L.A. billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick have a net worth of of $1.9 billion, according to the L.A. Business Journal's annual list of wealthiest Angelenos - more than enough to push back on an administrative law judge's ruling this week that health claims about POM Wonderful pomegranate juice were deceptive. The company has launched an ad campaign in major newspapers and online that challenges the judge's decision and urges consumers to "be the judge." That includes a large banner ad on top of the NYT website. From the ad:
You may have heard that the Federal Trade Commission sued POM Wonderful for false and misleading advertising on grounds that science did not support POM's health claims. But what you as a consumer of POM need to know is that the FTC judge agreed that POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx do provide significant health benefits. Here is what the judge said in his own words. "Competent and reliable scientific evidence supports the conclusion that the consumption of pomegranate juice and pomegranate extract supports prostate health, including by prolonging PSA doubling time in men with rising PSA after primary treatment for prostate cancer."
Well, maybe, maybe not. New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle says that the judge's decision was taken out of context. From the Chicago Tribune:
In one example: The ad says: Competent and reliable scientific evidence shows that pomegranate juice provides a benefit to promoting erectile health and erectile function.. Nestle found this on page 198 [of the judge's decision]. It was followed immediately by: "There is insufficient competent and reliable scientific evidence to show that pomegranate juice prevents or reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction or has been clinically proven to do so...There is insufficient competent and reliable scientific evidence to show that pomegranate juice treats erectile dysfunction in a clinical sense or has been clinically proven to do so." Her bottom line? Pomegranate juice is juice. Healthy and tasty, but like any juice, not likely to prevent heart disease or prostate problems on its own. "Health claims are about marketing, not health," she wrote.