The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place a ruling that found POM Wonderful falsely advertised its products.
POM Wonderful’s petition asking the Supreme Court to review the case was denied.
“I am pleased that the POM Wonderful case has been brought to a successful conclusion," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. “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."
A three-judge appeals panel in 2015 affirmed an FTC decision, which held POM falsely advertised its products by stating they could reduce, treat or prevent the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. In 2013, the government agency found that marketers of POM Wonderful had made deceptive claims in 36 advertisements and promotional materials for pomegranate juice and supplements.
“POM Wonderful is committed to honest, transparent communication with consumers everywhere, and while the FTC questioned only 36 of our nearly 600 ads, we continue to stand behind our efforts to publicly convey valuable information about the health benefits of POM, as well as the $40 million in peer-reviewed, scientific research we’ve conducted regarding the power of this amazing fresh fruit," the company said Monday in a statement.
The 2015 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit marked a partial victory for POM Wonderful. The three-judge panel rejected FTC’s assertion that two randomized, controlled human clinical trials were needed before the company could claim a relationship between consumption of its products and the treatment or prevention of a disease.
“I think the case is significant because it specifically sends a message to FTC [that] the across-the-board requirement for two RCTs [randomized controlled trials] is not going to fly in the courts," Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), told INSIDER at the time of the appeals court decision.