New Wikileaks release peeks behind the scenes of America's quack

It would appear that some people got the impression that, just because I questioned whether a recent publicity stunt in which ten doctors and researchers, led by a well-known pro-GMO activist working for the Hoover Institution, Dr. Henry Miller, sent a letter to the dean at Columbia University in essence asking him to fire Oz for his promotion of quackery and, pointedly, anti-GMO fear mongering on his show was a good idea, somehow I'm going easy on Dr. Oz. Not at all. Miller and his compatriots at the Hoover Institution and the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) made what I see as a spectacular blunder, and it's because I detest Oz and want to see effective methods brought to bear to counter his quackery that Hoover's antics—and, yes, that is the perfect word to describe what he did—irritate me so much.

That's why another story yesterday caught my eye. At first, I was wondering whether I should address it because it seems so much like a "dog bites man" story, telling us nothing that we don't already know about our old friend Mehmet Oz. On the other hand, it's the way that it tells us about how The Dr. Oz Show operates that makes it worth a notice. The information comes to us, initially, in the form of a story by Julia Belluz again, New WikiLeaks documents reveal the inner workings of the Dr. Oz Show:

Dr. Mehmet Oz often appears on his popular show to promote new health products and devices. Most viewers are likely under the impression that he's doing this because he's closely considered their merits and decided the products are widely beneficial.

But newly leaked emails suggest that business considerations — not health or science — can be a driving factor in which products Oz decides to promote.

Last week, WikiLeaks released a series of emails sent between Dr. Oz, his staff, and executives at Sony (one of his show's producers)Show. They shed some light on how Dr. Oz's daily talk show works behind the scenes.

See what I mean about this being a "dog bites man" story? Of course Oz is driven by business considerations. It's syndicated, commercialized TV; by definition commercial considerations are, if not paramount, very, very important. The question is whether commercial considerations overruled science. Of course, The Dr. Oz Show being The Dr. Oz Show, I suspect we already know what the answer to that question is. The only real question is how much did commercial considerations rule? Of course, what hadn't occurred to me is that there might be damning e-mails in the big Wikileaks release of Sony e-mails relevant to Dr. Oz, mainly because, although I knew Sony was one of the producers of Oz's show, I just didn't connect the dots.

In any case, Belluz gives one example showing that Oz is a driving force in pushing for deals:

In a January 2014 email, for instance, Dr. Oz reaches out to Michael Lynton, the CEO of Sony Entertainment, about his interest in wearable fitness and health tracking devices.

"I have been carefully following the wearable device market and am pretty close to consummating a longer term relationship, but just saw the piece below quoting Kaz Hirai [the president and CEO of Sony] and realized that Sony is moving into the space as well," Oz writes in an email. "We should leverage the Sony-driven success of our TV show into other arenas where Sony thrives, like health hardware."

Here is the complete text of the e-mail. Oz follows up, asking, "If you agree, how do you suggest we proceed? Could you jump start the process with an appropriate introduction to someone involved with the 'Core' initiative?" So what we have here, is Dr. Oz, first reaching out through his people, then jumping in the conversation himself, about in essence making a deal to have his show shill for Sony wearable devices, all in the name of "synergy." I also can't help but note from Oz's mentioning that he's "close to consummating a longer term relationship" that Oz is almost certainly going to Sony to see if he can get a better deal.

Perhaps the series of e-mails of most interest to me, though, more for curiosity than anything, was the series of e-mails discussing Dr. Oz's appearance in front of Senator Claire McCaskill's committee over his promotion of dubious dietary supplements as "miracles" and "fat burners" that—or so it is implied—let people lose weight without diet or exercise. As you might recall from when I wrote about it, at first I was concerned that Oz would be lobbed a bunch of softballs but then was satisfied that McCaskill (D-MO), wily old prosecutor that she was, basically mopped up the floor with Oz, embarrassing the hell out of him. At the time, I noted my suspicion that Dr. Oz didn't see this coming because of his hubris. It turns out that that was more or less what happened.

For instance, in one e-mail, Denise Beaudoin, the legal and business affairs counsel to The Dr. Oz Show, notes:

And while the goal of the committee's investigation is to protect the consumer against false claims and fraudulent advertising and all the extenuating billing problems AND they told us they think we have done more work on this than the FTC, we should still anticipate that someone on the committee, and likely some members of the media, will be critical of the show airing segments about these types of supplements in the 1st place. So while we are in a strong position and can appear as a great consumer advocate, it would be ill advised to believe this hearing or the news cycle that follows will be 100% free of criticism of Oz or the show. It's also worth noting for the record, that Harpo's counsel is not in favor of Oz' participating, especially when he's not legally obligated to do so. They do not see the value of getting involved unless compelled by subpoena because there's always the potential for downside (no matter how slight). Sony's counsel has yet to weigh in. For what it's worth, I think the cost of not appearing could be more problematic for us because we have been so vocal about the problem on the show and we've gone so far as to ask our audience to get involved by reporting fraud to OzWatch, signing an online petition and writing letters to their state attorney general. We know this issue hurts our brand and we haven't the real resources to combat the problem on our own. It will take legislative change to give us, the FTC or the FDA any real ability to go after the perpetrators, and that could happen as a result of this hearing.

