Dr. Oz Responds to Senate Scolding: "I Am Accountable"

Celebrity News Jun. 18, 2014 AT 4:20PM
Dr. Oz Dr. Mehmet Oz tells Us Weekly that he is "accountable" for his actions after being scolded by senators for sensationalizing diet products on his show. Credit: Olivier Douliery/AbacaUSA/startraksphoto.com

He's learned his lesson. Dr. Mehmet Oz owned up to his mistakes after being scolded Tuesday, June 17, by members of the U.S. Senate. Though he was chastised, Oz told Us Weekly in a statement that he was "pleased that the hearing today [about falsely advertised diet products] dealt with some complicated issues."

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The TV show host, 54, also expressed his relief that the session on Capitol Hill "had all the players present whose cooperation will be necessary to move forward in protecting the consumer." Oz was called to the Hill on Tuesday, for making claims about "miracle" weight-loss products on his popular Dr. Oz Show.

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"For years I felt that because I did not sell any products," admitted Oz, "I could be enthusiastic in my coverage." Added the cardiothoracic surgeon, "I believe the research surrounding the products I cover has value. I took part in today's hearing because I am accountable for my role in the proliferation of these scams and I recognize that my enthusiastic language has made the problem worse at times."

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Oz was called out specifically by Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Democratic chair of the Senate's subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, who said Oz was sensationalizing diet products on his show. "I don't get why you need to say this stuff, because you know it's not true," McCaskill said to Oz in the hearing. "So why, when you have this amazing megaphone," she asked him, "why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?"

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Further admitting his failings as bearer of the "Dr. Oz effect," Oz told Us: "To not have the conversation about supplements at all however would be a disservice to the viewer. In addition to exercising an abundance of caution in discussing promising research and products in the future, I look forward to working with all those present today in finding a way to deal with the problems of weight loss scams."

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