Ftc targets pom juice health claims federal trade commission says in a complaint that the company, owned by billionaire art collectors stewart and lynda resnick, makes misleading claims of its pomegranate products' effectiveness in treating disease. - los angeles times
FTC targets Pom juice health claims Federal Trade Commi.
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Federal Trade Commission says in a complaint that the company,
owned by billionaire art collectors Stewart and Lynda Resnick,
makes misleading claims of its pomegranate products'
September 27, 2010 | By P.J. Huffstutter and Andrew Zajac, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Los Angeles and Washington — The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against LosAngeles-based pomegranate juice maker Pom Wonderful and its billionaire owners, Lynda and Stewart Resnick,
alleging that they violated federal law by making "false and unsubstantiated claims" about the health benefits of their
Since its launch in 2002, the garnet-red juice in the curvy little bottle gave way to a marketing craze of flavored fruitteas, martinis and salad dressings — a culinary boom bolstered by Pom's products advertised as helping to treatconditions including heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. The company, according to its website,has spent more than $34 million to back pomegranate-based scientific research.
In a complaint filed Monday, however, the commission was skeptical. It questioned the scientific methods used in thestudies and alleged they did not find evidence showing the products to be effective against certain diseases.
"Any consumer who sees Pom Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled," David Vladeck,director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.
The complaint — which also named Pom's parent company, Roll International Corp., and company PresidentMatthew Tupper — marks the latest salvo in an ongoing campaign by the federal agency to uncover false health claimsin food advertising.
In recent months, the commission forced Nestle to halt an ad campaign for a drink called Boost Kid Essentials thatclaimed it would keep children from getting sick and missing school. It also required Kellogg Co. to stop makingclaims that nutrients in its Rice Krispies cereal improved kids' immunity and that its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal was"clinically shown to improve kids' attentiveness by nearly 20%."
With Pom, the FTC cited a number of advertisements as being misleading on its websites, in national print outlets andelsewhere. The commission also pointed to Lynda Resnick, the driver behind the company's marketing juggernaut,and raised concerns over comments she made during media interviews.
On "The Martha Stewart Show," Resnick said Pom was "the magic elixir of our age and of all ages, and we know that ithelps circulation, it helps Alzheimer's, it helps all sorts of things in the body." She reportedly told a Newsweekreporter, "It's also 40% as effective as Viagra."
Vossiuspers UvA is an imprint of Amsterdam University Press. This edition is established under the auspices of the Universiteit van Amsterdam. This publication was made possible in part by a grant received from the Mondriaan Interregelingfor the Digital Methods Initiative. This is inaugural lecture 339, published in this series of the University of AmsterdamCover design: Crasborn BNO, Valkenburg
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