Comedian John Oliver has an absolutely blistering segment (see below) on Dr. Oz in which he skewers the physician huckster.
The video includes incredibly telling Oz testimony before Congress in which the celebrity doctor seems frankly pretty pathetic and cannot answer even simple questions about his selling of arguably snake oil on his show.
Oz likes to use words like “magic” when grossly hyping alternative medicine on his show as though he were the Wizard of Oz or something, but before Congress you could say he wasn’t in Kansas (the safe environment of his show) anymore.
How did a smart, caring physician get so far removed from evidence-based medicine that he is leading millions of his viewers astray? It’s hard to say. Also Dr. Oz claims that he makes no money from the products that he pitches on his show so one has to wonder what the heck is his motivation for being so extreme on his show? Given his talents and his audience he has the power to do so much good via education, but mostly this doesn’t happen. Is there any hope he’ll turn it around to be more positive? I doubt it.
Making it all the more interesting from our stem cell-centric universal view is that while revealing Dr. Oz for what he really is, Oliver refers to the famous “Vacanti mouse” (which had a sort of engineered human ear-like thingy grown on its back) created some years ago in the lab of Charles Vacanti, of more recent STAP cell fame.
At least that was my interpretation of what Oliver said.
Watch starting right around the 3:00 time point in the video for this reference when Oliver invokes the concept of a mouse support group (see video screenshot image at left) in which one of the mice says:
“I have an ear growing out of my F’ing back!”
Sounds like the Vacanti Mouse to me. I don’t know of a whole lot of mice with ears growing on their backs.
Who knew that there would be some link, no matter how indirect, between STAP cells and Dr. Oz?
You can read about how Dr. Oz has been completely wrong about stem cells in the past in a rather dramatic way on Oprah’s old show and my thoughts on that here.