U.S. Senate panel scolds TV’s Dr. Oz over diet claims

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate panel probing bogus diet product ads took celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz to task on Tuesday for touting weight-loss products on his syndicated television show.

Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, the chairwoman of the Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection, said Oz had a role in perpetuating weight-loss fraud through his show.

“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” McCaskill said at the hearing, a follow-up to a Federal Trade Commission crackdown in January on fraudulent diet products.

She said Oz’s promotion tended to boost sales and prompted scam artists to sell questionable products using deceptive ads.

“When you call a product a miracle, and it’s something you can buy and it’s something that gives people false hope, I just don’t understand why you need to go there,” McCaskill said.

Oz, the host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” said the products gave people hope to keep trying to lose weight. Nearly 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, and he said the No. 1 topic asked about on his website was weight loss.

Mehmet Oz
Mehmet Oz

“I actually do personally believe in the items that I talk about on the show,” said Oz, a Columbia University professor.

“I recognize that oftentimes they don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact. I would give my audience the advice I give my family all the time, and I have given my family these products.”

Part of the hearing focused on green coffee extract, a dietary supplement Oz touted in 2012 as a “miracle.” The show heightened interest in the product, and Oz testified he devoted much of a second show to telling viewers how his name was being used unscrupulously to sell it.

Mary Koelbel Engle, an FTC official, testified that the agency filed suit over the supplement, charging deceptive claims and promotion.

A 2011 FTC survey of consumer fraud showed more consumers were victims of bogus weight-loss products than any other frauds covered by the survey, she said.

Americans were forecast to spend $2.4 billion on weight-loss services last year, and the figure was expected to rise to $2.7 billion in 2018, she said.

Garry Marshall

Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall dead at 81 – media

(Reuters) – Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who was responsible for creating sitcom hits such as “The Odd Couple” and “Happy Days” and directed hit movies “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died on Tuesday, Variety reported.

Rajinikanth

Tamil superstar takes over southern India ahead of film release

(Reuters) – Frenzy gripped southern India yesterday, a day ahead of the release of Tamil cinema superstar Rajinikanth’s crime-drama film titled “Kabali.” Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, buzzed with activity with men plastering life-size posters, depicting Rajinikanth’s character in the movie.

default placeholder

Singer Elton John gives boost to groups fighting AIDS

NEW YORK, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Groups working to battle AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean are the first winners of grants established by singer Elton John to end discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, the singer said.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Pakistani singer Khan unites Bollywood and Qawwali in UK shows

(Reuters) – Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, known for both Bollywood hits and Qawwali, Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years, is taking the two genres to Britain in August for three concerts.

rihanna

Rihanna cancels Nice concert after attack

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Pop star Rihanna has cancelled a concert scheduled for Friday in Nice after a gunman in a truck ploughed into crowds marking Bastille Day in the southern coastal French city, killing at least 84 people.

Kaveri Kapur

Indian teen music star hopes to emerge from famous parents’ shadow

LONDON, (Reuters) – The teenage daughter of one of India’s best known movie directors has had her first chart hit – with a song she wrote when just 11 years old.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: