Pom Wonderful is Not Elixir of Life According to FTC

First Posted: Jan 17, 2013 12:43 PM EST

It's perhaps not surprising that pomegranate juice isn't as healthy as first though. And now, pomegranate juice seems to be going to same way as other "super foods." The Federal Trade Commission charged the makers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate juice with overstating the juice's health benefits.

Are we really surprised? POM claimed that their products could help reduce arterial plaque by 30 percent, promote healthy blood vessels, and that they were 40 percent as effective as Viagra. They also claimed that all of these benefits were supported by scientific research.

However, the FTC has found out that current research definitely does not prove that the juice prevents or treats any illnesses. In fact, drinking pomegranate juice is probably as effective as taking a placebo- though it does provide a healthy dose of antioxidants. It has recommended that POM receive FDA approval before making any more claims about the health benefits of its products.

The FTC filed charges against the company while POM filed its own , separate lawsuit against the FTC, claiming that the organization had wrongfully raised the standards for scientific evidence in this case. The FTC eventually won out, keeping POM from making any more health assertions until experiments had been conducted.

This particular incident shows the importance not only of scientific research, but also the perils of product advertising. Most recently, the cholesterol drug Tredaptive needed to be recalled worldwide after it was found to cause negative side effects and provide little to no health benefits. 

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