Further down the e-mail chain, Keith Weaver, executive vice president for worldwide government affairs at Sony, notes:

Given his frustration, which was recently exampled on television where he visited a manufacturer of one of the products and asked them to stop using his name, Dr. Oz and the producers of the show would like to testify. Dr. Oz has not entered into a paid sponsorship arrangement to date, but would like to explore doing so in the future. We have apprised the appropriate parties of the risks associated with the future plans, as well as specific criticisms of Dr. Oz’s role in the national conversation about health that could emerge in the hearing or in subsequent coverage. All things considered, Dr. Oz is very comfortable addressing these topics and would like to proceed.

As Sony Pictures Television only distributes the DR. OZ show (it’s produced by an affiliate of HARPO entitled ZoCo), my understanding is that we have less control over how he chooses to respond. And, while an invitation is not a subpoena, it would be awkward for him to not respond favorably to this request.

Of course, I wrote about Dr. Oz's highly cynical and ridiculous segment in which he "busted" a company using his words to endorse their product as though he were 60 MINUTES cornering a scammer. Yes, it was Oz portraying himself as a protector of the consumer, which to me was hilarious. And here we have discussions of what I always suspected to be the real reason why Oz was going after scammers using his name: He was planning on entering into commercial arrangements with companies offering health-related products and services and didn't want his brand tarnished. Of course that's what it was; you'd have to be incredibly naive to believe it was out of a pure desire to protect the public. Rather, it was to eliminate potential competitors and those who tarnish the Oz brand and potentially lower the amount of money Oz could ultimately make.

Particularly amusingly, as the e-mail exchange suggests, specifically the rest of the e-mail from Beaudoin, McCaskill did snooker Oz and his staff, inviting Oz to testify in front of her panel based on his then recent efforts to shut down supplement manufacturers using his name to sell their product. Then she sandbagged Oz. Clearly, I was wrong to be concerned in the days leading up to the hearing.

Not surprisingly, Oz's staff is very concerned with Oz's public face, in particular the perception that he peddles snake oil, so much so that when Dr. Oz was scheduled to do a speaking engagement for pay at Caesar's Palace, in response to a request from Oz's agent Sandy Kliman that Sony use Oz's Facebook page to publicize the event and "drive ticket sales," Sheraton Kalouria, chief marketing officer at Sony Pictures Television, wrote:

We feel we should not give the media who looks at Oz like snake oil salesman right now any fodder to further this perception.

He's [Sandy Kliman] been told no. Is going to call me tomorrow to ask we reconsider.

Ouch. That one's going to leave a mark.

Make no mistake about it. Dr. Oz has devolved from a brilliant and promising young academic surgeon 25 years ago into what he is today: America's quack. Even the leadership at Sony seems to realize this.

More like this

I've never made it much of a secret that I don't much like "America's doctor," Dr. Mehmet Oz. Just enter his name into the search box of this blog, and you'll find quite a few posts in which I deconstruct some bit of quackery that Dr. Oz has promoted on his show, be it his promotion of faith…
Even if you're a relative newbie to this blog, you probably wouldn't be particularly surprised to learn that I don't much like Dr. Mehmet Oz, a.k.a. "America's Doctor." Of course, I refer to him as something slightly different, namely "America's Quack," for a whole host of reasons, including his…
If there's one doctor who irritates me possibly more than any other, it's got to be "America's Doctor," a.k.a. Dr. Mehmet Oz, thanks to The Dr. Oz Show. He's been an all too frequent topic on this blog and at my not-so-super-secret other blog. Of course, I refer to him as "America's quack," because…
I almost feel sorry for "America's Quack," Dr. Mehmet Oz. Well, not really. Remember last week when I took note of an upcoming Senate hearing, specifically a hearing on weight loss scams in front of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance, which is chaired by Senator…

Your link [complete text of the email] is broken. Can you please put the link up? Thank you.

It’s also worth noting for the record, that Harpo’s counsel is not in favor of Oz’ participating, especially when he’s not legally obligated to do so. They do not see the value of getting involved unless compelled by subpoena because there’s always the potential for downside (no matter how slight).

