Dr. Oz Redefines Ridiculous with Radioactive Expert

This isnt the first time weve suggested Dr. Oz use NFI as a resource to avoid embarrassingly out of touch segments like his latest on Fukushima and Fish:

February 12, 2014

Ms. C. Denise Beaudoin

Legal Counsel

ZoCo Productions, LLC

30 Rockefeller Plaza

43rd Floor

New York, NY 10012

Dear Ms. Beaudoin,

The National Fisheries Institute finds Dr. Ozs most recent coverage of the aftermath from the Fukushima earthquake and subsequent nuclear accident sensational, unnecessarily alarming and a disservice to his viewers.

The fact that a cardiac surgeon and professor would choose to feature a celebrity chef with no expertise whatsoever in radiological science, or even public health, as his go-to guest on a nuclear accident is beyond disappointing and borderline malpractice.

Keep in mind Dr. Oz refers to his guest, Mario Batali, as an expert. However, never once did he feature an actual expert like Georgetown University Medical School Associate Professor and Chair of the University Radiation Safety Committee, Dr. Timothy Jorgensen. No, instead he chose a chef who agreed to pay $5.25 million in restitution after being accused of skimming money from his employees tips. Not once did he reference the work of Dr. Ken Buesseler Senior Scientists in Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Instead he relied on a TV chef who once said bankers were akin to Stalin or Hitler.

Dr. Ozs choice of a guest to explain the issue and put misinformation in a credible and composed perspective is baffling. On this subject, and others, Mr. Batalis credibility and ability to avoid unnecessary hyperbole is questionable at best.

Doctor Oz himself produces a narrative of misinformation when he suggests that irradiated seafood from Japan like shrimp, calamari, swordfish, and tuna could be causing consumers to doubl[e] down your radiation. There is no credible public health source that agrees with that assertion, not one. Perhaps a joint advisory put out by the FDA, EPA and NOAA that says, U.S. Seafood Safe and Unaffected by Radiation Contamination from Japanese Nuclear Power Plant Incident might be enough?

Batali and Oz continue their parade of seafood misinformation when they contradict the U.S. Dietary Guidelines by suggesting that people limit, rather than increase, their seafood consumption based on mercury fears. Batali branches out from his apparent expertise in nuclear physics to toxicology when he notes an elevated potential level [of mercury] in tuna. This assessment offered despite the fact that science shows mercury levels in tuna have remained unchanged over, at least, the last 100 years.

We renew our request that Dr. Oz and his staff reach out to the National Fisheries Institute for suggestions and direction to independent experts and published, peer reviewed science before producing flawed seafood segments like this latest effort. A quick trip to FukushimaFishFacts.com could have easily avoided much of the confusion propagated by this segment.



Gavin Gibbons

Vice President, Communications

National Fisheries Institute