(NBC NEWS) – Senators criticized Dr. Mehmet Oz during a hearing on false diet-product ads on Tuesday –- but does the nation’s most telegenic doctor have any control over the “Dr. Oz Effect” lawmakers say contributes to a whole market of sometimes questionable health products?
According to other physicians who monitor the Dr. Oz brand, the sales pattern is now well worn. On air, Oz talks up certain foods, drinks, supplements or other products –- often with little science to support them.
Soon, online entrepreneurs are pitching –- apparently without the doctor’s approval –- Oz’s quotations as out-right endorsements, hawking alleged cures to anyone with an Internet connection and a credit card, including white mulberry, red palm oil, and brown seaweed. The products are often promised to slash pounds, shed years, boost sleep or conquer the flu, among other claims.