Dr. Oz is at it again, sensationalizing another “hot topic” issue to scare his viewers and ultimately get more views. You have to hand it to the man, he knows how to make his show successful. But the problem is we seem to live in a world where we all forget that his goal is to get more views, not educate his viewers using the most sound and reliable information possible. It’s the same concept as various ads created by companies such as Chipotle that use fear and/or entertaining concepts that bash farming to accomplish their ultimate goal: To sell you burritos. Again, their goal and job here is not to present accurate information to you.
So why do we let these marketing schemes affect our opinions or understanding of something? Why has a talk show host become a more reputable source to us than the people who are out in their fields every day working with GMO crops or pesticides? Why do we use an ad for burritos as a primary source of information upon which we form our opinions? We live in a time where we have information about everything imaginable at our finger tips… but maybe it has become too much. How can we expect anyone to be able to sort through all of the bad information to find the real stuff? I wish I had the answer.
For now, the best I can do is respond to this clip from the Dr. Oz show with the best information I have. Hopefully, some of the people who have the same incorrect information will read this and decide to do more research or ask an actual farmer to get a better understanding of what’s going on here.
- Dr. Oz and the mother in this clip keep saying more pesticides are used on GMO crops. That is just completely false. GMO corn, for example, is naturally resistant to the most common and dangerous pests that threaten it. Therefore, farmers have no need to spray pesticides on those crops. Among other reasons, this is why GMO crops were created! To allow us to use less chemicals because the plants are naturally resistant to the pests we used to spray for! Somehow, that fact has been lost in translation between the farming world and urban consumers.
- At the beginning of the clip, Dr. Oz shows a graphic of weeds being sprayed and killed in corn fields and talks about the harsh chemicals that accomplish this. Actually, due to the natural “canopy” of shade created by the leaves on a stalk of corn, farmers don’t really need to spray for weeds very often. Once again, this is something that a farmer could easily tell you about, but Dr. Oz obviously hasn’t even taken 5 minutes to ask for their side of the story.
- The mother in the clip “discovered” that non-GMO crops are sprayed with pesticides, too. Of course they are, see point number 1. They are sprayed with pesticides MORE OFTEN than GMO crops, that’s why so many farmers choose to plant GMO crops! Less pesticides!
- The mother also says she decided to start buying organic so that she could avoid pesticides altogether. If she really believes that, I hope she finds this article because unfortunately she has been terribly mislead. Organic farmers can still use approved pesticides on their crops! If they didn’t, when you bit into an organic apple, you would likely find a beautiful juicy worm inside there waiting for you!
These are just a few of my thoughts after watching that clip. I find it incredibly discouraging that this mother has gone to the measures that she has based on incorrect information. I am 100% supportive of everyone making the right choice for themselves and their families at the grocery store, be it organic or not. I just wish everyone would take the time to wade through all of this “hype” caused by shows like this one to get to the best sources of information on these issues.
PLEASE keep in mind what someone’s ultimate goal is when presented with information like this! Dr. Oz sensationalized this to make it scary because THAT will hook his viewers and ultimately get him more views! Chipotle wants to make you feel like the farms they buy their food from are all sunshine and rainbows so that you will buy more burritos from them. If we could all just keep these things in mind, I think it would make a huge difference in our ability to take things with a grain of salt and wade through all of the sensationalized, fear-based stuff and find reality.