Dr. Oz Flip-Flops as High-Profile Attacks on Organic Food Intensify

Via Alternet and GlobalPossibilites.org:

Less than two months after telling millions of TV viewers that organic food is “worth the investment,” America’s most popular TV doctor is singing a different tune. In the December issue of Time magazine, Dr. Oz described organic foodies as “elitist” – part of the 1% – and claimed that conventional foods are nutritionally equivalent to organic foods. According to Dr. Oz:

The rise of foodie culture over the past decade has venerated all things small-batch, local-farm and organic – all with premium price tags. But let’s be clear: you don’t need to eat like the 1% to eat healthily.

Suddenly, the pesticides Dr. Oz was so concerned about a couple of months ago, the ones he warned viewers were “one of the greatest threats to your kids’ health,” no longer matter. What’s more, if you’re spending extra money to avoid them, you’re a food snob – instead of a responsible, health-conscious parent.

Dr. Oz’s flip-flop is just the latest in a series of highly-publicized mass media attacks on organic food and farming. It follows on the heels of a much-ballyhooed, controversial Stanford University study, released in September. The Stanford study concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional – and far less expensive – counterparts.

Ironically, it was this same study that Dr. Oz bashed on his October 19 television show for ignoring the obvious: Conventional food is loaded with toxic pesticides, which makes it not only less healthful, but downright dangerous. Especially for children.

At a time when the health of Americans is rapidly deteriorating – skyrocketing obesity, childhood diabetes, ever-increasing cases of asthma, allergies, autism, and cancer – there appears to be a concerted and insidious effort to smear organics, to convince consumers that there’s no connection between their poor health and the low-grade chemical food on their plates. Food routinely grown in nutrient-deficient soil, sprayed with toxic pesticides, pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, and genetically modified in Monsanto’s laboratories.

Instead, anti-organic forces are pushing the message that cheaper food is better for your wallet. And just fine for your health. Both the Stanford Study and Dr. Oz’s Time article focus on cost to consumers at the checkout counter. Neither addresses the long-term cost of poor health caused by toxic chemicals, or the long-term cost to the planet of chemical-intensive, climate-disruptive, unsustainable agricultural practices.

That Stanford study, which was highlighted by major media outlets including the New York Times , Associated Press, and CBS News, didn’t address pesticides and their proven link to health problems, especially in children. It didn’t address waterways polluted by tons of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The study was limited to fruits and vegetables, so it didn’t have to address the growing public health crisis of antibiotics and hormone residues in meat and dairy, nor the millions of annual food poisoning cases attributed to filthy meat and animal products coming out of the nation’s factory farm feedlots and slaughterhouses.

The Stanford study also completely ignored the horrendous damage to the environment by non-organic industrial farms and feedlots, including the devastating consequences to the planet of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions from chemical fertilizers and huge factory farm operations. Recent statistics indicate that the direct (greenhouse gas pollution) and indirect (tropical deforestation) impacts of industrial food and farms are the largest contributor to global warming.

What the Stanford study did, thanks to a huge public relations push, was spread the message that organic fruits and vegetables are expensive, and conventional fruits and vegetables are just as good but cheaper. No doubt, the authors hope that consumers will carry over that message from fruits and vegetables, to all things organic.

It’s no surprise that the Stanford study would focus on cost. As it turns out, the study was produced by Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, which gets millions in funding from agribusiness giant Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural business enterprise, and foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which have deep ties to agricultural chemical and biotechnology corporations like Monsanto. These giant corporations are all part of the same cabal that contributed at least half of the $46 million spent between October 1 and November 6 to defeat Prop 37 , the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. Just a coincidence that the Stanford study and the mass media propaganda barrage that accompanied it was released during the election season, when voters were still weighing their options on the high-profile California GMO labeling law that was making national headlines?

The motives behind the Stanford study and the Freeman Spogli Institute are obvious. What caused Dr. Oz to flip-flop is anyone’s guess – and just might make for a good story someday. Informed sources behind the scenes have told us that Dr. Oz is under tremendous pressure from the biotech industry after airing a segment earlier this fall that supported GMO labeling. He’s also getting pressure from Big Pharma and federal regulatory agencies for his previous exposures of industry malpractices.

Read more here.

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  • hagbard celine

    Well first off all of these articles saying “organic food may now be healthier than conventional food” are innaccurate and missing the point. Regardless of whether or not its more nutritious (and it probably is, i mean it physically looks much healthier and even tastes very different in many cases- and this is coming from someone who eats almost all fruits and vegetables..)

    the point is that ITS NOT FUCKING SPRAYED WITH CHEMICALS DESIGNED TO KILL LIVING SYSTEMS. Why on earth do people think injesting pesticides, insecticied, herbicides, and artificial hormones is a good idea and “just as healthy” as not eating them?

    Its fucking insanity driven by corporate interests

    Read this book: http://www.leftinthedark.org.uk/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kurt-Webb/53801531 Kurt Webb

    Don’t listen to medical doctors about nutrition. They prescribe medicine, not diet changes.

    • kowalityjesus

      Doctors and surgeons have good salaries but they don’t lead appealing lives. A lack of time is so dreadful for ones inherent nobility and the wholesomeness of one’s general knowledge.

