Barry Bagnato / CBS News

WASHINGTON (CBS) – He may just be America’s most influential doctor.

But that can have its downside, as Dr. Mehmet Oz discovered at a Congressional hearing. Members of a Senate subcommittee accused him of acting irresponsibly by trumpeting weight loss pills and products that have been subjects of fraud investigations.

While he admits he needs to temper his endorsements, he argues his words and image are being misused by unscrupulous marketers, and that he’s only trying to give his audience options.

“I feel a need to bring passion to people’s lives about what they can do,” he says.

Unmoved, the head of the panel, Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, accused him of abusing his influence.

“Passion in connection with the words ‘miracle pill’ and ‘weight loss’ is a recipe for disaster,” she says.

McCaskill read him quotes of praise he has given to questionable weight loss products.

“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff, because you know it’s not true,” she says. “So why, when you have this amazing megaphone, and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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