Dr. Oz in the Land of Senate Testimony
Wait a minute. I recognize that man. Why, it’s Mehmet Oz, the television celebrity. And doctor. Let’s not forget that. He’s a doctor as well, took the Hippocratic Oath and everything.
And look again. Check out all those senators. What a fan base of high profile autograph seekers! Let’s look again and…oh, oh. What’s up Doc? No one looks happy.
Dr. Oz and The Senate Panel
Senator Claire McCaskill and other members of a senate subcommittee on consumer protection had some questions for Dr. Mehmet Oz on Tuesday. For instance, committee members were curious about the doctor’s contentions that certain supplements being advertised on his television show might be a “magic weight-loss cure(s) “ or “the number one miracle in a bottle.”
Such contentions prompt United States senators to wonder why the doctor would “say this stuff because you know it’s not true' and ask “why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?”
Dr. Oz responded by stating he believes in the items he advertises even if “they don’t have the scientific muster to pass as fact.” He then stated that he has even given his own family these products.
Ah, I see. Never mind then.
The “Dr. Oz Effect”
The television celebrity was chastised for promoting what has come to be known as the “Dr. Oz Effect,” a dramatic sales bump to products that follows a thumbs up on his show. The Oz endorsement perpetuates scam artists who use false and misleading ads to sell products that are questionable.
Oz admitted that he uses “flowery” language and conceded that when he recommends a product that scammers use his words to sell their products. He also admitted that he is making things more difficult for the Federal Trade Commission. Oz also painted himself as a victim stating that companies have used his quotes out of context and went on to detail counter-measures he has taken.
If Senator McCaskill shared the doctor’s pain, she managed to suppress the hurt. She noted that the scientific community was not impressed with the results of three products that Oz defined as miraculous. She also stated in no uncertain terms her concern that Oz might be mixing medical advice, news, and entertainment in a fashion that was harmful to consumers.
Federal Trade Commission Advice
The Federal Trade Commission suggests being cautious if an ad professes any of the following:
* causes weight loss regardless of what or how much is eaten
* causes permanent weight even after the product is no longer used
* causes weight loss of two or more pounds weekly without diet or exercise
* causes weight loss for all who use it
* causes weight loss by wearing the product or rubbing it into the skin
* promotes weight loss of three pounds or more per week for more than four weeks
A Federal Trade Commission 7 point gut check can also be accessed on their website to help sort out those products that advertise promises that seem too good to be true.
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