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.
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.”
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.