Here is how to answer consumers’ question about Dr. Oz show

While Dr. Oz fails to invite America’s pig farmers to the conversation about pork, it should not be a reason to silo. Prepare yourself now to answer consumers’ questions about what they learned from the show.


Cheryl Day, National Hog Farmer

Jan 09, 2018


Oh, Dr. Oz you did not just pick on America’s favorite — bacon. What is the adage, if you are the one on top then you receive the loudest criticism?


Yesterday, as President Donald J. Trump addressed the farmers and ranchers at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention, Dr. Oz took on antibiotic use in the meat supply by investigating America’s bacon problem. Did you miss it? You were either highly involved in activities in the barn or attending AFBF or tuning in to the president’s speech online. Honestly, Dr. Oz is not on my “must watch” list, but when a friend sends a text, alerting you that he is at it again, you just have to check it out.


However, I am certain many moms and dads did tune in to season 9 episode 72 of the Dr. Oz Show which raises the question “Is the Pork Industry lagging in taking out antibiotics?”


For your reference, the episode description: The pork industry is taking a long time to comply with the World Health Organization’s demand that the use of antibiotics in animals to be used as meat cease immediately.


The show is reaction to the WHO call for farmers to stop disease prevention uses of antibiotics in food-animal production.


Dr. Oz starts the show with a strong statement, “While the chicken industry has reduced their use of antibiotics, the other white meat — pork — has lagged behind. What’s slowing them down?”


He turns to investigative food journalist, Maryn McKenna, author of Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats, for the answer. After all, as stated by Dr. Oz, McKenna is one of the most vocal voices warning consumers about antibiotics in food.


So, the show begins with a discussion between Dr. Oz and McKenna, comparing chicken to pork and later moves into a segment discussing labels on bacon with Mark Schatzker, author of Steak and The Dorito Effect.


The question raised by Dr. Oz is fair to ask, however he failed to invite an important expert to answer. No, not me — although I would meet the food journalist qualification, and I would gladly accept — but he failed to let America’s pig farmers answer.


Still, the episode is out there for everyone to view. While no reaction is often a good reaction to those creating drama, it is also dangerous to put your head in the sand when someone other than a hog producer is telling the story of pork. The Dr. Oz episode demonstrates that conversations about food happen every minute of the day. While Dr. Oz failed at bringing all sides to the discussion, it should not be a reason to silo. As members of the pork industry, we should keep sharing and keep inviting the consumer to the food conversation.


So, if consumers ask questions or repeat the information presented on Dr. Oz, prepare yourself. Here are some myths and truths from the episode.


Myth ...


Fact ...


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