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The Truth Giver

Squirrels cannot find 73% of all nuts that they hide. Apparently they have terrible memories. Do you believe me? (Here is the NY Times article on squirrels. I’m not sure how you ask squirrels these embarrassing questions.)

Dr. Mehmet Oz (Wikipedia) came to prominence because Oprah featured him on her show with health segments. He became so popular that Oprah “spun off” a Dr Oz show through her Harpo Productions.

Soon Dr. Oz began spouting the amazing health benefits of Green Coffee Extract for amazing weight loss, and Raspberry Ketone as “the number one miracle in a bottle to burn your fat”.

Soon these amazing weight loss claims were being called into question by the Federal Trade Commission, and Dr. Oz found himself testifying before a Senate hearing on weight loss scams where Senator Claire McCaskill confronted him with , “The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you call miracles“.

The makes of Green Coffee Extract ultimately entered into a settlement with the FTC, for the false advertising of their products. They ultimately paid 3.5 million and agreed to stop making such weight loss claims.

Dr. Oz is a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University.  He is listed as directing the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He works in the areas of research in heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and health care policy. When people watch his show, they believe that they are getting medical advice from a doctor.

Popular Science, Forbes and The New Yorker have all published critical well-researched articles regarding the unscientific claims that Dr. Oz had made about various health products.

The James Randi Educational Foundation has “awarded” Dr. Oz with three Pigasus awards. The award is “given” as a way to “expose parapsychological, paranormal or psychic frauds that Randi has noted over the previous year.”

The award consists of a silver flying pig and is based on the concept that claims are so doubtful regarding products that such things will only happen “when pigs fly”. Oz is the only person to have received this award on three separate occasions.

If you click on the above indicated Wikipedia page, you will see a long list of Oz criticisms regarding his health claims, but one final study is worth mentioning regarding his claims.

The British Medical Journal analyzed the effectiveness of Oz’s medical advice and were only able to find support for 46% of his recommendations. Conversely, the study showed that 39% had no supporting scientific evidence, while the remaining 15%  actually went directly against scientific evidence.

What is his response to those findings? “It’s called The Dr. Oz Show. We purposely have ‘Oz’ in the middle, and ‘Doctor’ is in the little bar for a reason. I want folks to realize that I am a doctor, but I am coming into their lives to be supportive of them. But it’s not a medical show“. Seriously?

I know I need to wrap this up, or else you will think I am being paid by the word. I just wanted to pose the question, “Do believe anything from Dr. Oz?”. I wouldn’t want him treating me, nor selling me some slick cure.

My law application for the blog is this: When I first started my practice, an old lawyer told me that in every jury trial, there is a truth-giver. The jury will look at both sides and decide to believe one of the two sides.  If you want to be successful for your clients, you need to be viewed as the Truth Giver!

Have a great Monday! It’s Our week!

And for pic o’day, here’s one to cool us down. Plus, a reminder to read the signs!!!


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