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Pom Victorious Over Coke in Ruling from Supreme Court

Pom Victorious Over Coke in Ruling from Supreme Court

A door may have just opened for litigation against deceptive labeling of food products. On Thursday the Supreme Court sided with juice company Pom Wonderful in their case against the Coca-Cola Co.

In an 8-0 ruling, the Supreme Court decided Pom can move forward with its lawsuit against Coca-Cola. The suit alleges the label on a “Pomegranate Blueberry” beverage in Coke’s Minute Maid line of juices is misleading because the beverage is 99 percent apple and grape juice.

Thursday’s decision by the Supreme Court reverses earlier decisions made by lower courts in favor of Coke. Because the beverage label is in accordance with the law and meets Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules, lower courts had ruled in favor of Coke. The new ruling states since the beverage in question contains only 0.3 percent pomegranate juice and 0.2 percent blueberry juice, its label could mislead customers even though it technically follows FDA rules.

Pom’s core argument against Coke is that their allegedly misleading label has caused potential customers to purchase the Minute Maid beverage instead of Pom’s products. Under the Lanham Act, Pom can sue Coke for unfair competition based on the misleading claims on the Coke products’ label.

Pom’s lawsuit against Coke was filed in 2008 after Minute Maid’s “Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices” was released on the market and Pom’s sales dropped. The words “Pomegranate Blueberry” are featured more prominently on the label than the rest of the phrase.

Those in the food and beverage industry are worried that a ruling in favor of Pom will lead to more uncertainty about the requirements of food labels and many new lawsuits. In a statement, Pom’s parent company said the Supreme Court’s decision, “will translate into higher assurance for consumers that the labels on beverage and food are accurate.”

Coke also released a statement about the ruling which said it is, “committed to clear labeling that fully complies with FDA regulations.”

Of course, it’s important to remember Pom has faced its own lawsuits for claims the company made about the health benefits of their juice. No matter how the lawsuit ultimately turns out, it’s nice to see companies being put under the microscope for making dubious claims on their labels.


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7:17PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

que mas haran con lo demas...terrorifico

10:02AM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

Paid heavily for pom wonderful juice over past few years.
learning they are only 6 % pomagranate juice!!
Since then, havent paid for more... still slowly drinking the existing bottle in fridge.

Juicing is great.. or make lassi- yogurt & fruit smothies, add ice or water to dilute as desired. A pinch of sugar/ or sweetener as you choose, and mainly milk & fruit sugar.. mango lassi- my favorite, but also u can use frozen berries for smoothies all year round.

6:38AM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

2:35AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

So how do they label lemonade now?

2:25AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Make your own juice....avoid the problems and get a superior product.

5:09PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014


5:05PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014


2:39PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

No matter which juice is in the bottle, if it's been pasteurized, it's sugar water, not juice, no matter what the flavor is. Make your own juice, or find a juice bar you trust. Unless you're having pressed juice from a Norwalk, it doesn't even need to be organic (although that's always preferable). The chemicals are concentrated in the pulp; the juice is pretty clean. I love my juicer, and love my local juice bars. Health and peace.

12:17PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014


11:49AM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

Yuck yuck :P

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