[Video] Senators Slam Celebrity Doctor and His Scams

June 24, 2014

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a popular health news icon who is known for extolling supplemental diet products on his show.

On Tuesday, June 17th, Dr. Oz was brought before senatorial hearing about bogus diet products and the part he played in their success.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat who chairs a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection, asked, “…why, when you have this amazing megaphone… why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?”

The senator went on to claim that whenever the doctor reviews a product on his show, it creates what she calls the ‘Dr. Oz effect’, which makes people believe in the validity of these products, and grants scam artists an opportunity to take people’s money.

“For instance, within weeks of an April 2012 Dr. Oz Show touting green coffeebean extract as a miracle fat burning pill that works for everyone, the marketers of the Pure Green Coffee dietary supplement took to the Internet making overblown claims — like ‘lose 20 pounds in four weeks’ and ‘lose 20 pounds and two to four inches of belly fat in two to three months’ — for their dietary supplement.”

Dr. Oz admitted that he uses ‘flowery’ language to drive a product, but defends himself by saying that it is important to keep people motivated on losing weight no matter what, a fact that many dietitians agree is the most important factor in an individual’s weight loss.

“I actually do personally believe in the items I talk about on the show,” he added. “I recognize that oftentimes they don’t have the scientific muster to pass as fact. I have given my family these products.”

However, Sen. McCaskill wasn’t impressed, countering with, “The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of a few products that you have called miracles.” She also added. “I just don’t understand why you need to go there… You are being made an example of today because of the power you have in this space.”

The Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, and other groups say to follow the Federal Trade Commission’s “gut check” procedure before buying any diet product. If the product claims to do any of the following, chances are it’s a fake:

  • Causes weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise;
  • Causes substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats;
  • Causes substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats;
  • Safely enables consumers to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks;
  • Causes substantial weight loss for all users; or
  • Causes substantial weight loss by wearing a product on the body or rubbing it into the skin

One Comment

  1. Baby29

    June 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Not really surprised. Money has always been the real “green effect”. Disappointed in Dr Oz for his greed.

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