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FTC: POM Wonderful Makes Deceptive Health Claims In Ads

Last week Skechers got slapped by the FTC; now it’s POM’s turn.

When Skechers was forced to pay a large lump of money due to their false advertisements, the FTC warned all other major companies that it would not tolerate any more deceptive ads. The Federal Trade Commission has stayed true to its word, now targeting POM Wonderful for making false claims of health benefits in their ads. The company told the public that its pomegranate products served as a solution to prostate cancer, heart disease, and even erectile dysfunction.

The complaint of deceptive advertising had been filed against the major company back in 2010, and a federal administrative judge ruled that the company was indeed trying to deceive consumers. The judge made the ruling on Monday, finally putting an end to the case. POM Wonderful’s advertising has always been focused on claims of “Antioxidant Superpower,” but as it turns out the claims were a bit far-fetched.

The FTC filed the complaint saying that many of their scientific studies actually didn’t prove that POM products could treat or prevent heart disease. In addition, they also discovered that the company did not use a control group when it tested how the drink could help prevent prostate cancer. The lack of a control group made the entire experiment invalid. Lastly, the claims that the drink could help solve erectile dysfunction were insufficient because the company failed to prove that POM Wonderful was any more effective than a placebo.

Although the Chief Administrative Law Judge, Michael Chappell, did rule in favor of the FTC, he did not completely agree with its complaint. The FTC stated that the company should have to provide proof of rigorous medical trials before making such impressive claims of health benefits. Chappell, on the other hand, simply ruled that the company needed to provide “competent reliable scientific evidence.”

The Los-Angeles based company saw this ruling as a victory on its behalf. The Chief Legal Officer for POM Wonderful LLC, Craig Cooper, said, “We consider this not only to be a huge win for us, but for the natural food products industry.”

Stewart A. Resnick, the President of Roll Global, which is POM Wonderful’s parent company, also added, “We have always believed in the power of the pomegranate and are pleased that we will be able to continue to showcase the fantastic health benefits inherent in this wonderful fruit.”

According to CBS, the company is still reviewing the ruling, but hasn’t indicated plans to appeal.”

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