Dr. Oz Pens Harsh Letter To Critics, Promises To Continue Pushing Alternative Medicine On Show

The world of daytime talk shows has always been one where hosts offer counsel to each episode’s guests. Whether it involves paternity questions on Maury or threeways with animals on Jerry Springer, the host is always the bearer of advice. But rarely do hosts come under fire as much as Dr. Mehmet Oz for his health-and-wellness series The Dr. Oz Show. But he hasn’t turned a deaf ear to his many critics, and he recently fired shots back at them in a defensive and take-no-prisoners essay, as well as a short section on Thursday’s episode.

In an exclusive piece in TIME, Dr. Oz responded to his most recent criticisms from Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons, as well as the British Medical Journal. Oz downplayed the backlash and took a few shots back at the authors of the Columbia report.

The lead author, Henry I. Miller, appears to have a history as a pro-biotech scientist, and was mentioned in early tobacco-industry litigation as a potential ally to industry. He also furthered the battle in California to block GMO labeling—a cause that I have been vocal about supporting. Another of the letter signees, Gilbert Ross, was found guilty after trial of 13 counts of fraud related to Medicaid. He is now executive director of American Council on Science and Health, a group that has reportedly received donations from big tobacco and food and agribusiness companies, among others. Another four of the 10 authors are also linked to this organization.

That mostly ended his offensive strike, and the rest was a balance between backing up his own angles on approaching science and medicine, and pointing out that his views aren’t in direct contrast to traditional medicine. He points out that he tries to help patients who are suffering from things like a lack of energy and moodiness, areas that conventional practitioners might not pay too much attention to, since those problems aren’t money makers for doctors.

As well, he says that while it’s true some of his methods haven’t been 100% proven through clinical trials, so haven’t many of the things the CDC and WHO stand behind. Dr. Oz is gonna Dr. Oz, and nobody is going to stop him, regardless of what kind of antagonism they throw at him. Here’s his clearest point of view on his own position.

It’s vital that I drive the following point home: My exploration of alternative medicine has never been intended to take the place of conventional medicine, but rather as additive. Critics often imply that any exploration of alternative methods means abandoning conventional approaches. It does not. In fact, many institutions like mine use the names “complementary” or “integrative” medicine, which is also appropriate.

In the end, it’s up to viewers and citizens to decide what we want to do with our bodies, and Dr. Oz also condones this. He just condones it on a TV where millions of people have access to his words.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.