Judge Upholds FTC Complaint That POM Shouldn't Claim To Cure What Ails You

If you’ve been chugging your way through vats of POM pomegranate juice or downing POMx supplements in the hopes that it would cure or prevent heart disease, prostate cancer or erectile dysfunction, the Federal Trade Commission has got some words for you.

An administrative law judge upheld an FTC complaint that said POM was making deceptive claims in some advertisements about the powers of its juice and supplements, according to a press release from the FTC.

The judge ruled that POM and its sister corporation Roll Global LLC violated federal law with its claims, and barred POM from making “any representation about the “health benefits, performance, or efficacy” of POM products or any other food, drug, or dietary supplement. There’s also a whole slew of factors that must be met before any claims can be made, like the handy dandy notion of “competent and reliable scientific evidence.”

The FTC wanted claims to also receive prior approval from the Food and Drug Administration before POM could include those claims in advertising, but the judge ruled that such a requirement would be “unnecessary overreaching.”

The violations of federal advertising law were serious, said the judge, because the claims pertained to serious conditions and consumers weren’t able to evaluate whether they were true or supported by clinical studies cited in the ads.

Administrative Law Judge Upholds FTC’s Complaint that POM Deceptively Advertised Its Products as Treating, Preventing, or Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease, Prostate Cancer, and Erectile Dysfunction [Federal Trade Commission]