A group of physicians and medical experts is asking Columbia University to remove Mehmet Oz — better known on television as “Dr. Oz” — from a top position at the university’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Gizmodo reported.
“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,” the group stated in a letter to Columbia medical school dean Lee Goldman. “Worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.”
Oz is currently a professor of surgery and the college’s vice-chair. The letter was coordinated by physician Henry I. Miller, currently a Robert Wesson Fellow in scientific philosophy and public policy at Stanford University, and is also signed by officials at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of California-San Diego and the American Council on Science and Health, among others.
The letter is the latest round of criticism by Miller toward Oz. Earlier this month, Miller and Kavin Senapathy blasted him in an op-ed piece for Slate, accusing him of fear-mongering against genetically-modified food even after it meets federal safety standards.
“Nationwide polls suggested that up to 80 percent of Americans want labels on foods that contain DNA — although, presumably, few of them realize that that would encompass virtually everything in their diets except highly refined foods such as oil, sugar, and salt,” Miller and Senapathy wrote. “These exercises prove only that people know little about the chemistry and biology of what they eat. (Or about their own bodies, for that matter—they, too, are composed of chemicals, including DNA.)”
Senapathy, who works for an unidentified genomics company, said in a separate column for Skepchick that the success of that piece led Miller to put together the group letter asking Columbia to fire Oz.
“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,” the letter stated.
This past January, one of Oz’s guests agreed to pay $9 million as part of a settlement for selling bogus weight-loss products. And British researchers determined last year that 54 percent of the claims made on his show were either contradicted or unsupported by available evidence.