Dr. Oz Promoted Controversial Medicine in Book Written With CCP-Backed Academic

Dr. Mehmet Oz signs copies of 'Yin Yang You' / Getty Images
March 29, 2022

Dr. Mehmet Oz coauthored a book touting the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine with the head of a Beijing university controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Written by Oz and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine president Anlong Xu, Yin Yang You hit shelves on Oct. 11, weeks before Oz launched his Senate campaign in Pennsylvania. The book promotes traditional Chinese medicine, an alternative medical practice that has been met with skepticism in the West.

Oz's collaboration with Xu shows how the celebrity doctor's drive to make money in China may have helped Beijing's propaganda efforts. Oz, who has called on President Joe Biden to be "tougher" on Beijing, has made millions of dollars in the Chinese market from his television show and through a sponsorship deal with Usana Health, a wellness company with a heavy presence in China. Usana was a longtime sponsor of Oz's television show and published Yin Yang You.

The Chinese Communist Party has in recent years embraced traditional Chinese medicine as part of its soft-power initiatives. Chinese president Xi Jinping last year urged the development and export of traditional Chinese medicine, which he suggested could help fight COVID-19. Oz praised Xi at a book event in September for embracing traditional Chinese medicine, saying the Chinese Communist Party leader has "opened this portal" for Usana to sell health products in the Chinese market.

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine is a central hub in the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to promote traditional Chinese medicine across the globe. Xu Anlong, Oz's coauthor, appeared alongside Xi Jinping at an event in 2015 to launch an Australian satellite campus of Beijing University. The school said the partnership would help China's "soft-power" goals. Beijing University has since established the U.S. Center for Chinese Medicine outside Washington, D.C.

The Chinese Communist Party is deeply embedded at the Beijing school, whose eight-person leadership board includes three party secretaries. Xu has led Chinese Communist Party meetings at the university, according to its website.

The United Front Work Department also has a presence at the school. The department conducts many of the Chinese Communist Party's foreign influence operations. The school works closely with Confucius Institutes, which the Chinese government has used to keep tabs on Chinese students in the United States and other Western countries.

Usana's publication of the Oz book is part of a broader partnership with Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. The company released a two-minute infomercial in November that features Oz discussing herbal remedies with a professor from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Usana and Beijing University struck a deal in May 2021 to study traditional Chinese medicine and its various ingredients. Under the agreement, Usana has the right to commercialize any products developed through the partnership. Beijing University receives scholarships for traditional Chinese medicine students and support for the U.S. Center for Chinese Medicine.

Oz's Republican Senate primary campaign has floundered in recent weeks, with a Washington Free Beacon poll finding that challenger David McCormick has taken a commanding lead. Oz, who has made the U.S. relationship with China a central issue of his campaign, has faced extensive criticism for his foreign ties and for criticizing former president Donald Trump's strong trade policies against China. Oz pledged this month to renounce his Turkish citizenship, reversing a claim he made days earlier that he would maintain dual citizenship even if it meant forgoing classified Senate briefings.

When reached for comment, Oz communications director Brittany Yanick told the Free Beacon that the candidate "spent the last 30 years in medicine helping individuals combat illnesses and empowering people to make decisions that benefit themselves, not the government."