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Senators Scold Dr. Oz’s Support for Miracle Weight Loss Pills

Update Date: Jun 18, 2014 11:34 AM EDT
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Celebrity TV doctor, Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, might need to revisit his stance on promoting "miracle" weight loss pills after being called a liar by U.S. lawmakers. On Tuesday, Dr. Oz attended a Senate panel hearing assuming that he was going to offer his expert testimony on certain weight loss supplement scams. Instead, Dr. Oz faced a panel of senators who scolded him for backing these supposedly "miracle" pill.

"I don't get why you [Dr. Oz] need to say this stuff, because you know it's not true," said Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, who headed the commerce subcommittee hearing. "The scientific community is almost monolithically against you in terms of the efficacy of the products you called 'miracles.' "

"We were invited down to Washington to testify at a hearing about scams and instead it became all about how much we hate your show," one source said according to the New York Daily News.

According to sources, Dr. Oz believed that the congressional meeting was set up to uncover which weight loss supplement manufacturers were using his name illegally to sell their products. However, the panel of senators was quick to attack Dr. Oz about his support for weight loss supplements, such as green coffee bean extract. The lawmakers stated that since there is no concrete evidence that these products could help people lose weight, Dr. Oz should not be promoting any kind of "miracle" pills on his show. The Senate's consumer protection panel added that these products are scamming people of their money.

"It's a major problem when people are spending more and more money and they're gaining more and more weight," commented Senator Amy Klobuchar, D - Minnesota. "Either you don't talk about these things at all, or you're going to have to be more specific because right now . . . this is not working."

Dr. Oz, who is a cardiothoracic surgeon, had previously talked about the potential health benefits of using of certain supplements on his TV show. For example, the Associated Press reported that in 2012, he mentioned that green coffee bean extract could be a "magic weight loss cure for every body type." Dr. Oz justified his statement by saying that his job is to offer hope for people who seek alternative options and if he finds that sometime might help, he will at least talk about it.

"I do personally believe in the items that I talk about," he said. "I intensively study them. I have given my family these products. . . . If you can lose a pound a week more than you would have lost by using them, it jump-starts you and gets you going. I think it makes sense."

McCaskill responded, "I'm surprised you're defending this. It's something that gives people false hope. I don't see why you need to go there."

Even though Dr. Oz chooses to talk about certain products, according to his lawyers, he has never endorsed any of these companies or brands.

"If you see my name, face or show in any type of ad, email or other circumstance," Dr. Oz testified. "It's illegal."

Ultimately, Dr. Oz agreed that there is no such thing as a long-term miracle weight loss pill that does not require people to exercise and eat well.

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