WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission has upheld a judge's earlier decision that POM Wonderful made deceptive claims about the health benefits of its products.
A federal administrative judged ruled in May that the company used deceptive advertising when claiming that its pomegranate juice could treat or prevent heart disease, prostate cancer and other illnesses.
POM Wonderful is credited with having started the pomegranate craze that spread to its use in products from smoothies to salad dressings. In addition to POM Wonderful juice, the company sells POMx pills and liquid extract.
The FTC filed a complaint against POM and its parent company, Los Angeles-based Roll International Corp., in September 2010. The company's health claims are a hallmark of its advertising and are seen as working to convince consumers that they are worth a premium price.
Los Angeles-based POM Wonderful and its owners had asked the FTC to overturn the earlier ruling and argued that the commission's actions would violate their First Amendment right to free speech and their Fifth Amendment right to due process.
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