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POM Wonderful Juice Ad Claims Violated Law, FTC Judge Says

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- POM Wonderful LLC’s advertising claims about the health benefits of its pomegranate juice drink violated the law, according to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission administrative law judge.

POM Wonderful made “false or misleading” claims about the effects of the drink, according to D. Michael Chappell, the FTC’s chief administrative law judge in an initial decision released today. The advertisements claimed the product would treat or prevent heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.

Chappell rejected the agency’s position that the company needed to conduct clinical trials, similar to what is required for approval of medication, to make the health claims.

David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement that he is “pleased” with the ruling.

The decision takes effect after 30 days unless the FTC or the company file an appeal.

POM has marketed its juice in “an honest manner, backed by scientific research,” said Stewart A. Resnick, president of Roll Global, an associated company that is also a defendant, in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Bliss in Washington at jbliss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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