Senators Blast Dr. Oz for Bogus Diet Claims

He defends right to use 'flowery' language

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2014 2:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – Celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz stuck up for his right to use "flowery" language to praise weight loss products after a Senate panel slammed him for encouraging scammers by endorsing "miracle cures." Sen. Claire McAskill asked him why he "cheapened" his show by saying things he knew weren't true, NBC reports. "When you feature a product on your show it creates what has become known as the 'Dr. Oz Effect'—dramatically boosting sales and driving scam artists to pop up overnight using false and deceptive ads to sell questionable products," she told him.

"The scientific community is almost monolithically against you in terms of the efficacy of the products you called 'miracles,'" said McCaskill, accusing the doctor of giving people false hope. Oz argued that he had to be "passionate" to engage his viewers. "I do personally believe in the items that I talk about," he said. "I intensively study them. I have given my family these products." He said that while he recognizes his claims may not have the "scientific muster to pass as fact", "when I can't use language that is flowery, that is exulting, I feel like I've been disenfranchised." The hearing was held as part of a probe of businesses using Oz's language to sell bogus diet products, adds the New York Daily News.

Sen. Claire McCaskill listens to Dr. Mehmet Oz testify before a Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance hearing yesterday.   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, chairman and Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, testifies before a Senate panel yesterday.   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
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