On January 30, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld claims of false advertising by POM Wonderful LLC (“POM Wonderful”), finding that the government could prohibit the pomegranate juice company from advertising its products as being effective in fighting heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
Two nonprofits, the Alliance for Natural Health – USA, and TechFreedom, released a report last week alleging that the Federal Trade Commission broke free speech laws when in January 2013, it barred POM Wonderful from asserting that its pomegranate juice is “effective in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease,” including heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, unless the claim is supported by two randomized, well-controlled, human clinical trials. In their report, the nonprofits estimate that the two clinical trials required by the FTC could cost up to $600 million each.
The POM order highlights the balancing act between requiring substantiation to ensure a claim is truthful and not misleading to consumers, and overly burdensome substantiation requirements that suppress otherwise truthful speech. The nonprofits’ report criticizes the FTC’s ruling as falling into the latter category by requiring an enormously increased level of substantiation.
Continue Reading Advocacy Groups Say FTC is at Odds with the First Amendment
On January 16, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission in a 5-0 vote upheld a May 2012 Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) decision that POM Wonderful LLC (“POM”) and its owners had falsely advertised its POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, and POMx liquid and pill supplements, by claiming that its products treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, and that they were proven to work……
Continue Reading POM Wonderful’s Claims … Not So Wonderful
In the heated contest for market share of antioxidant-rich drinks, it’s Pom Wonderful two, competitors nil.
The National Advertising Division recently reviewed claims by juice maker Bossa Nova Beverage Group, Inc. concerning its Acai Juice at the request of Pom Wonderful, LLC, which markets pomegranate juice drinks. The NAD concluded that Bossa Nova’s studies did not adequately substantiate claims that its drink was higher in antioxidants than Pom Wonderful’s drinks, and therefore should be discontinued.
Earlier this year, Pom Wonderful won a $1.5 million award in a false advertising suit against the Purely Juice company for claims the latter made concerning its “100% Pomegranate” drink.
The Bossa Nova case involved Bossa Nova Acai Juice, made from pulp from acai berries, which are indigenous to Central and South America.…