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.

Latest in Entertainment

Kanye West

Kanye West stirs up controversy with nude celebrities in ‘Famous’

LOS ANGELES,  (Reuters) – Rapper Kanye West set tongues wagging on Monday with his latest music video that features nude portrayals of high profile celebrities including pop singer Taylor Swift, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump and comedian Bill Cosby.

Bud Spencer

Italian Actor Bud Spencer dies at age 86

MILAN,  (Reuters) – Italian actor and filmmaker Bud Spencer died on Monday at age 86, national media reported. “My father died peacefully at 18:15 and did not suffer from pain, he had all of us next to him and his last words were ‘Thank you’,” his son and film producer Giuseppe Pedersoli said in a note to media.

50 Cent

50 Cent arrested in St Kitts over foul language

(Barbados Nation) BASSETERRE – America rapper 50 Cent was arrested here early Sunday following his performance at the St Kitts Music Festival late Saturday.

udta

Bollywood film exposes plight of women trapped in India’s drug trade

MUMBAI, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new Bollywood film gives a rare glimpse into the exploitation and enslavement of women in India’s drug trade, highlighting how the stigma surrounding women drug users leaves them vulnerable to abuse.

Salman Khan

Bollywood actor Salman Khan in hot water over rape remark

MUMBAI,  (Reuters) – Bollywood movie star Salman Khan ran afoul of a national women’s group, film critics and Twitter users today after saying that training sessions for his new film made him feel like a “raped woman”.

dory

‘Finding Dory’ Scores Record $136.2 Million opening

LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – Family audiences turned out in droves over the weekend, propelling “Finding Dory” to a massive $136.2 million debut and establishing a new record for an animated film opening.

Anton Yelchin

Actor Anton Yelchin of ‘Star Trek’ killed in freak accident

(Reuters) – Anton Yelchin, a 27-year-old actor best known for playing the character Chekov in two “Star Trek” movies, was killed early on Sunday when his car rolled and pinned him against a wall in his driveway, police said.

Cliff Richard

UK singer Cliff Richard will not face sex crime charges

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Singer Cliff Richard, one of Britain’s best-known entertainers, will not face charges over alleged historical sex crimes because there is not enough evidence, prosecutors said today.

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: