The Federal Trade Commission announced yesterday that it has filed a complaint against POM Wonderful for deceptive advertising. From the FTC:
As part of its ongoing efforts to uncover over-hyped health claims in food advertising, the Federal Trade Commission has issued an administrative complaint charging 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 complaint charges that POM Wonderful LLC, sister corporation Roll International Corp., and principals Stewart Resnick, Lynda Resnick, and Matthew Tupper violated federal law by making deceptive disease prevention and treatment claims. The ads in question appeared in national publications such as Parade, Fitness, The New York Times, and Prevention magazines; on Internet sites such as pomtruth.com, pomwonderful.com, and pompills.com; on bus stops and billboards; in newsletters to customers; and on tags attached to the product. read more…
POM boasts having spent over $30 Million on dozens of studies that prove their products’ superior antioxidant properties. The FTC does not seem impressed.
In an almost immediate response to the FTC’s allegations, POM said:
“POM Wonderful fundamentally disagrees with the FTC and believes that the commission’s allegations against POM are completely unwarranted.
Pomegranates are food – highly nutritious produce, designed by nature itself. Because POM products may in fact offer the promise of better health, we believe it is important to share the research results as they become available. This is especially true since our products do not carry the risks associated with pharmaceutical drugs. It’s a shame that the government is unable to understand this fundamental distinction, and instead is wasting taxpayer resources to persecute the pomegranate.
We do not make claims that our products act as drugs. What we do, rather, is communicate, through advertising, the promising science relating to pomegranates. Consumers and their health providers have a right to know about this research and its results.”
What you need to know:
We wrote about POM earlier this year. It is one of our favorite juice treats, enjoyed every once in a while for its amazing blend of tart and sweet. And yes, the fact that it is 100% pomegranate juice and not some fizzy pop does play into account.
However, lets not kid ourselves – the potential health benefits of a daily does of POM are overshadowed by the 17 tsp of sugar in each personal consumption bottle. Much better to eat the real deal, messy squirting red seeds and all.
As you probably know, all fruits and vegetables are good for you. Pomegranate included. But fruit juice is a different story. It loses much of the nutritional potency of the original fruit, especially the fiber. What it does gain is a very concentrated dose of sugar.
What to do at the supermarket:
As treats go, POM is great. But for daily consumption, save your money and choose tap water.