Anti-ScienceSkepticism

Update: Claire McCaskill Skewers Dr. Oz!

Last week, I posted a YouTube video telling people that Dr. Oz was due to testify before a Congressional panel on weight loss consumer fraud, and I encouraged people to go to Claire McCaskill’s website and support the assertion that Dr. Oz is a pseudoscience-peddling quack.

Well, good news! McCaskill let Oz have it with both barrels:

“Why would you say something is a miracle in a bottle?” the Missouri Democrat asked Oz, the Emmy-Award winning host of a long-running medical talk show during the hearing. “I’m concerned that you are melding medical advice, news and entertainment in a way that harms consumers.”

And:

“The scientific community is almost monolithically against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles,'” McCaskill told Oz.

When Oz defended himself, claiming that he didn’t sell any supplements himself, but that he believed in the weight loss quackery he promoted, McCaskill responded “I’m surprised you’re defending this. It’s something that gives people false hope. I don’t see why you need to go there.”

The other panel members also jumped in:

“It’s a major problem when people are spending more and more money and they’re gaining more and more weight,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

“Either you don’t talk about these things at all, or you’re going to have to be more specific, because right now, this is not working.”

To counter the obvious solution of Oz not promoting pseudoscience anymore, Oz’s weak suggestion was that maybe we could better encourage whistleblowers at fraudulent companies, something that completely misses the point. The problem isn’t a company hiding its immoral behavior so that only an insider could possibly bust them – the problem is that these companies are openly promoting quackery and Oz is openly helping them do it.

It sounds as though the panel did a great job of slapping Oz around a bit, but considering that it only took place today, it’s far too soon to say what their ultimate suggestions for a solution will end up being.

Once again, if you’re so inclined feel free to visit McCaskill’s website and thank her for going after scammers and snake oil salesmen like Oz.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

Previous post

Quickies: Tropes vs. Women, predicting the next Game of Thrones book, and antivaxxers misusing Ursula K. LeGuin

Next post

#EndFathersDay: Using Hashtags as Retribution Against Women of Color

2 Comments

  1. June 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm —

    Add one more item to the long list of reasons why Amy Klobuchar is extremely popular here in Minnesota.

  2. June 18, 2014 at 12:58 am —

    I immediately went to both Sens. McCaskill’s and Klobuchar’s webpages and sent them back some great feedback. People need to realize…. in the world of politics, politicians, ESPECIALLY women politicians, get a lot of negative feedback. But the positive feedback is worth SO MUCH MORE than the negative stuff. A simple email of appreciation and a a nudge in the right direction can have a profound effect on a politician’s willingness to tackle an issue in the future so brazenly.

Leave a reply