According to USA Today, Mehmet Oz defended himself on Friday because 10 doctors got together and sent a letter to Columbia University requesting that Dr. Oz be dismissed from the medical school’s faculty.
Besides saying the television doctor’s advice and product endorsements don’t have scientific backing, one doctor accused Dr. Oz of being “a fake and a charlatan,” according to the New York Daily News.
The Columbia University doctors have an issue against Dr. Oz’s alleged opposition to genetically modified foods (GMOs).
Dr. Oz defends himself by saying in a statement, “I do not claim that GMO foods are dangerous, but believe that they should be labeled like they are in most countries around the world.”
Another issue Dr. Oz’s co-workers have against his practice is that he advises people through his popular daytime television show. The doctors say Dr. Oz is not giving his viewers the proper advice. A representative of The Dr. Oz Show spoke on Dr. Oz’s behalf.
“I bring the public information that will help them on their path to be their best selves. We provide multiple points of view, including mine, which is offered without conflict of interest. That doesn’t sit well with certain agendas which distort the facts.”
Doug Levy, chief communications officer for Columbia University Medical Center, indicated that the university planned no action against Oz. Levy responded to the letter sent by the group of doctors.
“As I am sure you understand and appreciate, Columbia is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion.”
Hoping to put an end to this situation, Levy said, “The university does not regulate faculty engagement in public discourse.”
Dr. Oz serves as vice chairman of Columbia’s department of surgery. Before he became famous on his television show, he was already known in the medical community as a respected cardiothoracic surgeon.
This is not the first time Dr. Oz has been in the news in a negative way. Last year, he was challenged about his endorsement of weight-loss products. When he appeared before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on consumer protection, senators criticized him for telling the public that certain weight-loss supplements were a “magic weight-loss cure” and “the No. 1 miracle in a bottle.” Critics say there is no scientific proof of their effectiveness, and Dr. Oz should not tell his viewers things like that.
[Images via Lauren Victoria Burke/USA]