FTC Says POM Wonderful Not So Great

The FTC wants to see some proof that the pomegranate ingredients in POM Wonderful’s products can actually treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, which is what the company says in marketing and packaging materials.

POM Wonderful tends to mention studies that prove its products’ effectiveness in treating those conditions, but the FTC says such claims are “false and unsubstantiated,” because the studies either didn’t show what POM claims, or they weren’t valid studies. In the case of erectile dysfunction, the FTC says the study POM points to actually didn’t show pomegranate to be any more effective than a placebo.

In a separate action, the FTC has come down on POM Wonderful’s former head of scientific and regulatory affairs, and he has agreed to stop making any health claims that aren’t supported by actual scientific evidence.

On its website, POM Wonderful claims that it stands behind the studies, and that “we do not make claims that our products act as drugs. What we do, rather, is communicate, through advertising, the promising science relating to pomegranates.”

“FTC Complaint Charges Deceptive Advertising by POM Wonderful” [FTC.gov]

Comments

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  1. Ouze says:

    It sounds almost like they are trying to claim the benefits of resveratrol, which is odd as Pomegranates aren’t specially high in it.

  2. fuceefacee says:

    Though I like the taste, Pom or anything with pomegranate is way overpriced. Pom’s claims are targeted to the same crowd that believe like like a religion that overpriced organic foods are better for you.

    That statement is going to upset somebody.

    • qwickone says:

      I actually don’t like it at all because it doesn’t taste like real pomegranate to me. Does it taste like an actual pomegranate to anyone? Is it just me??

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Stamping a high price on generic crap is pretty common – High price must mean high quality, right?

      They did studies on wine consumption. On average, people think wine tastes better when it’s expensive.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Absolutely overpriced! I noticed price creep for this sludge several years ago (I used to buy an occasional bottle) then they started marketing it with focus on it as a health product and increased the price. Never bought it since.

    • aja175 says:

      Juice a few pomegranates. That half cup of juice ya get out of a half dozen pomegranates is why it’s so expensive.

  3. David in Brasil says:

    Next up: Mangosteen juice

    • Snaptastic says:

      THIS.

      I’ve heard all kinds of crap about mangosteen juice–so I bought some mangosteens. Apparently the health benefits are from the rind, not the fruit. I found some cheap mangosteen rind tea at the oriental market for less than the cheap green tea. Nope–apparently the “xanthones” are destroyed by the heat. I look into it and find that xanthones are heat stable.

      Needless to say, I’m more than certain it’s a bunch of crap. …and I didn’t feel any different after eating the fruit or drinking the rind tea….so I sure as heck ain’t spending $50 for the bottle of juice at the health food store.

  4. qbubbles says:

    Yucky stuff… I cant stand pomegranate flavored things except for the POM black tea drink. Who cares if it’s good for you (or not), that shit is cracktastic.

  5. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    It’s almost as if they are betting that the people won’t look up the actual studies, and read them for themselves….

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I know, right? Almost like consumers believe companies’ claims blindly, based on fancy words and pretty lettering.

    • quijote says:

      Or it’s as if they’re betting that by the time their claims are legally challenged, the seed will have been planted in the minds of consumers. Rather than merely being required to stop making unsupported claims, and paying a small fine, they should be forced to advertise the falsehood of their previous claims.

  6. Holybalheadedchrist! says:

    They should also mention it tastes like total crap. If I want to spend $4 on something that bad I’ll go to Blockbuster and rent Battlefield Earth.

  7. Grabraham says:

    any problem with the taste of the fruit juice can be solved with the proper application of vodka

  8. theycallmeGinger says:

    I always hated the name Pom Wonderful. It’s neither catchy nor clever. Maybe it’s just the way they say it on NPR…

  9. Mecharine says:

    That last line is completely LOL inducing. Double talk at its finest.

  10. He says:

    I wish the FTC would spend more time going after supplement makers than food/drink makers. At least you’re still getting fruit juice which isn’t going to hurt you.

  11. Bernardo says:

    Its good juice thats really over priced. No matter what they pitch it does for me I treat this like a once in a blue moon snack. It isd a shame about all the false claims. I hope the FTC pulls these ads its really bad for people to be paying a high price for something believeing it does more than it does. I just buy it because it tastes good. I cant wait for a good cheap generic version.

  12. Kohl's Retail Monkey says:

    But it tastes so gooooood!

  13. Dre' says:

    I don’t know about all the health benefits, but it tastes great mixed with vodka & Sprite.

  14. unpolloloco says:

    Isn’t this under the FDA’s jurisdiction (due to medical claims)? Why is the FTC involved?

  15. macruadhi says:

    And how can something so full of sugar be good for you, kinda like all those sugary cereals marketed to kids that are good because they have 3 grams fiber and 100% of the USRDA of a bunch of vitamins

  16. RxDude says:

    Who needs POM? Grenadine has been around for years.

  17. ElizabethD says:

    Who cares about Pom juice in a bottle. I just had my first Edy’s frozen pomegranate juice bar last night and am totally in LOVE with these babies.

  18. sheldonmoon69 says:

    Regardless of whether or not it’s “false and unsubstantiated”, the truth is that we’ll never know which natural remedies actually work for people. Our system was sold to big drug companies long ago and what they say goes – when it comes to treating illness.

    I feel like there are some natural remedies that certain companies and the government agencies that they’ve purchased don’t want you to know about.

  19. baristabrawl says:

    Wouldn’t the FDA care more? No? My bad.

  20. biggeek says:

    POM tastes like crap because the juice gets oxidized to death during the extraction and packaging process.