On Tuesday, Dr. Mehmet Oz found himself in the hot seat during a Senate hearing on the Federal Trade Commission's crackdown targeting bogus diet products.
Senators criticized the syndicated talk show host for positive comments he has made about weight loss pills, remarks that are then used as unauthorized endorsements for similar, often useless products. "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," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
Oz said that he uses "flowery" language in his show in order to engage the audience, and that he has little control over scam artists twisting his words and using his image in ads. "I concede to my colleagues at the FTC that I am making their job more difficult," he said.
McCaskill told Oz that she hopes that he'll soon tout "the beauty of a walk at sunset" instead of pills for weight loss. "The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of a few products that you have called miracles," she said. "I just don't understand why you need to go there.... You are being made an example today because of the power you have in this space."