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Dr. Oz Diet Pill: Study Backing Weight-Loss Claim Is Retracted

Image: Dr. Oz Diet Pill: Study Backing Weight-Loss Claim Is Retracted
In this January 8, 2009 file photo is seen television personality and medical doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz. (David McNew/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 07:03 AM

A diet pill once praised by Dr. Oz on his medical television show has now had the one study backing its weight-loss claims retracted by its authors.

"The sponsors of the study cannot assure the validity of the data so we, Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham, are retracting the paper," the authors said in a statement on DovePress.com.

According to CBS News, Dr. Oz promoted the pills, which contained green coffee extract, on his show in May 2012. He called the pills a "magic weight loss cure for every body type." At the time, he cited the scientific study backing the extract, which was published that same year in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy.

Using clips from the show, the manufacturers of the pills, Florida-based Pure Green Coffee, went on to sell half a million bottles of the product. Dr. Oz, however, remained completely unaffiliated with the company, and did not receive any compensation for the sales of the pills, monetary or otherwise.

Then, in May of this year, the Federal Trade Commission sued the company behind Pure Green Coffee, charging them with making false claims and deceiving customers.

In June, Oz was asked to attend a congressional panel hearing about the debunked weight-loss pills. He voluntarily attended, saying "I came here because I want to be part of the solution not part of the problem."

He emphasized that he had never had any affiliation with the company, and did not give his permission for them to use him as a spokesperson.

"If you see my name, face or show in any type of ad, email or other circumstance," Oz testified, "it's illegal."

Three months later, in September, the FTC also sued the Texas-based company that sponsored the study, Applied Food Sciences. Upon being sued, the company agreed to a $3.5 million settlement.

"Applied Food Sciences knew or should have known that this botched study didn't prove anything," Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, announced last month. "In publicizing the results, it helped fuel the green coffee phenomenon."

Now, the whole house of cards has come down, as the authors of the study themselves have retracted it.

Dr. Oz is unlikely to face legal action, as it appears he acted on good faith that the scientific journal that had published the study had vetted it properly.

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A diet pill once praised by Dr. Oz on his medical television show has now had the one study backing its weight-loss claims retracted by its authors.
dr oz, diet, pill, study, retracted
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2014-03-22
Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 07:03 AM
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