UPDATE [9/28/10]: In response to the FTC’s charges, POM as issued a statement that they feel the allegations are “unwarranted” and that the health benefits of pomegranate juice are “backed by $25 million in medical research.” The juice producer goes even further by stating that the FTC “is wasting taxpayer resources to persecute the pomegranate.”
Yet another popular drink manufacturer must face government regulators over exaggerated health claims. While the Food and Drug Administration has called out several food and beverage producers, this time the Federal Trade Commission is stepping onto the field. The FTC is suing POM Wonderful LLC of Los Angeles over their claims about the wonders of pomegranate juice.
The commission is targeting POM Wonderful 100% Juice and POMx dietary supplements. They say that ads for these items make “false and unsubstantiated claims that their products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.”
In the past, POM has stood resolutely behind its health claims. The Wall Street Journal reports that in March the company announced “all statements made in connection with POM products are true and supported by unprecedented scientific research.”
The FTC disagrees. “Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Contrary to POM Wonderful’s advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses.”