On Monday night, Tomorrow’s Table meets Dr. Oz

posted in: Syndicated | 0

On Monday afternoon, yours truly will appear with Dr. Oz, “America’s doctor,” (the tag bestowed on him by no less than Oprah Winfrey) before a live audience in New York City. Although I have never seen the show, a New York Times magazine article written by the brilliant Frank Bruni, suggests that the show, and Dr. Oz himself, are both pretty entertaining.

As one of the most accomplished cardiothoracic surgeons of his generation, Mehmet Oz has transplanted lungs and repurposed hearts; implanted mechanical devices to provide the pump and pulse for patients that cannot manage that on their own; and otherwise pressed, pulled, cut and stitched inside bodies where a second’s lapse of attention or a millimeter of miscalculation could kill.

But on a morning not long ago, around a conference table high in the NBC building in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, the challenge before him and dozens of assistants was less obviously urgent. They talked of testicles. Specifically, they discussed what sorts of props might accurately (and tastefully) mimic said sexual organs in a television demonstration, on “The Dr. Oz Show,” of how men should examine theirs for tumors and cysts…

The show holds him up as the sort of finely tuned machine that you, on the couch at home, yearn to be. And that underscores his determination to be an omniscient and omnipresent commentator on health-related affairs, one-stop shopping for all your somatic curiosities and some of your spiritual and intellectual ones to boot.

The topic tomorrow will be sustainable agriculture and genetically engineered crops.

Appearing with me will be Jeffery Smith, whose claim to fame is his opposition to genetically engineered crops. Despite the lack of any discernible scientific training or agricultural expertise, Smith makes 65 specific claims about the danger of these crops. Each of his claims has been thoroughly debunked by the non-profit Academicsreview team.

Science, pseudoscience and sustainable agriculture altogether on an entertainment/ health show? Will it work? Will the estimated 3.5 million viewers learn anything useful?

Tune in and find out.

Note: Although it will be taped live Monday afternoon, I don’t know when it will be broadcasted to the syndicated sites.

Follow Pamela Ronald:

Pamela Ronald is Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, where she studies the role that genes play in a plant’s response to its environment. Her research focuses on the genetics of rice. With her husband, she co-wrote Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food. She writes a blog of the same name.