POM Juice Lawsuit: FTC Judge Rules Pomegranate Juice Maker Used Deceptive Ads

If you’ve been downing copious amounts of POM Juice in hopes that it would prevent heart disease, prostate cancer and other illnesses, you may want to look towards something else — something that actually works.

On Monday, a federal judge upheld the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint that Pom Wonderful, whose flagship product is pomegranate juice packaged into a trademark “double-bulb” bottle, has used deceptive advertising when listing the juice’s supposed health benefits against serious diseases.

ABC News reports that Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell sided with federal regulators and ordered POM to halt all claims of health benefits and performance for its beverage saying that there was “inadequate” evidence to back up the company’s superfood claims.

The judge’s decision was made after expert witnesses testified in court that scientific evidence does not support claims made in company advertising, which appeared in national newspapers, magazines and online.

“I am pleased that Judge Chappell found that all respondents including Mr. and Mrs. Resnick violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by deceptively advertising that the POM products treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction and has entered an order against them,” David C. Vladeck, director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.

The FTC originally filed a complaint against POM and its parent company, Los Angeles-based Roll International Corp., in September 2010.

The LA Times writes that Judge Chappell’s decision goes into effect in 30 days unless Pom formally challenges it — something the popular juice company has already said it plans on moving forward with.

“We do plan to appeal certain aspects of the ruling,” Pom spokesman Corey Martin said.

The appeal would be heard by the five-member FTC. If an appeal is not successful, Pom could take the matter to a federal appeals court.

Readers chime in: Does the news that POM juice may not “perform as advertised” come as any sort of shock to you? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.