Dr. Oz Defends Columbia Position Amid GMOs, Vaccination, Weight Loss Supplements Controversy [Video]

As Dr. Mehmet Oz defends himself against 10 physicians requesting that Columbia University remove him from his current position, the TV talk show host also is seeking the opportunity to address their claims that he is opposed to genetically modified foods (GMOs) as well as the previous controversy over his episodes touting weight loss supplements, reported the Washington Post.

While his fans know him as the jovial host of The Dr. Oz Show, his physician colleagues know him as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Dr. Oz occasionally performs heart surgery while maintaining his prestigious post as the surgery department vice chairmanship at Columbia University Medical School. In addition, he is a Columbia University professor of surgery and serves as director of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program.

It’s the Columbia U position that resulted in a highly-publicized letter from 10 prominent doctors all over the country who requested Lee Goldman (current dean of medicine at Columbia) to fire Dr. Oz. The lengthy epistle charged Dr. Oz with both general negative adjectives while specifically addressing the GMO issue.

Heading to social media to post his defense, Dr. Oz fired back at his accusers on both Twitter and Facebook.

“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. For example, 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.”

As the Inquisitr reported, that letter accused Dr. Oz of promoting dubious treatments and promising medical “miracles” that lacked scientific evidence.

“We are surprised and dismayed that Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons would permit Dr. Mehmet Oz to occupy a faculty appointment, let alone a senior administrative position in the Department of Surgery… Worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain….Dr. Oz is guilty of either outrageous conflicts of interest or flawed judgments about what constitutes appropriate medical treatments, or both. Whatever the nature of his pathology, members of the public are being misled and endangered, which makes Dr. Oz’s presence on the faculty of a prestigious medical institution unacceptable.”

In addition, the letter tackled the controversy over GMOs.

“Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine, as well as baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops,” wrote the doctors.

The reference to genetic engineering encompasses the numerous episodes of The Dr. Oz Show devoted to GMO foods. With regard to the show’s platform for providing discussions of GMO food pros and cons, Columbia University Medical Center spokesman Doug Levy defended Dr. Oz in a formal reply to the physicians’ letter.

“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.”

As for the weight loss supplement and vaccination controversy, Dr. Oz found himself grilled by the Senate for touting diet drugs such as green coffee bean extract as a “miracle” while announcing that his wife, Lisa Oz, had forbidden him to have his children get vaccinated, according to Science.

Headed up by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the hearing attacked Dr. Oz for his promotion of weight loss supplements. But what wasn’t covered in that hearing was his anti-vaccine stance.

Dr. Oz blamed his wife for that decision.

“I’m in a happy marriage and my wife who makes most of the important decisions as most couples have in their lives who absolutely refuses,” said the physician.

What do you think of Dr. Oz’s defense of his Columbia position and show? Post your comments below.

[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]