Dr. Mehmet Oz visited Capitol Hill today to testify before the Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance during a hearing to examine protecting consumers from false and deceptive advertising of weight-loss products.
The Dr. Oz Show host, who's been criticized in the past for some of the weight-loss products he promotes on his series, was grilled by Senate members on the importance of having the public's best interests and health in mind while promoting diet pills and supplements on his show.
"My show is about hope," Oz said. "We've engaged millions in programs, including programs we did with the CDC, to get folks to realize there are different ways they can rethink their future."
"People want to believe you can take an itty-bitty pill to push fat out of your body," Sen. Claire McCaskill said during the hearing. "I know you know how much power you have. I know you know that. You are very powerful and with power comes a great deal of responsibility...You're being made an example of today because of the power you have in this space."
"I came here because I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem," Oz argued, adding, "I have things that I think work for people. I want them to try them just to help them feel better so they can keep doing the other things we spend every single day on the show talking about. And when I feel, as a host of a show, that I can't use words that are flowery, that are exaltatory [sic], I feel like I've been disenfranchised. Like my power's been taken away to [help] people."
Sen. McCaskill responded, "No one's telling you not to use passion, but passion in connection with the word 'miracle pill' and 'weight loss' is a recipe for disaster in this environment in terms of the people who are looking for an easy fix and getting sometimes delusional about whether or not an easy fix is going to be there with him."