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FTC Pom Wonderful Decision Has Implications for Health Claims in Ads

An Administrative Law Judge has handed down a decision in an FTC case challenging health claims made in advertisements for Pom Wonderful pomegranate products.   Ultimately, the judge agreed with the FTC that claims the products could reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction were deceptive.  However, the judge did not go as far as the FTC had wanted, which was to require FDA approval (including clinical trials) of such representations.  Instead, the judge wrote that FDA pre-approval would constitute “unnecessary overreaching” and that the existing standard of proof requiring “competent and reliable scientific evidence” in substantiating health claims was sufficient.    

This case will have significant impacts on advertisers making health claims about their products going forward.  

If you have any questions, you can reach Dan Jaffe in ANA’s Washington office at 202-296-2359 or at djaffe@ana.net.

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ANA's Washington, DC office plays a leading role in protecting the ability of all marketers to communicate effectively with consumers. At the end of each year, we prepare a Compendium which describes our efforts on the broad range of issues we have faced. 

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