WASHINGTON Jan 16 POM Wonderful made deceptive
advertising claims in saying that its pomegranate juice and
other products would make users healthier, the Federal Trade
Commission said on Wednesday.
Despite objections from POM, the commission upheld a
decision from an internal FTC judge that POM was deceptive in
saying its products had been clinically proven to reduce the
risk of heart disease and other ailments.
POM and the FTC have been wrangling over the issue for more
than two years.
The FTC commissioners, in issuing their order, found that 36
advertisements were deceptive. The FTC judge had earlier found
false or deceptive claims in 19 advertisements or promotional
The commissioners voted unanimously to order Los
Angeles-based POM to refrain from making any claims that its POM
products could improve a user's health, unless scientists had
done two randomized human trials to back up the claims.
In response, POM said the order "would require food
companies to conduct double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in
order to talk about potential health benefits of fruits and
POM said in its emailed statement that it undertaken $35
million in research to substantiate its health claims. It said
it would appeal the FTC decision in federal court.
The advertisements for POM that the FTC challenged appeared
in such publications as Parade, Fitness and Prevention magazines
as well as online and on product tags, the FTC said.