Wednesday, May 25, 2011

POM Wonderful Health Claims for Juice Lack Scientific Support, U.S. Says - Bloomberg

POM Wonderful LLC doesn’t have the scientific backing to make advertising claims that its pomegranate juice and supplements prevent or treat prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction and heart disease, a U.S. Federal Trade Commission lawyer said.

Studies the company cites often lack comparisons to control groups, don’t show statistically significant changes in medical conditions and are measuring the wrong indicators of improvement, FTC attorney Heather Hippsley said today.

Until recently, the FTC just wanted companies to base their ads on “competent and reliable scientific evidence,” the brief said.

Now the agency requires two well-controlled clinical trials in support of claims, according to the brief.

The requirement is a “radical change” in the FTC’s approach, raising its standard to one the Food and Drug Administration would use, said Jonathan Emord, an attorney who specializes in food and drug cases.

“It’s a bureaucratic power grab,” he said in an interview. “The FTC is doing the FDA’s bidding in a very unfortunate way.”

The FTC case also violates First Amendment rights, POM Wonderful said.

Scientists say companies’ claims for food’s health benefits should be held to the same standards as pharmaceuticals. Read More

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