Check this set of video link out, by ABC News, where Dr. Oz and Dr. Besser (Medical Correspondent of ABC News) “get it on” about the latest finding on Arsenic contamination levels in Apple juice being higher than tap water. The result is, across the board, juice makers including those which are the best, organic, and expensive on the market today have contaminated levels of Arsenic.
Watch the videos in the following sequence to see them chronologically from the first report to the last one:
1. Dr. Besser vs. Dr. Oz: Showdown Over Apple Juice
2. Arsenic Found in Apple Juice
3. Arsenic in Apple Juice Fears Raised by Study
4. Arsenic in Apple Juice: Is It Safe to Drink?
As always, you make the final call on what you make out of this discussion and what to serve your family (particularly your children), juice wise. But here are my take-aways after seeing the entire set of videos twice:
1. Credit to ABC News to bringing the issue up and then following it up with some kind of a closure even when the final conclusion was contrary to its own staff Dr. Besser’s original assertion.
2. Credit to Dr. Oz for his courage to bring the truth out after evaluating other organizations results and conducting his own verification studies and then to face Dr. Besser’s ridicule and accusations of being a irresponsible doctor and a fear-monger.
3. The losers here are Dr. Besser, and sadly, the American public as well. Let me elaborate a bit on each:
As public consumers, and more importantly, as parents, someone who are in charge of purchasing healthy products for the family, we all have been duped by the food industry for years. In the last few years, more data are being revealed by courageous organizations (and movie makers) who are willing to stand up against the industry giants. More recent revelation shows the organic industry is now being exposed with compromised quality of their food products with unknown or worst yet, sometimes known harmful substances (see my previous blogs and tweets on Pesticide Residues in Foods, The Un-Healthy Truth, Health Freedom, Mercury in Teeth, GMOs in Organic Foods, and many others…). The overall health of American people is degrading across all age brackets and no one wants you and I to know that it has something to do with our food and the greed of the food industry. Let’s all join Dr. Oz and many other Health Freedom organizations (we are involved in Texas Health Freedom Coalition) to bring out the (ugly) truth. As consumers we have the right to know and the power to choose not to buy the brands and products which are bad for us and reward those who do not compromise in quality.
What can I comment on Dr. Besser. I feel for him. To me, he is passionate in what he believes in but unfortunately he is mis-led by FDA’s data and the erroneous conclusion, and, in my opinion, by his own medical training background. Just listen to his lecture about using adequate and unbiased data to Dr. Oz (accusing Dr. Oz of not drawing the conclusion based on inadequate and insufficient scientific data) as the only means to making a proper scientific conclusion. Well, Dr. Besser ended up “eating his own medicine” (pun intended) for not thoroughly researching his own data carefully, as it turned out, by trusting solely on FDA data (one source only) which conveniently omitted 8 other data points that contradicted with other results. I am happy that Dr. Besser came on the show and accepted Dr. Oz’s as the correct conclusion, but not a word of remorse or apology was given to Dr. Oz after ripping Dr. Oz for doing a disservice to the American public. For the sake of your own reputation and the reputation of the profession you represent, man up and issue a public apology, Dr. Besser!
Finally, as a research engineer in my past professional life, with more than 30 scientific publications and 9 patents issued, I have long questioned the validity of drawing conclusions by relying solely on the widely employed scientific method of hypothesis. It is called the deductive method of reasoning. It tries to prove a conjecture in the form of a hypothesis being right or wrong. All that sounds very objective but here is where subjectivity of human nature comes in. Most scientific projects cost thousands if not millions of dollars. Which organization or scientist will want to spend that much money and effort to end up proving its own hypothesis to be wrong? No one! As a result, there are many scientific research publications which are completely bogus and their conclusions influenced by human judgement and subjectivity because they simply throw away the data which do not agree with their original hypothesis. That’s exactly what happened here in the initial FDA conclusion that Dr. Besser based his arguments with Dr. Oz on. This eventually led to Dr. Besser’s demise. This happens everyday in the scientific world of publications. Haven’t we all heard that eggs were once concluded not being healthy for you because it is high in cholesterol and then on another study shows that eggs are good for you because of its other healthy nutrients? Doesn’t the conclusion from these 2 studies (based on their own hypothesis) confusing to you and the general public? Indeed, it does. Unfortunately this type of conflicting arguments will continue in the public arena for times to come.
An alternative way of reasoning as to deductive method is inductive. Inductive studies have no hypothesis to start with. One remains completely unbiased with no hypothesis at the beginning of the study and only let the data dictate the outcome and final conclusion. This unbiased method of study is rarely conducted because it requires discipline and it is difficult to remain 100% neutral throughout the course of the study. Furthermore, who is willing to fund expensive projects without a clear predefined “purpose”.
My suggested guideline for parents or consumers? Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Get educated but always check (and double check) your sources. Don’t let your head get ahead of your heart. And always let your God-given common sense be your guide.