Posted by Gary Schwitzer in Health care journalism
Mehmet Oz, MD, the Columbia University thoracic surgeon who gained fame first in books and more recently with his syndicated television show, has run afoul of the Food and Drug Administration with his report about levels of arsenic in popular brands of apple juice.
The FDA called the report “irresponsible and misleading” and another TV doc, ABC’s Richard Besser, MD, accused Oz of fear-mongering.
“I’m very proud of Dr. Oz for his report today on potentially dangerous levels of arsenic found in certain brands of apple juice, which may classify some of them as unsuitable for consumption. He’s sounding the alarm for an issue that I believe needs to be brought to attention.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but just look at the growing levels of learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other diseases that seem so prevalent today as compared to decades ago.”
Hmmm. if that’s NOT alarmist, what would qualify?
ADDENDUM: Meantime, since Dr. Manny drew our attention to Fox News’ health news coverage, their site today posted “Student Makes Breast Cancer Breakthrough.” Excerpt:
“A Welsh student made a scientific breakthrough which could stop people dying from breast cancer by halting the spread of the disease.” No independent source is interviewed. Only in the last line does the story say that eventually the researchers plan to try the method on “breast cancer in the body.”
Wouldn’t it be prudent to refrain from calling something a “breakthrough which could stop people dying from breast cancer” until it’s actually been tried in people?!?
Alarmist before, sensational now.
Is that the health news equivalent of fair and balanced?