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Information is Power!

FTC claims pomegranate juice brand, POM, is misleading consumers

Caught-up in the pomegranate craze?  Check-out this article from The Consumerist:  Shoppers bite back:

Judge Upholds FTC Complaint That POM Shouldn’t Claim To Cure What Ails You

By Mary Beth Quirk – May 21, 2012

If you’ve been chugging your way through vats of POM pomegranate juice or downing POMx supplements in the hopes that it would cure or prevent heart disease, prostate cancer or erectile dysfunction, the Federal Trade Commission has got some words for you.

An administrative law judge upheld an FTC complaint that said POM was making deceptive claims in some advertisements about the powers of its juice and supplements, according to a press release from the FTC.

The judge ruled that POM and its sister corporation Roll Global LLC violated federal law with its claims, and barred POM from making “any representation about the “health benefits, performance, or efficacy” of POM products or any other food, drug, or dietary supplement. There’s also a whole slew of factors that must be met before any claims can be made, like the handy dandy notion of “competent and reliable scientific evidence.”

The FTC wanted claims to also receive prior approval from the Food and Drug Administration before POM could include those claims in advertising, but the judge ruled that such a requirement would be “unnecessary overreaching.”

The violations of federal advertising law were serious, said the judge, because the claims pertained to serious conditions and consumers weren’t able to evaluate whether they were true or supported by clinical studies cited in the ads.

Let’s all admit it:  Most antioxidant supplement claims are probably over-blown.  And while I will admit to advocating eating and drinking lots of raw fruits and vegetables, I can think of a number of reasons why drinking a lot of POM brand juice might not be a good idea.

For one thing, that’s a lot of sugar!  For another, the stuff is really expensive!  Sure, have a glass with breakfast or at snack time.  But eating blueberries is probably just as good.

On the “is it better than drinking OJ scale,” I would say, “Sure!”  But better than eating or drinking juice from other types of berries without added sugar?  Probably not.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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