Researchers Admit Dr. Oz-Endorsed Diet Pill Study Was Fake
Dr. Mehmet Oz is probably one of the most prolific voices heard on TV, but he found himself in hot water after the Federal Trade Commission went after a supposedly-bogus study that was behind a Dr. Oz-supported miracle weight loss cure. Now the scientists who were behind the study that found the alleged health benefits of green coffee beans, Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham, have retracted their research. Federal investigators have proved that the results and even the study participants’ initial weights were altered, and that the results presented in a 2012 academic journal, were bogus.
After Dr. Oz promoted the product on his show in 2012 as a weight loss pill that “really works”, sales of the green coffee bean-based pills skyrocketed, and his endorsement helped sell as many as 500,000 bottles of the stuff. Dr. Oz later admitted that the language he used to describe the pills was “flowery” at best.
"I've got no problem with celebrity endorsements of any product but I do have a problem when a science-based doctor says something is a miracle when there's no science to back it up," Sen. Claire McCaskill, who chairs the Senate's Consumer Protection panel, told CBS in June, during a series of hearings against Applied Food Science Inc., the Texas-based company that sponsored the original study. The company later had to pay a $3.5 million settlement for false advertising, but Dr. Oz likely won’t have any repercussions because he was not directly involved.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi