According to a report from the Daily Beast's Sam Brodey, Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is currently trailing in the polls in his bid to replace Sen. Pat Toomey (R) representing Pennsylvania, is being called out by medical ethics experts for plugging health supplements to his loyal fan base without divulging he has a massive financial stake in the companies.
That information was discovered in the financial disclosure paperwork he filed as part of his Senate bid as a Republican after winning his primary battle with the endorsement of Donald Trump.
Case in point, as Brodey wrote, Oz, in a promotional video for Walmart, plugged a supplement called TruBiotics, telling the audience, "You may not realize that a quality probiotic is a proven immunity booster," before adding, "Two probiotic strains can strengthen your digestive and immune health. These two complementary strains can be found in TruBiotics.”
What he didn't tell his fans was the fact that, as Brodey wrote, "Oz was a member of the board of directors of the brand’s parent company, PanTheryx. He holds a stake in the business worth as much as $1 million."
The report notes this was not a one-off for the conservative TV doctor, with the Beast report adding even more dubious claims Oz made which also happened to put money in his pocket.
"In several other instances, Oz’s platforms boosted PanTheryx products without disclosing Oz’s personal financial relationship to the company. In 2018, for example, videos ran on the Dr. Oz Show website that were sponsored by DiaResQ, another PanTheryx supplement. None of the PanTheryx products Oz plugged were approved by the Food and Drug Administration; one study found DiaResQ was 'no better than a placebo,'" the report states.
Asked for comment, medical ethics expert Arthur Caplan, of the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said what Oz is doing represents a "mountain of a conflict of interest.”
“It’s one thing to say, ‘I have commercials on my show that advertise products and I’m going to flag that.’ It’s very different to say, ‘Take this, and I’m not going to tell you, I own it. You simply cannot do what he’s disclosing he did,” he said before conceding, "It’s not illegal, but certainly, ethically, it’s completely dubious.”
The Beast report adds, "The American Medical Association’s code of ethics discourages physicians from selling or being paid to endorse any health products beyond medication. If they choose to do so, the AMA says physicians have an ethical obligation to disclose 'the nature of their financial interest in the sale of the product(s),' among other things."
You can read more here.
Watch below to see how Oz addressed the issues:
Dr Oz Mountain of conflict of interest exposed in new report www.youtube.com