Home / Lifestyle / Dr. Oz rips critics, says some have ties to tobacco industry

Dr. Oz rips critics, says some have ties to tobacco industry

A JUNE 17, 2014, FILE PHOTOLauren Victoria Burke/AP

Dr. Mehmet Oz testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington last year.

PHOTO TAKEN APRIL 23, 2009 AND PROVIDED BY HARPO PRODUCTIONS, INC.; NO SALES AP provides access to this publicly distributed HANDOUT photo to be used only to illustrate news reporting or commentary on the facts or events depicted in this image.George Burns/AP

Oprah Winfrey raises a champagne toast to Dr. Oz in 2009.

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Dr. Oz during the filming of his show.

The lines outside of the ABC studios for the Dr. OZ show were substanially smaller Thursday morning.Gregg Vigliotti/For New York Daily News

The lines outside of the ABC studios for the Dr. OZ show were substanially smaller Thursday morning.

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The surgical gloves are off.

Dr. Oz punched back Thursday at critics who demanded his ouster from Columbia University Medical School, ripping one as a corporate shill and another as a convicted felon.

“It’s ironic that I’m being accused of a conflict of interest by these doctors when . . . some of them have their own conflict of interest issues and some integrity ones,” Dr. Mehmet Oz sniped to open his nationally syndicated television show.

Oz, who hired an investigative reporter to probe the 10 doctors behind last week’s scathing letter to Columbia, said the physicians had a few skeletons in their closets.

Dr. Henry Miller, the lead author of the poison pen missive, was identified as a shill with ties to the tobacco industry and a supporter of genetic engineering of crops — a cause opposed by the TV host.

And Oz noted that Dr. Gilbert Ross, executive director of the American Council of Science and Health, is a convicted criminal. Ross was once convicted in an $ 8 million Medicaid fraud scam, and sentenced to 47 months in prison.

Oz holds the prestigious post of vice chairman of the Columbia medical school’s department of surgery. The letter sent to his boss called for Oz’s firing.

“I think this is definitely a smear campaign against Dr. Oz, and I think it’s a campaign that’s driven by individuals who are connected to big industries,” said Lisa Graves, executive director of Sourcewatch.com, during her appearance on the show.

The April 17, 2015 front page of the Daily News.New York Daily News

The April 17, 2015 front page of the Daily News.

Miller declined comment on Oz’s counterattack, while Ross accused the TV doctor of ignoring accusations that he promoted “quack treatments” for a quick buck.

“Let’s be clear: No one is looking to deny Dr. Oz his right to free speech,” said Ross. “All the public deserves is that when he speaks, he sticks to offering sound medical advice that helps his viewers, rather than causing them harm.”

Oz had earlier written a piece for Time magazine defending his medical practices and casting a jaundiced eye toward the haters.

The doctor, a longtime favorite of Oprah Winfrey, was unapologetic about his penchant for thinking outside the traditional treatment box.

“In some instances, I believe unconventional approaches appear to work in some people’s lives,” he wrote.

“They are often based on longstanding traditions from different cultures that visualize the healing process in very different ways from our Western traditions.”

He did offer a mea culpa for his embrace of miracle weight loss products over the years.

“I wish I could take back enthusiastic words I used to support these products years ago,” he wrote. “And I understand the criticism I’ve received as a result.”

On Thursday, eight members of Columbia’s medical staff countered the calls for Oz’s dismissal in an op-ed published by USA Today.

“Unless these foibles can be shown to render Dr. Oz inadequate or ineffective at Columbia, there is no justification for forcing him to resign from a well-earned position in academic medicine,” the supporters wrote

lmcshane@nydailynews.com

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dr. oz

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