Dr. Mehmet Oz could use Oprah on his side right about now. “America’s Doctor” has been under fire in the court system recently for his indirect support of ingredients and supplements that have resurfaced in ad scams on the Web. Although the telegenic doctor and television host claims he did not have knowledge of the illegitimate use of his signature on these products, lawmakers cite the “Dr. Oz Effect” partially responsible for blame.


What exactly is the “Dr. Oz Effect?” Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat,  told Oz in court:


When you feature a product on your show it creates what has become known as the ‘Dr. Oz Effect’ — dramatically boosting sales and driving scam artists to pop up overnight using false and deceptive ads to sell questionable products.”  


Dr. Oz has always relied on supporting general ingredients instead of outright endorsing specific brand names in order to keep viewers neutral. This strategy now seems to have had an adverse effect for the doctor. False diet-product ads have popped up everywhere online with generic statements from the doctor, and it is his household name that needs as much protection now as consumer’s wallets.


Because the doctor does not outright endorse specific products on his program, his  mentioning support of the relieving qualities found in “elixirs” like white mulberry, red palm oil, and brown seaweed have often been  promised to slash pounds, shed years, boost sleep or conquer the flu, among other claims published online. For added emphasis, these ad scams embellish the doctor’s famous grin to hook desperate and willing consumers.


What can be done to prevent these phony ads? It might just be more useful for Dr. Oz to endorse his most-trusted brands for the mega-packed television audiences he commands. Between hosting the Emmy Award-winning “Dr. Oz Show” and acting as the vice-chairman of the department of surgery at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, there is no denying the doctor has much immediate influence, which officials and lawmakers believe feeds into this effect.


Despite the attacks on his public persona, Dr. Oz personally remarks about his cooperation and dedication toward moving forward.


“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,Oz said in his statement before the court. He went on to add,


“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.”


This conversation certainly is not closed, and it will be interesting to follow what comes of these scams and what remains touted on the doctor’s hit television series.


What do you think of Dr. Oz’s words in court? Do consumers need to become more responsible of what they’re buying into? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro