Commentary: Rats—rats with huge, ugly tumors
Dr. Oz is a TV talk show host whose show (allegedly) focuses on health issues. But despite his credentials, he generally takes the tabloid approach to the issues. Just listen to how he describes genetic engineering in the introduction to a recent show on the “threat” of GMOs:
“The basic idea is to take a feature from one organism and you put it into another organism. In the future, scientists might be able to move genes from a fish that lives in cold water and put it into a tomato, so maybe that tomato can easily survive in the weather, especially if that weather is cold.”
That ought to tell you how “scientific” Dr. Oz’s is. On the recent segment, “Genetically Modified foods: Are they safe?” he brings on Dr. Robin Bernhoft, past president of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, and Jeffrey Smith, renowned nut job author of “Genetic Roulette,” which claims that GMOs are responsible for a vast array of chronic diseases.
Of course, Bernhoft’s Wichita, Kan.-based academy is all about hardcore opposition to genetically engineered foods, including a manifesto calling for a moratorium on GM foods and immediate labeling of such foods.
Dr. Oz alludes to the extremism of his guests: “Because the things Jeffrey says are so controversial, nearly every scientist we [asked] to defend genetically modified foods said no to coming on the show, or they refused to share the stage with him. So today we are doing something we have never done before. After Jeffrey makes his points, he has to leave the stage before we can speak to the scientists in favor of genetically modified foods.”
That ought to tell anyone with common sense that these two guests are quacks. But of course, Dr. Oz soldiers on, allowing Smith to foam at the mouth about the “thousands of doctors who prescribe non-GMO diets,” patients “getting better from a variety of diseases very quickly,” and how when lab animals (and livestock) are fed GMOs, they’re “getting better from these same problems when they take GMOs out of the diet.”
Then it’s the good doctor’s turn, and he chimes in,“I agree with Jeff completely. There is an increase in incidence, not just in reflux but also in allergies, autoimmunity, asthma, high cholesterol—there’s a wide range of chronic illnesses.”
The good doctor then admits that “cause and effect is hard to prove.” (You think?) But he quickly adds, “If you take people off genetically modified foods, then things like reflux, type-2 diabetes, allergies improve and sometimes go away completely.”