(HealthDay News) — Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz was raked over the coals Tuesday at a U.S. Senate hearing into the marketing of fake diet products.
Senators said Oz – who often touts the virtues of weight-loss products on his syndicated television show – bears a large measure of responsibility for the problem. Oz countered by saying he himself was the victim of the scammers, NBC News reported. However, Oz’s claim was dismissed by Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat who chairs a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection. She accused Oz of playing a role in perpetuating diet scams.
Oz acknowledged that he uses “flowery” language on his shows and knows that when he recommends a diet product, scammers use his words to sell bogus products, NBC News reported. The diet products he recommends give hope to people trying to lose weight, according to Oz. The Senate hearing is a follow-up to January’s Federal Trade Commission crackdown on bogus diet products, NBC News reported. Oz has a huge impact on the marketing of such products, the FTC’s Mary Koelbel Engle told the hearing.
“For instance, within weeks of an April 2012 Dr. Oz Show touting green coffee bean 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,” Koelbel Engle said.