Dr. Mehmet Oz, perhaps America's favorite television doctor since the days of Marcus Welby, M.D., enjoys the advantage of being a real doctor, not just a televised facsimile. Oz came under fire at a congressional hearing yesterday in which he was diagnosed as a misleader of viewers and patients.

He was ambushed, in a way, since he intended to use his appearance before Congress to offer his help in "draining the swamp," in his words, of scam artists who have illegally used his name to promote medications and nutrition supplements that have swindled American consumers for years.

The misappropriation of his name, likeness and trademarks has been a major issue for many years, said Oz. At the conclusion of each broadcast, Oz appears on screen to ask his viewers to be on the lookout for unscrupulous players who sell products that are claimed as being endorsed by Oz.

"If you see my name, face or show in any type of ad, email or other circumstance, it's illegal," says Oz. As a rule, he does not endorse specific brands of health supplements and other related products because he believes it's a violation of doctor's ethics. Oz is known to personally track down and confront marketers who illegally use his name on their products. The FTC has joined him on such quests, and is in fact now suing a Florida company for using Oz's green coffee bean endorsement to sell a quick-weight-loss product that does not work.

However, before the Senate's consumer protection panel, Oz was taken to task by Chairman Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., for overhyping the benefits of some of the products Oz has recommended to viewers of his "The Dr. Oz Show" as weight loss accelerants and miracle solutions. In particular, McCaskill got up in his face about a particular product, green coffee beans, which Oz claimed was "magic weight loss cure for every body type."

McCaskill said "I get that you do a lot of good on your show, but I don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know that it's not true." Oz acknowledged that his promotional language about the coffee bean and about other products had been too "flowery."

At the suggestion of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Oz vowed to publish a list of legitimate health-promoting and weight-loss inducing products and to continue to stress that exercise and dietary changes were the main weapons in the battle of the bulge.

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