Dr. Oz's About Face

12/7/2012 10:39 AM


Just two short months after the Dr. Oz Show did a segment titled, “Are Pesticides the Greatest Risk to Your Kids’ Health,” Dr. Mehmet Oz seems to have done an about face.  In this week’s Time Magazine, Dr. Oz authored an editorial where he takes a position very much in alignment with the Alliance for Food and Farming’s “Scared Fat” report. 

Among the statements in his editorial:  “After several years of research and experience, I have come to an encouraging conclusion:  the American food supply is abundant, nutritionally sound, affordable and, with a few simple considerations, comparable to the most elite organic diets.  Save the cash; the 99% diet can be good for you.”  Dr. Oz also discusses the importance of “dispelling myths” and that he considers it a “public-health service” and “critical to improving our nation’s health” to communicate to mom’s trying to feed their families that non-organic, more affordable foods are healthy and nutritious.  He also expresses concern that consumers are becoming “dejected” and “alienated” by today’s foodie culture.

While this turnaround by Dr. Oz is surprising given the verbiage and rhetoric used during the recent Dr. Oz Show, we welcome it.  Maybe there was a realization that his show’s content was scaring consumers away from healthy and safe fruits and vegetables – the Scared Fat report certainly showed that. 

So there is hope.  Since we launched the safefruitsandveggies.com website, our goal was to provide consumers, especially moms, a place to go to find science-based, credible information about the safety of organic and conventional fruits and veggies.  It was time to counter the flood of misinformation perpetrated by activist groups that continually called into question the safety of produce.  Whether the activists are motivated by altruism or financial gain is irrelevant.  The result is the same – their words raise concern with little regard for the science.  Upon hearing those words, 10 percent of low income consumers say they will reduce their consumption of fruits and vegetables and another 10% say they don’t know what they should do.

At the Alliance, we embrace consumer choice, however, we also embrace informed choice.  As the activist groups clearly understand, instilling fear shuts down rationale communication and dialogue and inhibits our decision-making ability (again as evidenced by the Scared Fat report).  This is why the turnaround by Dr. Oz is so crucial in helping to ease these fears.  Dr. Oz  can be that calming voice which could open the door to a more reasonable dialogue so that consumers don’t feel fearful, dejected or alienated when making food choices.

Safefruitsandveggies.com provides a venue where consumers can go to learn, read and then choose what is best for their families.  It’s time for rationale, science based information, not fear, to lead the discussion about the safety of organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.  Don’t Moms deserve better?  Don't Moms deserve the truth?


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