McCaskill gives Dr. Oz tough medicine


Mehmet C. Oz, chairman and professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, testifies on Capitol Hill on June 17 before the Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance hearing to examine protecting consumers from false and deceptive advertising of weight-loss products. (Lauren Victoria Burke/AP)

TV celebrity-doc Mehmet Oz showed up on Capitol Hill to testify about weight-loss product fraud, ready to paint himself as a victim of a manipulative industry. But Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was there to tell him he was part of the problem.

Oz sat purse-lipped as McCaskill read him statements he’d made on his show about weight-loss products that promise miraculous and swift results to shed body fat.

“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” McCaskill said at the Commerce subcommittee hearing. She accused him of cheapening his show and giving people false hope.

He defended his passion for helping people with their weight struggles, and said his disservice to his audience was not telling them which vendors to buy from, allowing for predatory companies to promote fake products and plaster his endorsement on them.

McCaskill wasn’t buying it.

“No one is telling you not to use passion, but passion in connection with the words ‘miracle,’ ‘weight loss’ and ‘pill’ is a recipe for disaster in this environment in terms of the people looking for an easy fix and getting sometimes delusional,” she said.

Watch part of the exchange here:

Colby Itkowitz is a national reporter for In The Loop.
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