So Dr. Oz turns out to be another hubristic fool who ignored the advice of his well-paid legal counsel to STFU. (Harpo, for those who are unaware, is the name of Oprah's production company.) One of the things he should be paying his lawyers for is to warn him that something may not, from a legalistic point of view, be a good idea.

He’s been told no. Is going to call me tomorrow to ask we reconsider.

Even worse, he seems not to have learned from his mistake.

BTW, don't be too hard on yourself about fearing that the McCaskill committee would only be throwing softballs at Dr. Oz. Based on what we knew at the time, it was a reasonable fear which only proved baseless in hindsight--as a doctor, you know that you have to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. His counsel, by the same token, was right to fear that somebody on the committee would try to provide Dr. Oz with enough rope to hang himself. It's their job to worry about such things, and Ms. Beaudoin would have been correct to point out the possibility even if it hadn't happened.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

I find that Science Blogs has a problem loading, and I have to refresh several times to view any content. I was hoping that it was going to be looked at already but I guess not.

This is spectacular.
I imagine that many of Oz' most ardent followers buy into the alt med 'government-industry-media collusion' meme but here he courts big business whilst evading investigation by both the government and the media.

I've always been certain that one powerful way to de-activate woo-based mesmerism over an audience is to illustrate explicitly how much they, the critics of Big Business, are truly the same. Avenues toward this goal include:
showing their earnings, mansions**, connections to other businesses and markup on their branded products***

Oz may present himself as a champion of the People and their protector but he, like many others he disparages, is after money.

** g---gle "Dr Oz's house in Cliffside Park" for photos
*** if a product can be sold at a reduction of 75% fairly regularly, it can't have cost very much

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

Eric

I agree with the sentiment but Oz is no fool as Orac has shown.

Even as a presenter he is very successful. I would argue that Oprah is no fool either.

He now causes harm where he could have done good for sure. The latest reports of increased risk of cancer associated with high use of supplements shows this.

The latest reports of increased risk of cancer associated with high use of supplements shows this.

Let us narrow it down a bit, Fergus #6. A majority of the multivitamin supplements contain folic acid. Your statement only highlights the distasteful practice of introducing it into every flour and cerel grain since 1998, often when it is not required to do so. I guess, it is a marketing ploy for the consumer to see large amounts of folic acid on a product -- The reality is that it is probably an addative to be avoided, like too much sodium.

Isn't the reality that 1943 petroleum-derived *folic acid* is much more bioavailable than natural folates? Is it not that even unmetabolized folic acid downregulates absorption of levomefolic acid? Is it not that many in the populace are not able to convert folic acid because of being old or lacking the necessary genetics to do so? Is it not *scientific* that unmetabolized folic acid in one's system is believed to be carcinogenic?
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=unmetabolized+folic+acid&hl=en&as_s…

In the past, I've pointed out that it may be veiwed as selectively absorbing Cheetos as a child. Then the child is not hungry at dinner. I also equate this mandated ubiquitousness of the chemical to be Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron; Only it is the Life Expectancy and Quality General instead of the Handicapper General -- That those with poor nutrition generally expect a higher quality of life and longevity with the supplement but those with good nutrition have those values derated.
http://www.finallyequal.com/

With widespread consumption of processed foods and ubiquitous inclusion into just about everything* else, I'm convinced we're getting too much with all that entails.

*I note that a particular house brand of instant oatmeal contains a whopping 20% Folate (as folic acid); The house organic brand lists 2% folic acid (but does not show it included in the ingredients as this is the real folate) -- There is serious conflation and confusion on the two terms, especially on wikipedia.

These emails look to have been stolen (leaked is the same). Were these emails part of the giant hack against Sony that resulted in the closing of its movie about N. Korea? If not, what other source? I question the ethics of making use of material obtained in this way. If the emails were part of the public record, for example as evidence in a court case, then that would be a different matter.

the giant hack against Sony that resulted in the closing of its movie about N. Korea?

The 'Sony Hack' was an 'inside job' by a disgruntled employee but thx for continuing the superior cyber deception and promotion of that government approved and media-inflated decepticon; The sawed-off, George-Bush-like little yellow pointy head, Mr. Ill, Citizen #8.

Were these emails part of the giant hack against Sony that resulted in the closing of its movie about N. Korea?

Apparently; the press release is here.

Off-topic alert for this weekend: RFK Jr. is going to be on Bill Maher's show. Get ready for lots of anti-vaccine fun.

@Tim #7:

You are full of paranoid shit.

