LOS ANGELES (September 27, 2010) In response to the FTC's complaint, POM Wonderful issued the following statement:
"POM Wonderful fundamentally disagrees with the FTC and believes that the commission's allegations against POM are completely unwarranted.
Pomegranates are food highly nutritious produce, designed by nature itself. Because POM products may in fact offer the promise of better health, we believe it is important to share the research results as they become available. This is especially true since our products do not carry the risks associated with pharmaceutical drugs. It's a shame that the government is unable to understand this fundamental distinction, and instead is wasting taxpayer resources to persecute the pomegranate.
We do not make claims that our products act as drugs. What we do, rather, is communicate, through advertising, the promising science relating to pomegranates. Consumers and their health providers have a right to know about this research and its results.
We stand behind the vast body of scientific research documenting the healthy properties of Wonderful variety pomegranates. Our research is unprecedented among food and beverage companies, and we take pride in having initiated a program of modern scientific research to investigate the health benefits of this ancient and revered fruit.
For more than a decade, we have provided over $34 million to support scientific research on pomegranates, working with top researchers, including a Nobel Laureate, at leading universities around the globe. To date, more than 55 studies on POM products, including 19 clinical trials, have been published in peer reviewed journals. The results have been encouraging and many additional studies are in progress.
POM believes very strongly in its first amendment rights to communicate the promising results of our extensive scientific research program on pomegranates. We believe the commission is acting beyond its jurisdiction, exceeding its authority, and creating a new regulatory scheme that attempts to treat our juice as a drug, which it is not. The FTC is violating POM's constitutional rights to share useful and important information with the public, and therefore we have initiated a separate lawsuit to preserve these rights."