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Dr. Oz in Hot Seat over Weight Loss Miracle Pills

09-08-2014
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Celebrity television host Dr. Mehmet Oz testified before Congress Tuesday to help "drain the swamp" of marketers using his name to peddle weight-loss pills.  

Senate Chairman Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., scolded Oz for claims he made about weight-loss supplements from the Pure Green Coffee Company on his show, "The Dr. Oz Show."

"I am concerned that you are melding medical advice, news, and entertainment in a way that harms consumers," McCaskill said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked Oz if he would be willing to publish a list of brands he feels work, as opposed to suggesting that a general supplement may work for weight loss.

"I've been actively looking at that," Oz replied. "With your suggestion and support, I think I'm going to do it, and I think it'll do a lot to drain the swamp that we've created around this area."

Americans spend $40 billion a year on weight loss products. Lawmakers are concerned that the "Dr. Oz" effect is misleading to consumers.

Oz acknowledged that while his language has been "flowery," he has never endorsed a specific company or brand.

"I don't sell anything. If they see my name, my picture, or any part of the show involved in an advertisement - do not buy the product," he said.

Meanwhile, top public health officials are calling on state and federal government officials to recognize obesity as a disease.

Former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson is urging Congress to pass legislation that would require Medicare to cover obesity medicine for seniors.

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