The FSA says that 13 million people in the UK do not eat enough folic acid, including many pregnant women - not least because half of pregnancies are unplanned. Research has shown that adding folic acid to bread via white and brown wheat flour would help cut neural tube defects in foetuses. Those defects are spina bifida, which causes paralysis; hydrocephalus, which leads to learning disabilities and sight problems; and anencephaly, which causes miscarriage or the baby's death soon after birth because its brain has failed to develop. Between 700 and 900 pregnancies each year in the UK are affected by neural tube defects. Most affected pregnancies end in a termination, but around 200 severely disabled babies are born as a result of the these defects each year.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

@Rich Woods, you have got Tim's modus operandi fully described in six words.

@Denice Walter - If only. I don't know how many times its been pointed out to the woo faithful that their gods are no better than the Big Pharma they decry. They turn an obliviously blind eye to the naturopath selling them the vitamins at the front counter (really expensive vitamins), to the docs like Burzynski with their multi-million dollar mansions, to Dr. Oz and his show and his multi-million dollar mansion. It is willful blindness. They will castigate people working for the CDC who are government employees, not fantastically well paid (I know you won't find any with a mansion) as shills raking in corporate bucks (and again I am left to wonder why my check keeps getting lost in the mail) while the woos are demonstrably cashing in and getting a pass. I am not sure they can be educated about it. If they don't get the distinction that the MD isn't selling them drugs at the front counter but the naturopath is selling them supplements and put the 2 and 2 together. Or maybe they think every doctor has a giant mansion. If that is the case maybe it would help to educate them but again, I doubt it.

O.K. Rich Woods #12. Think of the children. No, really; Why don't you?

“Considering the increasing amount of folic acid consumed during pregnancy through fortified foods, multivitamin pills and supplements, the search for a safe upper dose of folic acid is urgently needed”.

Taking too much folic acid while pregnant may put daughters at risk of diabetes and obesityhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150210083651.htm

Not to mention cancer and cognitive deficiency.. But, I think you already knew that. I wonder why there is such small headroom between RDA and upper tolerable intake for folic acid but it there is not one for the natural forms of folate?

The UL for folate refers to only synthetic folate, as no health risks have been associated with high intake of folate from food sources...

...70–80% of the population have detectable levels of unmetabolized folic acid in their blood and high intakes can accelerate the growth of preneoplasmic lesions...

...In October 2006, the Australian press claimed that U.S. regulations requiring fortification of grain products were being interpreted as disallowing fortification in non-grain products, specifically Vegemite (an Australian yeast extract containing folate). The FDA later said the report was inaccurate, and no ban or other action was being taken against Vegemite.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid

Why the confusion and confiscation over Vegemite and 'fortification'? Spent brewer's yeast is already the very highest in natural folate.

Well, there is no longer Vegemite confusion -- The name belongs to Kraft now, is fortified, and just as yummy and nutritious as all the other GMO crap they pump out.

O.K. Rich Woods #12. Think of the children. No, really; Why don't you?

“Considering the increasing amount of folic acid consumed during pregnancy through fortified foods, multivitamin pills and supplements, the search for a safe upper dose of folic acid is urgently needed”.

Taking too much folic acid while pregnant may put daughters at risk of diabetes and obesity
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150210083651.htm

Not to mention cancer and cognitive deficiency.. But, I think you already knew that. I wonder why there is such small headroom between RDA and upper tolerable intake for folic acid but it there is not one for the natural forms of folate?

The UL for folate refers to only synthetic folate, as no health risks have been associated with high intake of folate from food sources...

...70–80% of the population have detectable levels of unmetabolized folic acid in their blood and high intakes can accelerate the growth of preneoplasmic lesions...

...In October 2006, the Australian press claimed that U.S. regulations requiring fortification of grain products were being interpreted as disallowing fortification in non-grain products, specifically Vegemite (an Australian yeast extract containing folate). The FDA later said the report was inaccurate, and no ban or other action was being taken against Vegemite.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid

Why the confusion and confiscation over Vegemite and 'fortification'? Spent brewer's yeast is already the very highest in natural folate.

Well, there is no longer Vegemite confusion -- The name belongs to Kraft now, is fortified, and just as yummy and nutritious as all the other GMO crap they pump out.

@ Kiiri:

Unfortunately, you may be right. In fact, followers may mistake vast wealth for being correct and thus, well-deserved.

But I think we should mention it anyway. It may affect s few of the faithful or those on the fence.

One reason I think that it may have efficacy against woo-meisters is because two I follow make a great ruckus over their charitable endeavors ( Adams and Null). They often counsel for free; they give away products; they assist the poor or homeless; they provide free information. After his Ecuadorian adventure ( his hacienda and ' food forest' were up for sale), Mike has kept photos of his US abode off the 'net and describes it as being quite unattractive.

