Dr. Oz defended his ‘miracle’ weight loss supplements and his reason for condoning them during testimony at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. The TV talk show host has been accused of false advertising for touting some questionable dietary supplements said to promote weight loss and good health on The Dr. Oz Show. The show boasts a viewership of over 12 million.
“I get that you do a lot of good on your show,” Senator Claire McCaskill, who chairs the Senate’s Consumer Protection panel, said. “But I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true.”
“My show is about hope. We’ve engaged millions in programs – including programs we did with the CDC — to get folks to realize there are different ways they can rethink their future,” Dr. Oz responded.
Critics argue that fueling hope is fine, but is no excuse for making promises to those who desperately need that hope when based on unfounded and unscientific research.
“I’ve got no problem with celebrity endorsements of any product but I do have a problem when a science-based doctor says something is a miracle when there’s no science to back it up,” McCaskill said in an interview with CBS.
She claims that Dr. Mehmet Oz–as well as others who tout ‘miracle’ supplements on national TV–need to do their own research in an effort to weed out those advertisers who are fraudulent.
Dr. Oz posted to his Facebook account yesterday, praising the efforts of those behind this hearing.
The ‘Dr. Oz Effect’ is now a term used among such advertisers as well as the lawmakers who are questioning Dr. Oz’s practices of touting them. Following one of his shows in 2012 when he praised a product called green coffee bean extract a company in Florida that sells the pills sold half a million bottles. That said, who wouldn’t want Dr. Oz to tout their products? And if they sell a half million bottles as a result of his claims, how much money is padding his pockets?
Dr. Oz agreed to testify at this hearing saying he, too, wants to make these companies accountable for their claims.
“I strongly support the need to look at whether the products are safe or not,” he said.
The doctor hasn’t touted anything controversial on his social media sites recently. In fact, a remedy for upset stomachs is the most recent tip he has posted.
Try peppermint capsules to ease motion sickness. The menthol it contains will help calm your digestive system. #OzTip
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) June 16, 2014
Is Dr. Oz trying to save himself from what might potentially become a series of huge lawsuits? Senator McCaskill told him he had two options.
“I know you know how much power you have,” she told him. “I know you take it seriously. You can be part of the police here or you can be part of the problem.”
Good choice, Dr. Oz. At least for now.
Image via YouTube