Dr. Oz Under Fire at Senate Hearing For Product Mentions
By ETONLINE STAFF
June 17, 2014
Dr. Mehmet Oz is getting grilled on Capitol Hill for using language like "miracle in a bottle" when mentioning products on his show.
Dr. Oz insisted that he does not endorse the products he discusses on his show while appearing before a U.S. Senate committee, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The session in Washington, D.C. was called after the talk-show host referred to a controversial weight loss product as "a miracle in a bottle."
"I was pleased that the hearing today dealt with some complicated issues and had all the players present whose cooperation will be necessary to move forward in protecting the consumer," Oz, 54, said in a statement to ET following the hearing. "For years I felt that because I did not sell any products that I could be enthusiastic in my coverage and I believe the research surrounding the products I cover has value. I took part in today's hearing because I am accountable for my role in the proliferation of these scams and I recognize that my enthusiastic language has made the problem worse at times. To not have the conversation about supplements at all however would be a disservice to the viewer. In addition to exercising an abundance of caution in discussing promising research and products in the future, I look forward to working with all those present today in finding a way to deal with the problems of weight loss scams."
Chairwoman of the subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), admonished the TV personality, saying that his alleged endorsements could give fans "false hope."
"The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called 'miracles,'" said McCaskill. "I don't get why you need to say this stuff when you know it's not true," McCaskill continued.
Oz assured the committee that he does believe what he says about the products, but he feels victimized by promoters who allegedly used his name without his permission. "We didn't call this hearing to beat up on you," said McCaskill, "but we did call this hearing to talk about a real crisis in consumer protection, and you can be part of the problem or you can be part of the police."
Oz promised the Senators that he is being more selective in his language when describing products, saying, "I am in the situation where I'm second-guessing every word I say on the show now."
"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 want to look, and I do look everywhere, including in alternative healing traditions, for any evidence that might be supportive to them," Oz told the panel.
What do you think of Dr. Oz mentioning weight-loss products on his show?