So they want to appear successful but they also try to show that it means so little to them that they give much of it away.
-btw- Mike has a charity that gives
' educational' material to school children. Null has at least two charities registered around the US. A nutrition 'institute' and a veterans' charity ( NY, NY; Mineola, Texas).

They also communicate how hard they work.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

I don't know if this have ever been pondered, but isn't Scrubs more accurate to medicine than the Dr Oz show?

I know, right. Mind blown.

just as yummy and nutritious as all the other GMO crap they pump out.

I think I just understood something which was puzzling m in any debate about GM food, i.e. the apparent lack of connection between the opponents' arguments and reality.

They use "GMO" to mean "any processed food I don't like".
Okay. Got it.
That's why they see GMO or chemicals where there isn't any.
Got it.

More seriously, I'm fed up with the hypocrisy of the anti-GMO crowd who complaint about non-existent chemicals (again, defining chemicals as "plant-produced stuff I don't like") while at the same time looking for their next pipe of pot or their organic wine - both full of real neurotoxins.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

Actually, pot hasn't conclusively been found to be neurotoxic, and I don't think it will be, but alcohol definitely is.

Pot, especially when over-used, can, however, contribute to a certain... paranoia.

Tim.

Folic acid supplementation of bread products was a public health measure, not a marketing ploy.

Adding folic acid to grain products has reduced the incidence of neural tube defects and anencephaly by 26%:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5317a3.htm

Explain to me again how that is a bad thing?

By Captian_a (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

Fergus #6 brought it to mind, Captian_a #20;

The latest reports of increased risk of cancer associated with high use of supplements shows this.

I've pointed out that folic acid is not a natural folate and that overingestion of it may be bad and point out that it is not straightforward to avoid the additive-- How is this different from overingestion of certain Centrums?

Incidentally, I *think* they know longer give pregnant women folic acid but folate since ~2010. Maybe it is only because it is much more expensive.

It is puzzling why it is so ubiquitous where it does not need be -- One might conclude that it is now seen as a marketing ploy riding on the coattails of all the saved baby spines. Regardless, invocation of the terrible malady certainly seems the easy fallback position for so many who glibly poo-poo objection or concern.

1998. Nineteen hundred and ninety eight. Folic acid, Roundup, reduction of thymerisol... I wonder if the two former ones hid a decline from the latter one?

an aside, UV exposure found to lower folate...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321095240.htm

I'd recommend laying off the folic acid and grab the prescription Deplin™ as that is all that will be available after Merck & Cie wins another lawsuit.

The nutritional ingredient at issue in this litigation is a dietary ingredient called Folate, which is a B vitamin that helps the body make new cells. Folate is considered a critical supplement for prenatal health, and low folate intake is associated with various vascular, ocular, neurological and skeletal disorders, and may pose a serious risk to individuals with diabetes. While folate does not occur naturally in large quantities it can be found in leafy green vegetables, whole grains, citrus fruits, and organ meats. Tetrahydrofolates are the predominant naturally occurring forms of folate, and in particular, the tetrahydrofolate 5–methyltetrahydrofolic acid (abbreviated as “5–MTHF”) is one of the predominant naturally occurring folate forms

Merc was the first company to manufacture a pure and stable diastereoisomer of L–5–MTHF, a 6S Isomer Product, as a commercial source. Merck’s development of Metafolin was the culmination of decades of research and the investment of tens of millions of dollars. Metafolin is one of Merck’s most important products.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-2nd-circuit/1673961.html

Ha! There are those out amongst the tubes that decry Big Pharma *real* folate as nothing more than an expensify folic acid conspiracy.

concerns have been raised about the potentially untoward effects of unmetabolized synthetic folic acid with regard to cancer, depression, and cognitive impairment. With all these concerns, early data suggest supplementation with l-methylfolate rather than folic acid may mitigate these risks.

http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3218540/

But... But.. The guvmint is putting fluoride in our water for mind control! And folic acid to kill the weak! And don't get me started about how they are forcing GMOs down our throats! Chemicals! Ahh huh!

Folic acid supplementation of bread products was a public health measure, not a marketing ploy.

I'm reminded of the MDC mamma who gave her kid a goiter by insisting on magic Druid salt.

I remember learning about anencephaly just after finishing my first year of grad school, when I was house-sitting for my friend Olga and read in some book that was laying out about "babies born without brains." I had never known that that was something that could happen, so I looked it up on the interwebs. All I can say is that if a little folic acid can prevent such things from occurring, that's great.

Dr Oz is small potatoes compared to Monsanto-
Monsanto: Corporate Rap Sheet

Color me shocked to find that whitewashing Schmeiser is right where one would expect it to be.

