After a two year long case, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has maintained POM Wonderful’s right to claim health benefits of its popular pomegranate juice, as long as POM “shall not make any representation, in any manner, expressly or by implication, including through the use of a product name, endorsement, depiction, illustration, trademark or trade name, about the health benefits, performance or efficacy of any covered product, unless the representation is nonmisleading.”
POM has invested millions of dollars in scientific research to confirm the health properties of pomegranate juice. However, many of their advertisements claim that pomegranate juice is a one stop cure all, and the FTC alleges that many of these claims are false and not backed up by science. Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at NYU states, “This makes it clear why everyone should be suspicious of the results of sponsored studies.“POM-sponsored studies produce results favorable to POM.”
POM Wonderful’s chief legal officer stated in the New York Times,”We can’t make claims for treatment, prevention or cure of diseases.” The judge of the case stated, “The greater weight of the persuasive expert testimony in this case leads to the conclusion that where the product is absolutely safe, like POM Products, and where the claim or advertisement does not suggest that the product be used as a substitute for conventional medical care or treatment, then it is appropriate to favor disclosure.” The judges ruling becomes final after 30 days, and it’s looking like POM will not appeal.