The FDA Warns POM: Stop Saying Pomegranate Juice Cures Cancer

By Smriti Rao | March 4, 2010 4:51 pm

pomtruthThe Web site for POM pomegranate juice makes some pretty extreme claims, strongly implying that the juice can prevent or help treat diseases like cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and even erectile dysfunction. Now, the Food and Drug Administration has said such claims are misleading and are not allowed on food products, according to a report in The New York Times. If POM wants to make such claims, the FDA stated, it will have to be regulated as a drug.

In a crackdown on companies with misleading labels, the FDA shot off warning letters asking 17 companies to clean up their act.

POM is not the only company to be chastised by the FDA for misleading labeling. Other offenders included several products whose labels trumpet the fact that they contain no transfats, even though they contain high levels of saturated fat, writes The New York Times:

The products included Gorton’s Fish Fillets, Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening and two products from Dreyer’s, the Dibs bite-size ice cream snacks and the vanilla-fudge Drumsticks. According to Dreyer’s, the Dibs contain 17 grams of saturated fat per serving. Federal guidelines recommend that a person not consume more than 20 grams in a day.

The FDA also wagged its finger at some baby foods made by Gerber and Beech-Nut, saying those foods made several unwarranted health claims, because dietary levels for the nutrients cited on their labels haven’t been established for babies.

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Image: POM Juice

  • Robert Madewell

    I think Cheerios also was targeted because they claim to lower blood cholesterol. The truth is that, people who eat Cheerios instead of bacon and eggs with buttered toast do see a decrease in blood cholesterol, because they are eating a low fat oat cereal instead of the fatty breakfast foods. I am quite skeptical that just by eating oat cereals, you can decrease your blood cholesterol in any significant way. You have to stop eating the stuff that raises your cholesterol, too.

  • Paul

    Well this is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. It is now estimated that Vioxx caused some 140,000 heart attacks and 50,000 deaths by heart attack while it was on the market. Was that “fraudulent advertising” by the FDA when they promoted it for treatment of acute pain? If Vioxx were an isolated tragic example one might have some confidence but it is not. Now they are going after a food producer for failing to mention that ice cream has fat? Further, food can both treat and prevent medical conditions it is all over the medical literature who is the FDA to say this may not be spoken of, it is absurd. Let’s put it another way, do carrots cure vitamin A deficiency night blindness? does food cure marasmus and Kwashiorkor’s disease (i.e. starvation)? Do limes cure scurvy? Does water cure renal insufficiency brought on from dehydration? What do you mean people can’t mention foods can treat and prevent diseases, what inanity and infringement of freedom of speech. Stop allowing chemical concoctions on the market that kill as many Americans as died in the Vietnam war and maybe someone will give a hoot about your warnings.

  • Ron

    Pomegranate. The Greeks used this plant as a contraceptive. Modern research confirms strong estrogen Estrogen is a cancer risk. This is confusing. Is Pomegranade helpful or harmful then?

  • g. Susan

    I have been drinking Pom juice for 4 years and have researched its documented benefits, including the Israeli studies. I agree with Paul – the FDA rushes through the new drug approval process and places drugs on the market that are later discovered to kill people or have serious debilitating side effects. And many of these rushed-through medicines already have comparable effective drugs on the market that have a longstanding track record of efficacy and safety. You do not have to drink an entire $3.50 bottle of Pom juice to reap it benefits. The fast food industry is trying to kill people, piling ever increasing amounts of fats and trans fats on burgers i.e. triple burger and cheese with bacon, mayonnaise (and likely parts of a pigs face) on a white flour bun – and bragging about their creation. And Fruit Loops is now touting that it has 3 grams of fiber per serving that supposedly will offset its dyes and sugar content. Research all drugs, both prescribed and OTC before popping in your mouth and read all food labels before purchasing. I raise a small glass of Pom juice to all – L’Chaim!

  • Devin

    Here is another blog that I found that posts some great research!

    Pomegranates link to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and decreased cancer

  • Derpper

    Yes… Allow sleeping pills that may make you sleep walk and lose your liver, but do attack POM…. FDA, you’re nothing but sell outs.

  • juice fasting

    Very nice stuff! I really like things on this blog. Nice sharing!


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