Dr. Oz Promotions Based on Profits, Not Necessarily Science

It’s been a bad week for Dr. Oz: First a group of top doctors wrote to Columbia University Department of Surgery, calling Oz’s position as vice-chair “unacceptable” due to his “egregious lack of integrity” and “disdain for science and evidence-based medicine.” Now, leaked emails reveal that many of the health products and devices promoted by Dr. Oz on “The Doctor Oz Show” may be chosen based on business considerations, not merely their scientific merits.

As Vox reported, WikiLeaks recently released emails between executives at Sony and Dr. Oz and his staff that include suggestions by Oz that he could use his show to promote Sony’s fitness and health trackers. His emails focus on the business benefits….not the health or fitness benefits for his viewers.

There are also emails surrounding his infamous appearance before a Senate committee last year, in which he was taken to task by Senator Claire McKaskill (D-MO) for endorsing products even though “The scientific consensus is monolithic in being against you in terms of the efficacy of these products.” Oz’s staff and his bosses at Harpo were reluctant for Oz to testify even though he wasn’t compelled to do so.

Oz plans to push back against claims that he’s a snake oil salesman on his show this week. It’s unclear how he plans to justify his “quack treatments,” but we’ll be watching—and commenting on his defense.