Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial today of POM Wonderful’s petition for a writ of certiorari. The Court declined to review the D.C. Circuit’s ruling upholding a Commission decision that found POM and its principals misled consumers in advertising their products.
“I am pleased that the POM Wonderful case has been brought to a successful conclusion,” Chairwoman Ramirez said. “The outcome of this case makes clear that companies like POM making serious health claims about food and nutritional supplement products must have rigorous scientific evidence to back them up. Consumers deserve no less.”
In late January 2015, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the January 2013 Commission decision that the marketers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements deceptively advertised that the products could treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, and were clinically proven to have such benefits.
The Commission’s cease and desist order as affirmed by the appellate court requires POM’s future disease treatment and prevention claims to be supported by at least one randomized, well-controlled human clinical trial, and other health benefit claims to be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.