Sen. McCaskill grills Dr. Oz on 'miracle pill' ads - KCTV5

Sen. McCaskill grills Dr. Oz on 'miracle pill' ads

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Photos courtesy Sen. Claire McCaskill's office. Photos courtesy Sen. Claire McCaskill's office.
Photos courtesy Sen. Claire McCaskill's office. Photos courtesy Sen. Claire McCaskill's office.
LEAWOOD, KS (KCTV) -

The government is cracking down on weight loss products that don't really work and that put TV talk show host Dr. Oz in the hot seat on Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, grilled Dr. Mehmet Oz, the host of the Dr. Oz Show.

"Why would you say that something is a miracle in a bottle?" McCaskill asked at one point during Tuesday's questioning.

"My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience," Oz replied.

"I don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know it's not true. So why, when you have this amazing megaphone, and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show?" McCaskill later said.

"I actually do personally believe in the items I talk about in the show. I passionately study them. I recognize that often times they don't have the scientific muster to present as fact, but nevertheless, I would give my audience the advice I give my family all the time, and I have given my family these products," Oz replied.

They were harsh words from McCaskill who said she wants to help the government stand up for people and shut down fake ads for weight loss products that say they sell a miracle pill in a bottle that works without hardly lifting a finger.

At issue were products like the Green Coffee Bean extract and Raspberry Keytone. The items were features on the Dr. Oz Show with Oz talking about the benefits of using them for weight loss. This is despite the fact that government officials say there aren't any scientific studies to prove that.

"You are being made an example of today because of the power you have in this space. We didn't call this hearing to beat up on you. But we did call this hearing to talk about a real crisis in consumer protection, and you can either be part of the police here or you can be a part of the problem. And we're just hopeful that you will do a better job at being part of the police," McCaskill said.

"Well, I came here because I want to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem...your comments about the language I used is well heard and I appreciate it. I host a daytime television show where I feel a need to bring passion to people's lives about what they can do," Oz replied.

Many local people have used the products in question and some said they've had problems trying to get their money back.

Mary Arling from Leawood, KS, said she spent hundreds of dollars on Green Coffee Bean extract and Raspberry Keytone featured on the Dr. Oz Show.

"I was just like, ‘hmmm, that sounds like something I should try because I've tried everything," she said.

Arling said she didn't lose a single pound and actually had to stop taking the pills because her heart rate suddenly spiked.

"I listen to doctors with great reputation like Dr. Oz and I'm not blaming him. But, honestly, I thought if he's recommending it maybe there is something to this," she said.

In Tuesday's hearing in Washington, D.C. Oz defended himself, saying the products have shown results in studies. McCaskill, though, said none of the studies were scientific and were in fact paid for by the companies selling the products.

Arling said she's learned the hard way that there's no substitute for eating right and exercising.

"I think the old fashioned way is the best way," she said.

She said she's called the company that sold her the pills and they promised to send her a refund, but she's still waiting to receive that refund.

Already the Federal Trade Commission has fined Sensa and Pure Green Coffee for false claims, but store shelves are packed with products promising to melt away the pounds.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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