Dr. Oz received a scolding from senators today at the hearing on false and deceptive diet ads.
Missouri senator, Claire McCaskill, said the flowery language he uses when describing weight loss options other than diet and exercise could send the wrong message to consumers.
McCaskill said, “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true. So why, when you have this amazing megaphone, and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show with saying things like that?”
Dr. Oz said, “You know what the biggest disservice I’ve done for my audience? It’s not the flowery language that Senator McCaskill is criticizing me for. It’s that I never told them where to go to buy the products. I wanted to stay above the fray, and I felt, in my own mind that if I talked about specific companies selling high quality products it would seem like I was supporting those companies, so I never gave them, the audience, an idea of where to go to buy this stuff. So that opened up a huge market for folks to just make fake stuff, real stuff, it doesn’t frankly matter, and start to use my name to start to sell. I left my audience hanging thinking I was doing the ethical thing.”
The Federal Trade Commission and Supplement Industry Groups testified at the meeting about their efforts to contain deceptive ads.
The FTC has published a seven point “Gut Check” consumers can use to assess products that seem to good to be true.