Cherry-picker

#24 How much are you paid and by whom?

Oh look, the village f*cking idiot's back.

ken@23
Non sequitur. Whether or not Monsanto is as evil as you think it is has zero bearing on a discussion about Dr. Oz.

@26
And wasting no time with the shill gambit here, huh ken? Ironic how that's your go to ad hominem against science advocates given that this very article demonstrates just how bad the problem is on the alt side.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

Cherry-picker

I take it from this remark that you concede that poor, poor Percy is every bit the fraud that every level of the Canadian court system found him to be.

I don't need to shore up my ego by joining in witch hunts and scapegoating. I think you are all (Narad, JP, PgP )- though highly intelligent in the IQ sense- abusive and narcissistic. I've watched Dr Oz and I think you are all exaggerating as to his effects on the public. The amount of prescription drug abuse is an epidemic according to the CDC. How many overdoses and suicides? That's more important than Dr. Oz's TV show. You are all big fails in emotional intelligence. I'm 72, in the best of health- (not all genetic) and know "snake oil" and "snakes"
I linked the above about Monsanto- read the history of PCBs finally declared carcinogenic by the EPA which Monsanto refused to stop producing.

ken@30

I don’t need to shore up my ego by joining in witch hunts and scapegoating.

...
ken@26

#24 How much are you paid and by whom?

Hmmm...

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

I think you are all (Narad, JP, PgP )- though highly intelligent in the IQ sense- abusive and narcissistic. ... You are all big fails in emotional intelligence.

Me? Narcissistic? No more than the average person, I don't think, and probably less. Actually, I'm one of the nicer people you could ever come across - I even suffer fools relatively gladly, as long as they aren't also a**holes. Speaking of emotional intelligence, I could link to a couple of pretty spectacular fails in that department on your part. Would you like that? I mean, it kind of feels like rubbing a dog's nose in its own sh*t - sort of cruel, considering the creature's limited intelligence, and probably not all that effective. I figure it might just alert you to the nature of your own droppings here, though, although at this point that's starting to seem unlikely.

Incidentally, if you find the milieu here so "abusive," cupcake, why do you keep coming back?

Actually, now that I think about it, that's not so much witch hunting or scapegoating as it is good old ad homineming. Seal clubbing maybe?

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

ken@30

The amount of prescription drug abuse is an epidemic according to the CDC. How many overdoses and suicides? That’s more important than Dr. Oz’s TV show.

Non sequitur.

You are all big fails in emotional intelligence.

No you.
I’m 72, in the best of health- (not all genetic) and know “snake oil” and “snakes”
Non sequitur. Interesting though. You don't often see antivaxxers who lived through VPD epidemics.

I linked the above about Monsanto- read the history of PCBs finally declared carcinogenic by the EPA which Monsanto refused to stop producing.

Nooooon sequituuur. Seriously. What point are you trying to make? Chemicals and Monsanto are bad so Dr. Oz isn't? I suppose trying to tease out a coherent train of thought from your comments is an exercise in futility but an interesting one (in moderation) nonetheless.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink
The amount of prescription drug abuse is an epidemic according to the CDC. How many overdoses and suicides? That’s more important than Dr. Oz’s TV show.

Non sequitur.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with AoA's (IIRC) "Benedetta," who blames drug abuse on vaccines.

The point - Orac is wasting his time and will be ineffective in the many points he is trying to make to an audience other than one already biased. It's the same old, same old commentators who love the comraderie of displaying their superior intelligence and snarky repartee. I read the blog to learn new info. I'm a sucessful artist attempting to regain what's left of my left (brain) Here's a real opening for you- JP -can't you be more original in your name calling?
You are so "cute' JP.

Enjoy your GMOs- especially the Bacillus thuringiensis corn.
brought to you by "YOUR HEALTH FIRST" corp Monsanto.

ken's self-lauding of his emotional intelligence reminds me that a deconstruction of the whole concept of EI might be overdue. And in fact the W_pedia entry is pretty good with questioning of its objective basis.
A cynic might believe that it was invented as a sort of consolation prize for those who don't make it in the IQ department.

By Peter Dugdale (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

Enjoy your GMOs- especially the Bacillus thuringiensis corn.

Oh, I swee [sic]: it's time to make everybody else provide the deranged NO IT'S COMPLETELY DIFFERENT rant.

I read the blog to learn new info.

You keep telling yourself that, Ken.

Fergus @6:

The latest reports of increased risk of cancer associated with high use of supplements shows this.

Trouble is that each study finds something different... one trial implicates carotenes in lung cancer. Another trial implicates folic acid in colon cancer. A Swedish group implicated folic acid in breast cancer. But if none of these findings can be replicated from one study to the next, then it's all junk science.
The news media and aggregation sites are sounding off about "a new meta-analysis", but it turns out to be a feckin' press release from the U of Col publicising a talk that Byers gave to the AACR, in which he simply re-hashed all the previous, unreplicable findings. Meaningless click-bait.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

a deconstruction of the whole concept of EI might be overdue

It provided Coleman with a decent career, so not a total waste.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

The amount of prescription drug abuse is an epidemic according to the CDC. How many overdoses and suicides? That’s more important than Dr. Oz’s TV show.

The point – Orac is wasting his time and will be ineffective in the many points he is trying to make to an audience other than one already biased.

If only there were some way of "blogging" whereby ken could promote these higher-priority issues to a wider audience, instead of simply bruiting them about in a confined, hostile milieu.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

Here’s a real opening for you- JP -can’t you be more original in your name calling?
You are so “cute’ JP.

Ooh, can I get in? I'm thinking along the lines of "Ken: It's what's for dinner."

HDB : your deconstruction of the U of Col reports is highly appreciated.

By Peter Dugdale (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

@ken

Need we all remind you what the title of the blog is?
And how you are so deserving of such?

your deconstruction of the U of Col reports

They might have something useful for all I know, but there is no published paper, only the press release for Byers' talk.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

@ ken

Enjoy your GMOs- especially the Bacillus thuringiensis corn.

After every storm, you are breathing Bacillus thuringiensis by the mouthful, you d!mwit (because the rain made aerosols out of the dirt). It's a very common dirt bacterium.

Unless you are the hidden daughter of Peter Parker and the Wasp woman, the Bt toxin cannot do anything to you. Its target is insects' guts.
Plus, as Narad pointed out, the Bt toxin has been used by the wheelbarrow in organic farming for more than a decade. So please reconcile this.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

@ ken

Fine. Go sue Monsanto.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

Actually, no.

I read the GMwatch article.
Explain to me how spreading the bacterium extract on cultures and letting the excess decompose is not the same as putting it everywhere in the environment in sublethal doses.

Also, it is normally possible to address protein production in specific parts of the plant. That's what was done with the Golden rice: vit A production, which normally is restricted to the rice stem, has been tweaked to be expressed in the rice grains as well.
Again, sue Monsanto if they did a sloppy job of it.

Don't look at me, I'm an academic.

With your shenanigans, you luddite lot only managed to strengthen Monsanto's monopoly on GMOs.
After having their fields destroyed one time too many, small companies and academics labs in my country and everywhere else just shut down or went onto something else than GMOs. Less concurrence and motivation to do good jobs for the big 6 Ag businesses.

Happy to be a Monsanto shill, ken?

By Helianthus (not verified) on 21 Apr 2015 #permalink

@46 herr doktor bimler

I tend to agree with you about the state of prescribing and the quality of evidence for that prescribing. However we are talking about Dr Oz.

All your points can be directed at him in spades, in as much as there is often no evidence for his claims, as opposed to maybe poor evidence for some "medical" prescribing. Ken is right when he says Orac struggles to change anything using just a blog, he does not have the coverage of Dr Oz backed up by Oprah. He speaks to millions and therefore if even a small percentage believe him they could be harmed by his hyperbole.

Tim,

It is puzzling why it is so ubiquitous where it does not need be — One might conclude that it is now seen as a marketing ploy riding on the coattails of all the saved baby spines. Regardless, invocation of the terrible malady certainly seems the easy fallback position for so many who glibly poo-poo objection or concern.

I know the impact of severe spina bifida from personal experience; it's devastating. Why would we want more of this just to assuage your ill-educated and paranoid anxieties? You remind me of antivaxxers who complain that vaccines are promoted by warning people of the effects of VPDs.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 22 Apr 2015 #permalink

@46 herr doktor bimler
I tend to agree with you about the state of prescribing and the quality of evidence for that prescribing. However we are talking about Dr Oz.

Pardon? Maybe someone else mentioned prescribing.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 Apr 2015 #permalink

Sorry it was Ken.

And the line of attack that Dr. Oz plans to take has been revealed:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/04/dr-oz-stands-up-for-right-…

No surprises, actually. Oz is going to invoke freedom of speech and academic freedom to keep "fighting for you," vowing he will "not be silenced." He'll also attack Dr. Miller and the ACSH as Monsanto shills, which isn't too hard to do, given that the ACSH is arguably an industry shill.

Ka-ching! The money quote: " We know this issue hurts our brand..."

"This issue" being "fraud," and "our brand" being none other than the Wizard named Oz. That quote needs to go viral.

A Wikileaks dump is an absolute goldmine, especially because the very fact that it came through Wikileaks immediately has instant high credibility with a decent plurality of the American public, especially those who are politically active. And I say this as someone who does not like Wikileaks or Mr. Assange, and believes they have done considerable harm to national security (and don't get me started on Mr. Snowden).

So do take full advantage of the Wikileaks dump while it's still fresh, and you will get traction in places that translate to votes.

Whether the Sony material was "stolen" is irrelevant to the question of whether it will be useful in making activists more aware of Oz' "activities." If it works and you're not committing a crime to refer to it and quote it, just do it.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 22 Apr 2015 #permalink

And folic acid to kill the weak!

TIMMY! #24, It seems there are some of those in Timville who need reminding that the folic acid serves more to weaken the strong. They seem pretty hip on the rest of their ideology.

All I can say is that if a little folic acid can prevent such things from occurring, that’s great.

There ya go, JP #26. Naa, I know you would not have been so glib if you had seen my post first; I guess Orac was to busy approving 'ken' all night. I do almost think 'he' is an automated timeslot fill fallguy kinda like an infomercial when the blinky light box help has left the studio.

Man, I guess there is no getting off 'automatic moderate' around here.

Krebiozen #58 -- That is, at least, less glib. Sorry, man.

#62 #43 I'm a woman. Interesting article but I never thought women were more emotionally intelligent. Loved being in class with boys in high school-they were sooo smart and interesting. Living in NY I am amazed that women spend $600+ for Manolo Blahnik shoes.

it’s time to make everybody else provide the deranged NO IT’S COMPLETELY DIFFERENT rant.

O.K., Narad #44. Would you concede that it is/would be completely different in the unlikely likely event that our bodies start to incorporate those proteins coded to squirt out the toxin??

In the unlikely event that the plane should loose all four engines simultaneously, we are most likely going to crash into the ground like a f**k'n dart.</blockquote. -- Billy Connolly

Well, ken #67,
Some personna I admired once described a 'dike' as a woman in comfortable shoes.

IDK, it could have been Keith Bell.

Would you concede that it is/would be completely different in the likely event that our bodies start to incorporate those proteins coded to squirt out the toxin??

We should also consider the likely event of developing spinnerets and wall-climbing skills after being bitten by radioactive spiders and incorporating the proteins coded to squirt out silk.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 Apr 2015 #permalink

Well, herr doktor bimler #70,
I do miss my fingernails and teeth, for what it is worth.

The point – Orac is wasting his time and will be ineffective in the many points he is trying to make to an audience other than one already biased.

The point - this is Orac's blog and he can post what he damn well pleases! Don't like it? Tough luck!

tiM
April 22, 2015

The changing pseudonyms ("Tim," "TIm," "Timmeh," and now "tiM") are a nuisance, BTW.

I do miss my fingernails and teeth, for what it is worth.

Always check your matter transmitter for house-flies before use.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Apr 2015 #permalink
Would you concede that it is/would be completely different in the likely event that our bodies start to incorporate those proteins coded to squirt out the toxin??

We should also consider the likely event of developing spinnerets and wall-climbing skills after being bitten by radioactive spiders and incorporating the proteins coded to squirt out silk.

Killing weeds on contact might be the lamest superpower ever.

By justthestats (not verified) on 24 Apr 2015 #permalink

Killing weeds on contact might be the lamest superpower ever.

But a veritable boon for the super gardener.

But... The BT toxin melts insect guts; It occurs to me that it is more a power for a supervillain who hates entomologists -- And their precious little pollinators to.

If absorbing and incorporating those proteins coded to squirt out the toxin was so easy, my body would be generating its own alkaloids by now.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Apr 2015 #permalink

Killing weeds on contact might be the lamest superpower ever.

But a veritable boon for the super gardener.

But would such power vanquish the Giant Hogweed?

Answer: possibly, if the gardener strikes by night. They are defenseless. They must have the sun to photosensitize their venom. Still they're invincible - still they're immune to all our herbicidal battering!

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2015 #permalink

I mostly only hate lepidopterologists. Mostly.

Unlike many pesticides, the Bt-corn has been shown to have no effect on many "nontarget" organisms -- pollinators such as honeybees or beneficial predators of pests like ladybugs. But the Bt-modified corn produces pollen containing crystalline endotoxin from the bacterium genes. When this corn pollen is dispersed by the wind, it lands on other plants, including milkweed, the exclusive food of monarch caterpillars and commonly found around cornfields.

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/1999/04/toxic-pollen-bt-corn-can-ki…

#80: I may have to pull it out of my stack of dusty LPs and give it another listen. 44 years passes so quickly. Actually I became aware of it years later, but still. I'd link to the album cover but some might be offended by the image.