POM not as wonderful as claimed

Updating the story below, POM Wonderful makes the news again.

U.S. FTC finds POM Wonderful health claims deceptive | Reuters.

Despite objections from POM, the commission upheld a decision from an internal FTC judge that POM was deceptive in saying its products had been clinically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and other ailments.

POM and the FTC have been wrangling over the issue for more than two years.

The FTC commissioners, in issuing their order, found that 36 advertisements were deceptive. The FTC judge had earlier found false or deceptive claims in 19 advertisements or promotional materials.

A questionable part of this story is that they undertaking their own research to prove their claims. Conflict of interest? You bet. Such a thing is done all the time for these types of “natural” products.

Originally published May 21, 2012

FTC is doing their job again. Their complaint regarding deceptive advertising for pomegranate products was upheld.

Administrative Law Judge Upholds FTC’s Complaint that POM Deceptively Advertised Its Products as Treating, Preventing, or Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease, Prostate Cancer, and Erectile Dysfunction.

ALJ Ruling: Some Health Claims for Pomegranate Products Were False and Not Supported by Scientific Evidence

In an Initial Decision announced today, Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell upheld a Federal Trade Commission complaint, and ruled that POM Wonderful LLC, its sister corporation Roll Global LLC, and principals Stewart Resnick, Lynda Resnick, and Matthew Tupper violated federal law by making deceptive claims in some advertisements that their POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements (POM products) would treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.

An order Judge Chappell issued with the Initial Decision would bar the POM respondents from making any representation about the “health benefits, performance, or efficacy” of POM products or any other food, drug, or dietary supplement – unless the representation is not misleading, and the POM respondents possess “competent and reliable scientific evidence . . . to substantiate that the representation is true.” It also would bar them from representing that any such product “is effective in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease,” including treating, preventing, or reducing the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, or erectile dysfunction – unless the representation is not misleading, and the POM respondents possess “competent and reliable scientific evidence . . . to substantiate that the representation is true.” The order also would bar the POM respondents from misrepresenting “the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any test, study, or research.”

Tip: The Consumerist

Well, yay. Along with all these many fruit and vegetable products that promise natural goodness and well being, pomegranate had become pompular very popular. So, have it in your martini for flavor but don’t count on the health benefits. Those claims are sour.

The ads appeared in national publications such as Parade, FitnessThe New York Times, and Prevention magazines; on Internet sites such as pomtruth.com, pomwonderful.com, and pompills.com; on bus stops and billboards; in newsletters to customers; and on tags attached to the product.  POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice is widely available at grocery stores nationwide.  POMx pills and liquid extract are sold via direct mail.

  4 comments for “POM not as wonderful as claimed

  1. Fastmover01
    May 21, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I will stick to my V-8 thank you.

  2. January 17, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    This is exactly the reason why, from a business perspective, the “natural/organic” companies should whole-heartedly commit themselves to real, ethical science.

    If POM had based their claims on hard science, rather than; I’m guessing, ideology, think of all the money they’d have saved just in the cost of labeling, alone.

    These rulings will open the company up for all sorts of law suites.

  3. RDW
    January 17, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    I used to get an aching in my heart. I started taking a single aspirin and some L-Arginine every day. It seemed to make me feel better. My impression was that the aspirin thinned my blood and the L-Arginine expanded my blood vessels. I’m not sure about real science, but it seemed to actually make me feel somewhat more vigorous.

  4. Phil
    January 17, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Thing is I love pomegranate juice. I don’t think it has any magic nutritional effects. Pity they market it like that.

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