Federal Judge Rules POM Wonderful Deceptive in Advertised Health Claims

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A federal judge has ruled that POM Wonderful, a popular pomegranate juice drink, was deceptive in its advertising claims that its juice products could prevent, treat or reduce the risk of heart disease, erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer.

The ruling by Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell upholds an earlier compliant filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against POM Wonderful and its parent company Roll International Corporation.

In its original complaint, the FTC alleged that the health claims made by POM in its national ad campaign were false and unproven, based on studies that were not controlled and yielded no real substantiated results that proved any such claims to be true.

Judge Chappell has now ordered that POM immediately cease from making any claims of health benefits from the consumption of its pomegranate juice products, unless the representation is clear and in no way misleading.

The judge did not agree with the FTC's position that POM should be required to provide specific evidence from long-term medical trials before making any such claims in the future. He instead said that "competent reliable scientific evidence" would be sufficient.

In a statement from POM Wonderful, LLC, the company said that it is "continuing to review the ruling." If POM doesn't choose to appeal, the Judge's ruling will become final after 30 days.

In addition to the original POM Wonderful juice drink, POM has several other pomegranate-based products on the market including POMx pills and liquid extract.