Senate

Mehmet Oz Had a Direct Financial Stake in Products Promoted on His Show

According to a new report from the Daily Beast, Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate nominee Mehmet Oz has “long used his platform—and the trust of his audience—to hawk specific products” he was secretly invested in. 

Prior to abandoning medical science to advance his political career, Oz regularly promoted dubious supplements and “allegedly made over $50 million” promoting a pyramid scheme.

In one instance, Oz cut ads for and promoted PanTheryx brands, whose products aren’t approved by the FDA. But he failed to disclose that he was a member of the board of directors and “holds a stake in the business worth as much as $1 million.”

Despite claiming that “doctors shouldn’t endorse” and that he “never” endorsed “one specific brand,” Oz’s personal financial disclosure contains a mountain of evidence that shows he had a “direct financial stake in whether [viewers] bought or sold the product whose benefits Oz was extolling.”

The Daily Beast: Dr. Oz’s Dark History of Promoting Companies He Was Quietly Invested In

By: Sam Brodey | August 1, 2022

Key Points

  • “When Dr. Mehmet Oz sat in front of the camera last year for a promotional video for Walmart, it ostensibly was to inform his fans and viewers how best to improve their immune health.”
  • “Viewers may have surmised that Oz’s video plugging TruBiotics was, essentially, an ad. What they were not aware of, however, is that 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 full extent of Oz’s financial relationship with PanTheryx—along with several other health supplement companies—has been revealed for the first time thanks to personal financial disclosure forms he was required to file as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.”
  • “Oz has long used his platform—and the trust of his audience—to hawk specific products, though he has claimed in the past that he has never personally profited from that activity. Under oath at a U.S. Senate committee hearing in 2014, Oz testified that he ‘never’ endorses ‘one specific brand’ and that ‘doctors shouldn’t endorse.’”
  • “But according to Arthur Caplan, a leading medical ethics expert at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Oz’s actions in this case represent 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,” Caplan said. “You simply cannot do what he’s disclosing he did.”
  • “But Oz has accumulated plenty of baggage on that path, prompting questions about who was really served by his medical advice and massive platform. While Oz has long faced scrutiny, his run for Senate has prompted a deeper examination of his record and invited a new set of questions about how he would wield the rare power afforded to a U.S. senator.”
  • “For instance, Oz’s sprawling financial disclosure forms list a number of assets and complicated arrangements stemming from the fortune he made in entertainment. Those entanglements have already proven complicated; they could become even more so if he were elected and were in a position to help regulate the supplement industries in which he is invested.”

Read the full report here.