Dr Oz enables a lot of scammers and quacks. This story about Lindsey Duncan is an eye-opener about how the alternative medicine frauds operate.
Duncan is a “naturopathic doctor and “celebrity nutritionist,” which means he isn’t really any kind of doctor at all, and he makes money peddling pills that don’t do much of anything. For some reason, the producers of the Dr Oz show feel that’s sufficient qualifications to show up and offer glib testimonies about the efficacy of quack nostrums, so they called him up and asked him to come on the show and tout the weight loss power of green coffee beans.
Duncan knew nothing about green coffee beans, and he didn’t even sell them on his site…yet. But opportunity had come knocking, so his staff wasted no time in claiming that he was an expert and booking him for the show.
You can guess what happened next. Duncan also wasted no time in buying up green coffee beans, and in the very best SEO style, making sure he had keywords that would direct browsers right to his storefront. And the Dr Oz show helped him do it!
The producer allowed Duncan to edit the script, writing the very words Oz would utter on the show. He added language that "would advise viewers that they could find green coffee bean capsules online by typing the words ‘Pure Green Coffee Bean Capsules’ into their web browsers… [he also] added language in which Duncan would advise viewers to ‘take two 400 mg vegetarian capsules,’" according to the FTC.
The producer followed up with Duncan, asking whether he could recommend a particular brand of green coffee bean supplement.
Duncan didn’t reply right away. Instead, he emailed his employees: "This is either a set up or manna from the heavens . . . Please get Green Coffee Bean up on our site immediately!!! I will then recco the PH site!!!!! Let me know when it’s up!"
Furthermore, they quickly maneuvered to arrange a bulk sale to Walmart.
After the episode taping, one of Duncan’s employees emailed a contact at Walmart again: “We just left a taping at the Dr. Oz show today, and Dr. Lindsey unveiled a new supplement that millions of Americans are going to want when this show airs in 2 weeks, and we have a product developed and ready to produce for Dept. 82 at Walmart. You are probably aware of the ‘Oz Effect,’ this will be the Oz Effect on steroids!”
It was a $50 million sale.
Dr Oz isn’t in trouble over this — it was just passive stupidity on his part that allowed Duncan to take advantage of the Oz bullhorn. One of the companies that profited from the scam — I get the impression that Duncan fronts a whole lot of trash, and skips away to avoid guilt — has settled with the FTC in an arrangement that lets them declare that they weren’t found at fault.
Oz really is a figurehead for a criminal operation. I don’t know how he keeps his medical license.