      Yet there is an appeal for ‘whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.’ Matthew 21:28

      • David Howe

        …whatever that means

        • kowalityjesus

          …whatever that means

    • David Howe

      Firstly, this is false. Physicians regularly recommend dietary changes. They don’t recommend, however, diet for the cure of disease because it has no efficacy. You can’t cure a strep infection with kale juice; you need antibiotics or you will die of the infection (and give it to others along the way).

      The medicine is the cure. It is not abuse. I don’t understand how people like you can get things so profoundly, so appallingly, so dangerously backward.

      • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

        Sounds like you drink a lot of Kool Aide.

        • David Howe

          Sounds like you’re kind of a dick

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            incidentally you can reverse diseases like hypertension and diabetes with diet alone , but not diet most mainstream drug peddlers…cough..I mean doctors recommend.

            The diets they recommend, like lots of whole grain bread, actually keeps the symptoms going.

          • David Howe

            If you’re lucky, you may indeed reverse your hypertension or diabetes. I’m glad this is so. In fact, this is the first thing most doctor’s prescribe.

            Very often, however, these conditions cannot be treated or cured with diet. (There’s no cure for diabetes, incidentally. It can, however, be managed.)

            Having said that I’m sorry I said it sounded like you’re kind of a dick. You are exactly a dick and there is no doubt about that.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman
          • David Howe

            really? What a child you are

      • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

        “The medicine is the cure. It is not abuse.”

        In an ideal world, yes. But that blanket statement only holds if all “medicine men” are 100% on the level. Given the obvious shortcomings inherent in human nature, that’s virtually impossible.

  • alizardx

    What do the CEOs of the companies pushing the “organics=BAD” message eat at home?

    Though I’ll admit that I’ve always wanted to see a food display at a supermarket prominently labeled INORGANIC.

  • Kelly Stevens

    Dr Oz lost credibility some time ago. I’d like to see a financial disclosure to know if his recommendations are self serving or truly independent.

    • David Howe

      My solution to the Dr. Oz problem is to ignore Dr. Oz.

  • BuzzCoastin

    One of the great things about living outside Der Homeland for a long time is one gets disconnected from Homeland Kulture. I have no idea who this guy is or why anyone with half a brain would listen to him.

    On the other hand, the monoculture methods presently used to grow organic & non-organic foods are not sustainable. So regardless of which is more nutritious, it becomes a moot point during a major oil or climate crisis.

    • Godozo

      He was big on Oprah.

      Makes me wonder if he’s one of these disinfo agents set up to explode at a certain time (like now?)

      • David Howe

        it’s not a conspiracy. it’s show business

    • David Howe

      People with half a brain ….that’s the problem.

  • eat it

    Whole foods around here is def elitist, but trader joes which is a block away is more balanced IMO.

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Trader Joe’s is Da Bomb! and looks like its mostly upper middle class people that shop there. I don’t think lower income people realize its so cheap.

  • Moria

    The problem with Dr. Oz is that he flip flops all the time. If you are a regular viewer you know he constantly gives contradicting info. He & his staff seem to use no critical thinking. Whatever the latest study says on any subject, he presents that info to the audience as fact from within a vacuum. He never compares the results to findings from other studies. He never analyses who performed the study & what its limitations are. Actually he rarely even discusses the theories certain findings are based on. Same with guest. He presents their particular point of view as fact even if a guest the previous week said the opposite. He seems educated & intelligent but I’ve lost much respect for him just for this. Maybe he’s a fraud. Maybe he’s dumbing down the information for the masses. But it’s very disappointing.

    • David Howe

      you should be ashamed of being a regular viewer ;)

  • davakins

    What a bunch of crap! Eat right, exercise and die anyway. You drive your fucking car to the store (which is loaded with cancer causing plastic new car smell) and bitch about the pesticide. The problem is that the food has to come from the store. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something growing in your yard, if you have one? Or is your diet brown and white, which if it is then don’t bother worrying about finding organic bologna or ramen, just sayin’…

  • mmazzi

    This is all a well-timed DIVERSION!!!! Yes, I’m upset with Dr. Oz’s complete 180 degree turn. However, I just discovered that Monsanto and big ag are in the middle of a sneak attack that will put them ABOVE THE LAW!!!!

    Please check out this article and link to Organic Consumers Association. With just a few clicks, you can sign a letter that will be sent to your congressional rep and both senators. You just need to enter your zip code (and possibly your address if you’re in a zip that is split between districts). This will take less time than reading this message.

    PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS LINK AND SHARE IT ON ALL THE BLOGS… share it not just with people who care about saving our food supply, but also anybody who believes that no corporation should be above the law and that judges should NOT be prevented from protecting consumers and the environment.

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/help-stop-the-monsanto-end-of-year-sneak-attack/

  • Guest

    This is all a well-timed DIVERSION!!!! Yes, I’m upset with Dr. Oz’s complete 180 degree turn. However, I just discovered that Monsanto and big ag are in the middle of a sneak attack that will put them ABOVE THE LAW!!!!

    Please check out this article and link to Organic Consumers Association. With just a few clicks, you can sign a letter that will be sent to your congressional rep and both senators. You just need to enter your zip code (and possibly your address if you’re in a zip that is split between districts). This will take less time than reading this message.

    PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS LINK AND SHARE IT ON ALL THE BLOGS… share it not just with people who care about saving our food supply, but also anybody who believes that no corporation should be above the law and that judges should NOT be prevented from protecting consumers and the environment.

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/help-stop-the-monsanto-end-of-year-sneak-attack/