In 2012, celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz endorsed green coffee bean extract as a "magic weight-loss cure" even though only one scientific study backed these claims—and it was funded by the extract manufacturer. This week Oz is backed further into a corner as the study's two writers retracted their work, reports LiveScience, saying that "the sponsors of the study cannot assure the validity of the data." Among other things, the Federal Trade Commission had earlier charged that the study's researchers altered crucial data, including the weight of participants.
In June, Oz was sent to Capitol Hill to explain how a well-known doctor could promote products without scientific backing. Oz replied that he's in the business of hope "to get folks to ... rethink their future," reports CBS News. Then in September, the FTC alleged that the study, funded by Applied Food Sciences Inc., was "so hopelessly flawed that no reliable conclusions could be drawn from it." The extract manufacturer settled for $3.5 million. Still, Oz is unlikely to face any legal actions unless there's proof that he was aware of fraudulence, which is a far higher standard than being guilty of talking up a product he didn't know enough about, reports CBS News. (At the June Senate hearing, Oz said he feels "disenfranchised" when he can't use language that's "flowery.")