POM Wonderful Juice Maker used Deceptive Ads, Judge Rules
Pomegranate juice maker Pom Wonderful used insufficient evidence to back claims that its products could treat or prevent serious diseases, the chief administrative law judge at the FTC says.
For the past decade, POM Wonderful (owned by California billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick) has touted amazing health benefits as brand sales have soared beyond $165 million.
Among the claims consumers have heard about POM Wonderful’s pomegranate juice:
"Medical studies have shown that drinking 8 oz. of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice daily minimizes factors that lead to atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries) a major cause of heart disease,
"After drinking 8 oz. of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice daily for at least two years, these men experience significantly slower PSA doubling times. (This related to prostate cancer in men). "
Judge D. Michael Chappell upheld much of a 2010 Federal Trade Commission complaint against the Los Angeles company owned by the Resnicks.
The judge said in his decision issued Monday that POM used "insufficient" evidence to back its claims that Pom products "treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer or erectile dysfunction."
Chappell, the chief administrative law judge at the FTC, ordered Pom to discontinue making "any representation" that a product "is effective in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of any disease."
Violations of the order could be subject to a fine of $16,000 per incident.