- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Senators during a hearing Tuesday blamed Dr. Mehmet Oz, who hosts “The Dr. Oz Show,” for being the driving force behind several weight-loss scams.

Lawmakers said during the Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing that Mr. Oz has been too careless in describing some weight-loss supplements as “magical” or “miracle” products that can help people shed pounds quickly, NBC News reported.

“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” said Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat. “So why, when you have this amazing megaphone…why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?”

“When you feature a product on your show it creates what has become known as the ‘Dr. Oz effect’ — dramatically boosting sales and driving scam artists to pop up overnight using false and deceptive ads to sell questionable products,” she said, NBC News reported.

“While I understand that your message is occasionally focused on basics like healthy eating and exercise, I am concerned that you are melding medical advice, news, and entertainment in a way that harms consumers.”

Mr. Oz acknowledged that his language about some supplements has been “flowery” and promised to publish a list of specific products he thinks can help America get healthy.

“I concede to my colleagues at the [Federal Trade Commission] that I am making their job more difficult,” he said Tuesday.

“When we write a script, we need to generate enthusiasm and engage the viewer,” he said. “I actually do personally believe in the items I talk about on the show … I recognize that oftentimes they don’t have the scientific muster to pass as fact. I have given my family these products.”

Mr. Oz emphasized that he has never endorsed a supplement or received money from the sale of a supplement.

“If you see my name, face or show in any type of ad, email, or other circumstance … it’s illegal,” Mr. Oz testified.