The “great” and “doctorful” Oz admits he doesn’t have miracle solutions

No kidding! This truly is great. I wish I’d seen it. But Consumerist has an excellent summary that sounds like when Dr. Oz went to Congress he got more trouble than he bargained for. McCaskill deserves applause.

Dr. Oz Grilled By Senator Over “Miracle” Weight-Loss Claims – Consumerist.

Since he started appearing on pal Oprah Winfrey’s show a decade ago, and especially since he launched his own inexplicably popular daytime talk show in 2009, Dr. Mehmet Oz has had a history of being a bit overly enthusiastic about some of the alternative and nontraditional treatments he’s highlighted, resulting in countless scammers cashing in on the questionable weight-loss treatments he’s described as “miracles,” like the green coffee extract that is the subject of an ongoing federal action. This morning, Dr. Oz is appearing before a Senate subcommittee and admitting that his “cheerleading” for products that he admits are just “crutches” has caused trouble for himself and for the Federal Trade Commission.

Missouri Senator Clair McCaskill, Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, went straight for Dr. Oz’s jugular in her opening remarks on this morning’s hearing about the false and deceptive advertising of weight-loss products.

From the quotes, it sounds like Dr. Oz was given quite the lashing even though he was there to complain that he has to defend his reputation from swindlers that unlawfully use his name. Oh, let’s have a pity party for the doc.

McCaskill berated him for the “Oz Effect” that boosts sales of questionable products. In essence, she said, he is his own worst enemy. By promoting crap, he gives license to more fraudsters to produce it because people want it.

“I’m concerned that you are melding medical advice, news and entertainment in a way that harms consumers.”

Yeah, the skeptical critics have been saying this for years! Oz admits the weight-loss treatments he plugs are “crutches…” The only proven weight loss is diet and exercise. He admits that the research on his promoted products is not good enough. It’s not good science but it’s good enough for him. (Nice to know he has such low standards. Think about that the next time he doles out advice – he’s a cheerleader, not a science-based practitioner.)

When McCaskill says:

“The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products that you called miracles,” she told the doctor. “And when you call a product a miracle and it’s something that you can buy and it’s something that gives people false hope, I just don’t understand why you need to go there.”

“My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience and when they don’t think they have hope, when they don’t think they can make it happen, I wanna look — and I do look — everywhere… for any evidence that might be supportive to them,” explained Oz, who believes that products like green coffee extract jumpstart someone’s weight loss program and “gives you the confidence to keep going, and then you start to follow the things that we talk about every single day …”

He sounds like a slimy car salesman selling you useless add-on features.

“I don’t get why you say this stuff, because you know it’s not true,” said McCaskill. “So why, when you have this amazing megaphone, and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?”

Money. Oz notes that he didn’t think this was the forum to discuss the use of alt med. Then he uses the example of promoting prayer as helpful. McCaskill was quick to respond, “It’s hard to buy prayer… prayer’s free.”

Oh MY!

Oz also goes on to admit other trouble he’s created, acknowledging he’s made things more difficult for the Federal Trade Commission and admitting using passionate language that is not helpful but potentially harmful (to him, he does not say his “miracle” claims are a mistake to consumers), but he says he’s toned that language down. Has he? In any event, I don’t think he got the sympathy he wanted. We don’t feel sorry for him. You lie in the bed you make.

“I know you feel that you’re a victim, but sometimes conduct invites being a victim,” concluded McCaskill. “I think that if you would be more careful, maybe you wouldn’t be victimized quite as frequently.”

Dr Oz showed himself to be the shill for a lot of questionable people and products. Frankly, that’s unethical and disgusting.

Dr. Oz Defends His ‘Miracles’ – NationalJournal.com.

Dr. Oz’s bad day on Capitol Hill | TheHill.

Another irony meter blown: Dr. Oz to testify in front of the Senate’s Consumer Protection panel about weight loss scams – Respectful Insolence.

Mercola hyping vitamins on Dr. Oz’s show | Doubtful News.

Thanks, Dr. Oz, for the terrible advice! | Doubtful News.

Dr. Oz portrayed as a shill for useless treatments | Doubtful News.

Dr. Oz criticized for false balance given to reparative therapy | Doubtful News.

Academics call out Dr. Oz as misleading | Doubtful News.

