There’s one thing that certain: when celebrities promoting pseudo-science are called out by Congress, it’s going to be a really good day for us.
In a rare show of usefulness, the United States Senate Commerce subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance grilled Dr. Oz last week regarding his promotion of “miracle” weight loss products.
You can see part of the exchange here:
Of course, many of Dr. Oz’s “crutches” sound a lot like the quackery that I warned about last week. Old world remedies, claims of secret knowledge, and conspiracy theories are all part of Oz’s MO. As Senator McCaskill noted, Oz knows he’s a celebrity, knows he has a far-reaching effects, and he’s definitely part of the anti-science problem. Oz claims that he sincerely believes in these ridiculous products, but for someone that studied medicine at Harvard that’s a tough sell. Rather, Oz knows that his platform is a whole lot bigger than his critics and if he stands behind something (whether he truly believes in it or not) people are going to pay attention.
Now, it isn’t that I like to bask in the glory of someone else having a bad day, but if anyone deserves to be called out on his scams, it’s Oz.
Weight loss products is not the only place that the television “doctor” has taken an anti-science position. He also continuously lies about biotechnology and uses fear-based tactics to promote his show. I’ve pointed out that Oz and his wife are profiting from these antics. Oz continually turns his back on the hundreds of studies produced over the last few decades showing that GMOs are safe for humans and the environment. Instead, he goes right back to his quackery aimed at scaring consumers and driving their pocketbooks to a favorable place for his products.
I sincerely hope that the next time Oz hangs out on Capital Hill, he’s being grilled about the lies that he’s put forth on GMOs. But even if that never happens, I’m optimistic that this bad day will at least make consumers who follow him stop and think twice about the advice he’s giving.