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Yes, Pomegranates Are Good For You, But HOW Good?

Yes, Pomegranates Are Good For You, But HOW Good?

How far can a company go in making claims about their product’s benefits in order to sell it? In the case of POM Wonderful, the Federal Trade Commission upheld a judge’s ruling that the claims their juices can treat heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and strokes as it “cheats death,” is going too far.

Cases like these are neither few nor far between, as a cottage industry has sprung up around the premise that companies should be held accountable for marketing terms such as “natural,” “helps lower cholesterol” or “fresh.” POM’s case, however, goes up against the FTC itself, not an individual, and could therefore lead to changes in how many other food and drink makers are able to market their products.

The ads in question appeared in such national publications as The New York Times, Prevention, Fitness, Parade, and billboards, bus stops and online. From an advertising standpoint, they’re genius, but to the FTC, they needed to be reined in. Crisp, simply designed photographs of pomegranate juice proclaim, “Ace your EKG – a glass a day can reduce plaque by 30%,” “More naturally occurring antioxidants than any other drink,” and a cartoon of a bottle of POM exclaiming, “I’m off to save prostates!”

POM Wonderful disagreed. “This order ignores what $35 million of peer-reviewed scientific research, centuries of traditional medicine and plain common sense have taught us: antioxidant-rich pomegranate products are good for you,” they wrote in a press release.

The FTC ruled that POM’s $35 million dollars worth of scientific research are not enough to make claims such as the ones found in their advertising. Their complaint? POM funded the studies themselves. They ordered at least two controlled clinical, peer-reviewed studies, the gold standard of scientific research, to be cited if the drink maker wants to make claims about their product.

Some, like writer Bruce Goldman with Examiner.com, believe the commission overstepped its bounds in the ruling.

For over two years, the Federal Trade Commission and POM Wonderful LLC have been locked in legal battle over who was overreaching – POM in making health claims in its advertising or the FTC in exercising authority it doesn’t have. Yesterday, the full Federal Trade Commission declared the winner was…the Federal Trade Commission,” Goldman wrote.

Conflict of interest it may be, POM is barred from making any more health claims intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease. They have 60 days to appeal the ruling, so this may not be the last we hear of this case.

Freedom of speech should be protected, and consumers cannot act as if they are lost sheep with no resources before them to understand whether a product will deliver promises or potentially harm them. But in this case, POM’s claims may come across as too outlandish. They have a good product, but let it speak for itself without making unsubstantiated claims.

 

Also Read:

The POM Diet

Does Pomegranate Juice Slow Prostrate Cancer?

13 Reasons to Love Pomegranates

 

Read more: Cancer, Diet & Nutrition, Drinks, Health, Natural Remedies, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

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136 comments

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11:04AM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

Thanks

1:23PM PST on Feb 16, 2014

Thanks.

9:33AM PST on Dec 27, 2013

thanks

8:58AM PST on Dec 22, 2013

There is no doubt that "organic" pomegranates and pomegranate juice, as are other "organic" fruits and fruit juices, are GOOD FOR YOU; with the emphasis being on the "whole fruit" rather than the juice.

The problem is the "conflict of interest" - whether real or imagined - regarding the 35 million $ peer review paid for by POM Wonderful, touting the (health) benefits of POM's pomegranate products.

Like all advertised products - especially when it comes to health/health care products: BUYER BEWARE! How does that saying go: "Trust; but verify!" Do your own independent research. Don and I CAN! :-))

11:59PM PST on Dec 20, 2013

Thank you for the information :)

I must say that I prefer the juice to the fruit, as the fruit is a bit tart for my liking.

10:52PM PST on Dec 10, 2013

Thanks for sharing this

6:00PM PST on Dec 10, 2013

too bad

7:40AM PST on Nov 20, 2013

Lorna C. you can easily make your own; cheaper and healthier. Plenty of videos on the net for free.

3:20AM PST on Nov 20, 2013

The juice is so expensive !!!

2:10PM PDT on Nov 1, 2013

As always, there's a clear double standard here. If POM funds its own research, it's biased, but when Monsanto does it, it's perfect acceptable and even encouraged. Why? Because the US government favors big pharma, chemical companies, the meat and dairy industry, the oil industry and others that make substantial campaign contributions and broker lobbying deals behind closed doors. These mega corporations reap the benefits of giant subsidies and favored positioning, while being promoted by those government agencies that are supposed to have the best interests of consumers in mind. Clearly, they don't. While I do believe in both truthful advertising and unbiased research, I think the double standards that favor big industry are the much larger problem here.

I think I will continue to enjoy organic pomegranates and pomegranate juice as I have since I was a kid without paying to much attention to what the FTC has to say about it.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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