Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pomegranates Beware...

First off, a big thank you to The Desperate Housemommy for bestowing upon me this fantastic award:

From what I can tell, this is an award that is given by a blogger to other bloggers with the intent that they pass it along to other bloggers.  It is the blogging equivalent of a chain e-mail (i.e., send to 10 of your friends immediately or you'll die a slow and painful death or get chlamydia).  It seems to have originated in the mommie blogger circuit as a way to recognize fellow bloggers and cross-pollinate blogs...notice how I've linked to her blog???  I now have to pass along this award to others.  I am choosing one of my other favorite mommie blogs, Sassy Chicago Mama and my favorite design blog, The Huntress Lives. Congrats ladies!  You know what to do now...you don't want the clap, do you?

So about those pomegranates...if you picked up a newspaper today you will see that the folks at POM Wonderful are in big trouble.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is going after them because of statements they made in their advertising about the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice.  

You see, the FTC claims that the POM folks made their juice sound like a drug.  As soon as you say something like "prevents prostate cancer" or "helps with erectile dysfunction", you're considered a drug under the current regulations in the US.  Anything that implies you are preventing, curing, or treating a disease is considered a drug.  Even a wimpy, strange-looking fruit that grows on trees in California.  

It's actually quite a controversial law.  Take prunes for example, which we all know are a natural laxative...if the advertising for prunes says, "alleviates constipation", it would be a drug and in violation of the law.  If it says, "helps keep you regular", then it's okay because 'being regular' is not a disease.  It's a fine line, but obviously one that the FTC feels strongly about. 

The FTC also has pointed out in it's suit that many of the studies on pomegranate juice did not even show significant results!  Sure, they conducted the studies and use that in their advertising ("backed by $25 million in medical research") but according to the FTC, many of the studies showed that pomegranates had the same effect as a placebo.  Uh oh, POM Wonderful.  The FTC is even going after the Dr. Dork that designed the studies.     

The best part of this story, at least to me, is that POM Wonderful is counter-suing the FTC!  They claim that it's within their first amendment rights to talk about all of the health benefits of pomegranates regardless of what the law says is a drug or a food.  And now all these other fruits are speaking out that pomegranates are not even special...they have the same or fewer antioxidants than most other fruits.  It's really getting heated!  And I'm serious, do not piss off a blueberry...they are wicked mean and will mess you up.   

I should start writing a movie script...this is going to get good!  But wait, it gets better!  The owners of POM Wonderful are the Resnicks who have money growing on trees...literally and figuratively!  They are loaded!  And she looks like  Joan Collins. 
Lynda Resnick
Joan Collins

I'm now working on my movie title...what about, Money That Grew on Trees: The Sweet and Sour Tale of Pomegranate Juice?  Or What the Hell is a Pomegranate?  Then there's Suck on That: The Pomegranate Controversy.  

OK, still working on it.



  1. So I should stop having pomegranate martini's because they are not good for me!!!!!!

  2. Of course those are still good! :)

    And pomegranates are a fruit, which means they are still a healthy source of antioxidants. The FTC just thinks they crossed the line with their advertising. Today, regulators announced they sent warning letters to several mouthwash companies because their advertising claimed that the mouthwash prevented gum disease. Seems like a big crack down this week!

  3. So they go after the innocent Pom but don't do anything about the "health supplement" industry, the makers of Hydroxycut and Lipo 6 et al for the misleading statements and potential dangers in their products? Bizarre. Let's face it the "quick fix" products are the ones that need regulation not fruit.

  4. Seriously, you are right! They finally cracked down on all the Acai weight loss products. Wish they would eliminate the other bogus supplements as well.