The Checkup: Pomegranate Juice Health Claims ‘Deceptive’

U.S. regulators came down hard on POM Wonderful for making unfounded health claims.

• First I tell you to throw out your Skechers Shape-Ups, and now your pomegranate juice, too? Sorry about that. A Federal Trade Commission judge ruled yesterday that the health claims made by POM Wonderful, a company that sells pomegranate juice, are deceiving. To clear the air, the FTC would like you to know that pomegranate juice cannot treat cancer, heart disease or erectile dysfunction. Judge D. Michael Chappell wrote in a 345-page decision that the company must stop making health claims in the absence of reliable evidence, but said the company does not have to get FTC pre-approval for its marketing efforts, a measure the FTC had asked for in the lawsuit. Interestingly, POM is couching the decision as a victory for its company: “The company said the judge upheld the firm’s ‘right to share valuable, scientifically validated information about the health benefits of its safe food with consumers,'” AFP reports. The victory, I suppose, is that POM marketers don’t have to have their hands held by US regulators …? Good job finding that silver lining, guys.

• Alarming statistic of the day, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times: “Overweight and obesity among American adolescents — those between 12 and 19 years old — has pushed the  prevalence of pre-diabetes and Type-2 diabetes from 9% in 1999 to 23% in 2008.”

• And now for some good news: A paralyzed 71-year-old man regained the use of his hand after doctors successfully rewired his nerves. Yes, rewired. Like a car. Whoa.