The gospel according to Dr. Oz: A looming pesticide arms race?

One of my ongoing concepts of hell is to spend eternity forced to watch daytime TV, a mere hour of which gives credence to long-ago Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow’s characterization of television as “a vast wasteland.”

In a May 1961 address, he said of TV — and mind you, this was during what is now looked back on as the medium’s “Golden Age” — “(It is) a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly, commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few.”

Minow, now near 90, has not, to my knowledge, commented on today’s TV. Perhaps there are not words sufficient to describe the hundreds of channels of 24/7 commercial-ridden, mind-numbing talk shows, so-called “reality” shows, and modern iterations of the procession of offenses he listed over half a century ago.

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Of the countless shows you could not pay me to watch, one is The Dr. Oz Show. I’ve seen clips here and there, and one can only wonder as the good doctor — a highly respected heart surgeon before he became a TV “personality” — ever so sincerely espouses remedies that sometimes seem straight from the witches of Macbeth (“The number one miracle in a bottle to burn body fat” and other hucksterisms got him called on the carpet in a Senate hearing, where he was atypically at a loss for words).

A recent show included an alarmist segment about “the latest and most disturbing development in one of the biggest controversies of the 21st Century — GMO foods,” and the EPA’s evaluation of the new herbicide Enlist Duo.

“GMOs can be ushering in a pesticide arms race,” he declares, noting that Enlist incorporates an ingredient of the infamous Vietnam-era defoliant, “Agent Orange,” and “the health of your brain could be the casualty.”

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Accompanied by videos of planes and ground rigs spraying pesticides, he ominously intones, “The federal government is about to make a decision that could affect the foods you put on your table for decades,” and “70 to 170 million additional pounds of highly toxic pesticides are going to be used” if the EPA approves Enlist Duo.

Watch a video of his GMO comments at (and read the 250-odd viewer comments that follow). Also, here is a link where you can watch a clip from his grilling by Sen. Claire McCaskill:

Sadly, many unquestioningly accept his anti-GMO evangelizing as gospel, never bothering to consider the findings of the American Medical Association and numerous other credible organizations that there is not one iota of documented health risk from foods containing GMOs.

TAGS: Agenda
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