.html

  11. 11
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    The same guy who wrote the above BS at Natural News, also had this to say:

    I find it very telling that in a nation where almost half the adult population is overweight or obese, U.S. Senators would waste time unleashing an Orwellian “thought crimes” attack against Doctor Oz over his advocacy of natural weight loss supplements. Apparently, the idea that a national health TV personality might actually seek to help the American people get healthier with supplements, not drugs, is simply intolerable in the U.S. capitol.

    [...]

    My firsthand experience is that Doctor Oz is one of the most compassionate, ethical, responsible and caring health experts in America today. I don’t say that lightly, and Natural News readers know that I can be a vocal critic of people or companies that I see as behaving in an unethical manner. I don’t even agree 100% with Doctor Oz on every single point, but overall I see him as a force of tremendous positivity for America.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/045602_Senator_McCaskill_green_coffee_bean_extract_TV_doctor.html#ixzz3576OumyD

  12. 12
    grumpyoldfart

    How come he was able to peddle bullshit for ten years and only now are people are jumping on him?

  13. 13
    skeptifem

    He is right about a lot of stuff and has a lot of practical information about how the human body functions. I have a feeling that the weight loss segments are there just because it pulls in viewers and they need a lot of material to do shows as often as they do. I have no idea how else they would fill the time. I am not excusing his behavior, I just think I understand why things ended up this way.

  14. 14
    playonwords

    Down to 16% trust. If he keeps on like that he’ll soon be approaching Dick Cheney.

  15. 15
    David Marjanović

    Yes. He gives the best advice he can and isn’t responsible for what marketers do with his opinions. 16%
    No. He promotes bogus supplements that cost consumers millions. 84%
    Total votes: 1969

    Speaking of Dick “Dick” Cheney: “SIGN THIS: Tell Iraq war cheerleaders to shut up

  16. 16
    David Marjanović

    Signing the petition leads to this article.

    Sen. McCaskill also accepted over $37,000 from Monsanto, widely regarded to be the most evil corporation in the world and an enemy of sustainable food production, heirloom seeds and traditional American farming methods.

    Silliest attempt at nationalism I’ve seen in months.

  17. 17
    David Marjanović

    …eh… this article.

  18. 18
    Pen

    Do I trust Dr. Oz to do what?

  19. 19
    HolyPinkUnicorn

    @grumpyoldfart #12:

    How come he was able to peddle bullshit for ten years and only now are people are jumping on him?

    Maybe that’s how long Oprah immunity lasts? And Dr. Oz certainly isn’t the only bullshit peddler she’s promoted over the years, so I put just as much blame on her.

  20. 20
    Sastra

    skeptifem #13 wrote:

    He is right about a lot of stuff and has a lot of practical information about how the human body functions. I have a feeling that the weight loss segments are there just because it pulls in viewers and they need a lot of material to do shows as often as they do.

    Although this particular poll and the Senate hearing focused on Dr. Oz’s weight loss “miracle” cures, he has a long and sad history of promoting alternative medicine, including some of the worst of the worst (like homeopathy and reiki.) He has featured and fawned over quacks. He even had a phony psychic come in to “talk to the dead.”

    When Skepdoc Harriet Hall reviewed a book on health written by Andrew Weil she called it a “very dangerous book” precisely because it contained a lot of good medicine and practical advice. This was then mixed in with dubious therapies and complete nonsense so smoothly that it would be hard for the ordinary reader to be able to tell where the dividing lines were, what is science-based and what isn’t. That’s insidious in a way blatant quackery written by an unqualified layman isn’t.

    Dr. Oz’s good science and reasonable advice might only compound his guilt on this. They make people trust him. And then …

  21. 21
    Travis

    grumpyoldfart #12

    How come he was able to peddle bullshit for ten years and only now are people are jumping on him?

    People being critical of Dr. Oz is nothing new, Orac has been writing about him since at least 2010, maybe earlier as this was just a quick search and it was the oldest one that caught my eye. Likewise Steve Novella has as well, and even appeared on Dr. Oz’s show in 2011. This is just the biggest and most mainstream criticism seen up to now.

  22. 22
    Christopher

    [blockquote]You’re wrong there. While I agree that all the scrip commercials are a bad thing, Dr. Oz and others like him knowingly encourage people to do or use things they know will not help. Dr. Oz says he does it to give people hope, and that’s a terrible thing to do to people in a vulnerable state. Much worse than adverts any day.[/blockquote]

    Not when the adverts are pushing people and doctors into using active compounds as placebo drugs.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023195216.htm

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598109/

  23. 23
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Christopher #22, we use HTML tags here, not BB codes. Your blockquote needed the symbols < and > in place of the square brackets [ and ].
    And your accusation is a non-sequitur, as it has nothing to do with non-tested “drugs” that don’t work.

  24. 24
    Travis

    The discussion of direct drug advertising is interesting, but is also a rather US-centric topic. As far as I know the only other country that allows ads of this form is New Zealand. Drug advertising is pretty controlled elsewhere. Since we do get US television here in Canada some full product ads can be seen (though there has been some discussion of replacing these ads), and we do allow ads that are not specifically about a drug, such as disease oriented ads that suggest people talk to their doctor but do not mention a treatment or brand. We get plenty of splashes from US drug advertising but it is not nearly as omnipresent.

  25. 25
    Christopher

    And your accusation is a non-sequitur, as it has nothing to do with non-tested “drugs” that don’t work.

    So, ‘tested’ drugs that don’t work are worth saturating every media with advertising…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18303940

  26. 26
    Christopher

    So, when the hell did the auto-moderation thing start?

  27. 27
    Christopher

    I guess that was just for one comment. Anyway, I linked to a NIH paper that showed anti-depressants (one of the most heavily marketed drug categories) are no better than placebos.

    So when a drug has been ‘tested’ but shows no difference from a sugar pill (aside for an increased risk of suicide or homicide on the drug), it is somehow OK for drugmakers to pimp the drug far and wide?

  28. 28
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Not this shit again….

  29. 29
    Inaji

    Christopher @ 27, in case you missed it, the topic of this thread is Dr. Oz and his actions. You might want to click over to thunderdome to continue the scrip advert conversation.

  30. 30
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So, ‘tested’ drugs that don’t work are worth saturating every media with advertising…

    Take this to the Thunderdome for you off-topic bullshit.

  31. 31
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    With a bit of a switch we’d have had perhaps some intactivists commenting here. “America’s poles at the mercy of this doctor!”

  32. 32
    inquiringlaurence

    It has been Pharyngulated; 17% yes, 83% no. Sorry, Mr. Oz.

  33. 33
    Julian Patel

    Rule of thumb: If it got famous on Oprah, it’s a dishonest quack.

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