Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Letter to Dr. Oz from a PhD Microbiologist

Posted @ The American Council of Science and Health on by admin

Today we give a mega-shoutout to Alex Berezow over at RealClearScience for his brilliant letter to Dr.Oz.

Berezow’s letter is arguably the clearest and most convincing piece written about the entire affair. He demonstrates that Oz is not only the quintessential hypocrite, but is so lacking of the ability to offer a scientific rebuttal to any criticism about him that his “response” is nothing but a series of amateurish attacks—some of which are both wrong and amateurish—against those who dared to question whether he still belonged on the faculty at Columbia University.

Some of our favorite quotes:

“While I understand your desire to defend your reputation, your rebuttal failed to address any of the scientific and ethical concerns raised in the letter. Instead, your statement was full of ad hominem attacks and other logical fallacies. Such a rejoinder is not what I would expect from somebody claiming to be a scientist (as you do), but far more typical of a person who has been thoroughly defeated in a scientific debate.”

“In fact, your response reminds me of the sort of outburst one regularly hears from anti-vaxxers, anti-GMOers, climate change deniers, and the like.

(Editor's Note:  It amazes me someone can be so clear on everything except climate change.  On this he's on clearly muddled. RK)

On smearing Dr. Henry Miller’s (the originator of the letter) credentials:

“Furthermore, on your TV show, you sent your ‘investigative journalist’ out to smear Dr. Miller’s reputation. Nowhere in the segment did she seriously discuss Dr. Miller’s credentials, such as him being the Founding Director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology. That makes Dr. Miller perhaps the nation’s #1 expert on GMOs and biotech regulation.”

On his smearing of ACSH: “Let’s also set aside the fact that combating chemophobia and pseudoscience, which is what ACSH does, is necessary because of people like you. And, let’s set aside the fact that, as a non-profit, ACSH has to raise money from somebody, and industry is just as good as anybody else.”

Also: “I would like to focus on the fact that you take money from companies, too, such as Walmart, IcyHot, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.”

And our favorite: “There is absolutely nothing wrong with making lots of money. But, how is your criticism of ACSH’s finances anything other than pure, unadulterated hypocrisy??”

Berezow closes with the following: “That decision, to put integrity first, almost certainly won’t earn me much fame or fortune. But, injecting science and reason into public debates allows ‘America’s Microbiologist’ (if I may) to sleep with a clear conscience.” Ouch.

ACSH’S Dr. Josh Bloom, a frequent (and somewhat obnoxious) critic of Oz says, “While most people were focusing on Oz’s quack products, whether he should remain at Columbia, and the benefits (or lack thereof) or ‘alternative medicine,’ Berezow spent considerable time researching who the ‘real’ Oz is, and it isn’t pretty.”

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Other Oz Tidbits

A group of 1,300 doctors was polled, and Oz does not fare well: Fifty seven percent said that Oz should resign. Four percent said that he should have his medical license revoked.

And just to be extra thorough, 22 percent said he should resign AND have his license revoked.

This left a modest 18 percent of doctors who said that Oz should do nothing and they respected him as a doctor.

You might want to try to find out if any of the 18 percent are in your insurance plan, and then scroll down a bit.

And it gets worse. You do not want to be on the wrong side of John Oliver. It won’t be pretty.

“Not pretty” doesn’t even do justice to what Oliver had to say about Oz. One could make a reasonable argument that it violated the Geneva Convention, but it sure was fun to watch.

Don’t miss it.

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