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  19 comments for “The “great” and “doctorful” Oz admits he doesn’t have miracle solutions

  1. June 17, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    No kidding! This truly is great. I wish I’d seen it.

    But you can. It’s on the committee’s website:

    http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=c1698871-3625-4f67-b0e5-a06d3bab6ca1&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a

    I plan on watching—with great enjoyment—when I get home tonight.

    • June 17, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      YAY! I was hoping it was recorded.

  2. Peter Robinson
    June 17, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    What would be really great is if the news was to receive widespread coverage in the mass media, and that his stock with Oprah et al was to fall such that his chances to do more damage are severely limited in future. Perhaps too much to ask, but one can dream.

    • Bill T.
      June 17, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      Even better, if he could drag Oprah and the other medicinetainment/alternative-unmediciner hucksters down with him. I’m not optimistic, never underestimate the gullibility of the American consumer.

  3. Brian
    June 17, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    “He sounds like a slimy car salesman selling you useless add-on features.”

    He sounds more like a slimy car salesman who thinks tires are add on features…

    • Bill T.
      June 17, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      I can see it: “OK, congratulations on your new car! Would you like to be able to drive it off the lot?”

  4. J
    June 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Interesting how Oz says, “you can pick on green coffee beans”. It seems his ego and the products he showcases are getting quite attached.

  5. Angela
    June 17, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Awesome…was just hoping there would be a way to see it. Thanks so much for that link. The “it” has officially been nailed. Would comment more but too busy doing the Happy Mypos Dance of Joy.

  6. Travis
    June 17, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    Can’t wait to watch. Gorksi delivers as always. Such a babe

  7. Frederick
    June 17, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    I wonder if they read David Gorski Post on SBM? I’m happy that our fear were proven false, Bravo to that Panel!
    A small victory for science! but still a victory!

  8. Adam
    June 18, 2014 at 5:11 AM

    I’d love to know what his angle is. I don’t believe that he comes on TV and promotes unproven and dubious products without some financial incentive.

    • Angela
      June 18, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      Just an opinion, but aside from the obvious questions of financial incentives–I think he enjoys being adored by his fans. He spends much more time telling them what they want to hear rather than actually giving them sound advice for their health.

      • Adam
        June 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        He could still be adored by his audience simply by sticking to sound medical advice and filling his program with interesting segments and some humour.

        It just reminds me a little too much of Glen Beck who was warning his listeners to buy gold and survival food and then it transpires he has a financial interest in companies which just happen to sell gold and survival food.

        Maybe Oz isn’t doing this. But it just seems weird that if he objects so strongly about people using his image and quotes (and the testimony says he sent off piles of C&Ds) that he’d bring this hassle on himself in the first place by promoting snakeoil.

        • Bill T.
          June 19, 2014 at 11:10 AM

          I have gotten a general impression (obviously HIGHLY anecdotal, we all should know what that’s worth) that a lot of these folks start out trying to present good info but as time goes on drift more to the give-the-listeners-what-they-want-to-hear side in chase of ratings.

          • James G
            June 21, 2014 at 12:55 AM

            That sounds reasonable, Bill T. CBC had a story covering the original senate grilling, and today they had this –

            http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/dr-oz-selling-fairy-dust-says-medical-ethicist-1.2682558

            I was surprised to learn he was a respected cardiothoracic surgeon. It’s too bad he succumbed to the dark side.

            • Bill T.
              June 23, 2014 at 11:04 AM

              Interesting link. His protetstations about his not making money directly off of the sales smacks of obfuscation to me, seeing as how he is in the business of boosting his show ratings. I wonder if any one has looked to see if he gets any fees for featuring these products.

              In the end, many people don’t really have the background to distinguish entertainment and actual informational programming, his mixing the two is particularly troubling to me.

  9. jann jones
    June 19, 2014 at 1:54 AM

    Dr Oz, like Montel Williams before him, seems to have become merely a shill for crap. Sad.. Another, whom in my opinion, is fairly washed up, is Marie Osmond. I’ve been a fan of the Osmonds for years(!), and it seems to me that she isn’t enough of a draw to keep her own talk show, failed, has to join with Donny to perform in Vegas, and is merely a member of an ensemble on a talk show now, not to mention her gig shilling for NutriSystem All three ought to be ashamed.

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