Posted 23 January 2013
Pomegranate is being marketed as effective for a range of health conditions. Are the claims true?
In the USA, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has struck at a seller of pomegranate juice and supplements for claiming that the product is effective, among other, for preventing or treating heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction. The FTC bases its actions on science i.e., evaluating whether the evidence for the claims are justified by good evidence or not.
FTC clips pomegranate product marketers
The Federal Trade Commission has upheld and expanded an Administrative Law Judge’s decision that marketers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements:
(a) deceptively advertised their products and
(b) did not have adequate support for claims that their products were effective in preventing or treating heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.
In 2010, the FTC had charged the marketers with making false and unsubstantiated claims. [FTC complaint charges deceptive advertising by POM Wonderful: Agency proceedings will determine whether health claims for pomegranate products are false and not supported by scientific evidence. FTC news release, Sept 27, 2010]
In 2012, after an Administrative Law Judge sided with the FTC, the marketers appealed to the full Commission. On January 10, 2013, the Commission issued a Final Order barring POM’s marketers from making efficacy claims for any food, drug, or supplement that are not supported by randomized, well-controlled, human clinical trials. [FTC Commissioners uphold trial judge decision that POM Wonderful, LLC; Stewart and Lynda Resnick; others deceptively advertised pomegranate products by making unsupported health claims. FTC news release, Jan 16, 2013]