May 24, 2012

POM continues to make false health claims in ads, despite FTC ruling.

POM lies to us.

The FTC just told them to stop making health claims, or else. POM’s new ads repeat all the same false health claims. What’s next?

POM’s secret ingredient? Snake oil.

The judge said…that Pom used “insufficient” evidence to back its claims that Pom products “treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer or erectile dysfunction.”

…one cited as deceptive described Pom juice as an “antioxidant superpower,” and went on to say that antioxidants guard against agents that “can cause heart disease, premature aging, Alzheimer’s disease, even cancer.”

…ordered Pom to discontinue making “any representation” that a product “is effective in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of any disease.”

Violations of the order could be subject to a fine of $16,000 per incident.

And this, friends, is why government for, by and of We the People is a necessary balance against corporations, who (no longer “that”) are motivated by their bottomlines.

But don’t worry! POM is spending big bucks, their rotating ad atop the NY Times and, I’m sure, many other print and new media pubs, brazening making those same old claims right now:

From Forbes:

POM Wonderful, the privately held Los Angeles maker of pricey pomegranate juice ($5 a pint), has spent $32 million funding scientific studies, including trials in 2,500 patients. “We’ve tried to bring modern science to bear on this ancient fruit,” says POM President Matthew Tupper. “We’re not aware of any other beverage supplement that has the same level of clinical research behind it.”

In fact, there’s not a single definitive result among studies listed on POM’s website. The biggest experiment, with 289 patients, used ultrasound on the neck to test whether drinking pomegranate juice reduced hardening of the arteries in heart patients. It found “no significant difference.” (The authors hypothesized that the juice may have helped sicker patients.) Other trials in prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction are more preliminary.

In February the FDA warned POM it was marketing its juice as an unapproved drug and demanded it tone down its sales pitch. The FDA cited all sorts of glowing testimonials on its site, including how the juice saved the life of a cancer patient, made mysterious lumps disappear and helped treat a heart-valve infection. POM says it’s negotiating with the FDA.

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