Court Prevents Deceptive Advertising by POM Wonderful

the Renal and Urology News take:

An appeals court has upheld an order preventing POM Wonderful from advertising that its products prevent or treat prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, and heart disease. It's a victory on behalf of consumers, many of whom believe natural-sounding products will improve their health without scrutinizing the science. 

POM Wonderful’s deceptive advertising had appeared in several media outlets. In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission issued a complaint stating that disease claims made by POM Wonderful were false and unsubstantiated. The prostate cancer study POM Wonderful cited was not blinded or controlled. Likewise, the erectile dysfunction research failed to prove the pomegranate juice was any more effective than a placebo. 

“Today’s decision by the D.C. Circuit is a victory for consumers,” said FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez, according to a press release. “It is in keeping with established law that advertisers who market products for serious health conditions must have rigorous science to back up those claims. The court specifically recognized that this applies to food and dietary supplement marketers such as POM.  It also held that requiring a randomized, well-controlled human clinical study for future disease benefit claims is an appropriate remedy based on POM’s conduct.”

Requiring a randomized, controlled human clinical trial that proves benefit is certainly a step in the right direction.

Deceptive Advertising
POM Wonderful's advertising was misleading in claiming its products would treat or reduce the risk of diseases.

Pomegranate juice maker POM Wonderful cannot advertise that its pomegranate drinks treat or prevent heart disease or other ailments unless it has proof, a U.S. appeals court said Friday, upholding an order by the Federal Trade Commission.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit largely upheld a 2010 order by the Federal Trade Commission, which found that POM Wonderful's advertising was misleading in claiming its products would treat or reduce the risk of diseases ranging from heart disease to prostate cancer to erectile dysfunction.

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