The FTC has charged the makers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements with making false and unsubstantiated claims that their products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.

The FTC Charges…

“Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  “When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made.  Contrary to POM Wonderful’s advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses.”

POM’s Response

POM Wonderful said that it disagrees with the FTC and its results have been encouraging. POM said it has a right to share its research as it becomes available, especially because its food products do not have risks associated with pharmaceuticals.

“It’s a shame that the government is unable to understand this fundamental distinction, and instead is wasting taxpayer resources to persecute the pomegranate,” the Los Angeles-based company said.

Persecute the Pomegranate???

The FTC isn’t persecuting the pomegranate.

They’re persecuting a company that took a previously unloved little fruit and with a few million dollars for research & advertising, transformed the image of the “health juice” market from hippie to hipster.

Unfortunately, they went a little too far with their marketing claims.

Statements such as the following caused the FTC’s ears to perk up.

  • “SUPER HEALTH POWERS! … 100% PURE POMEGRANATE JUICE. … Proven to fight for cardiovascular, prostate and erectile health.”
  • “POM WONDERFUL JUICE =  30% DECREASE IN ARTERIAL PLAQUE … 17% IMPROVED BLOOD FLOW … PROMOTES HEALTHY BLOOD VESSELS … ”
  • You have a 50 percent chance of getting [prostate cancer].  Listen to me.  You have to drink pomegranate juice. It is the one thing that will keep your PSA normal.  .  There is nothing else we know of that will keep your PSA in check. … It’s also 40 percent as effective as Viagra.”
  • Clinical studies prove that POM Juice and POMx prevent, reduce the risk of, and treat heart disease, including by decreasing arterial plaque, lowering blood pressure, and improving blood flow to the heart;
  • Clinical studies prove that POM Juice and POMx prevent, reduce the risk of, and treat prostate cancer, including by prolonging prostate-specific antigen doubling time;
  • Clinical studies prove that POM Juice prevents, reduces the risk of, and treats, erectile dysfunction.

So, where does POM go from here?

If they’re smart, they will start acting like other health & fitness supplement companies and….

  1. tone down the health claims
  2. amp up the sex appeal

Apparently they’re pretty smart.