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More immune claims…and more trouble. What were they thinking?!

Posted Oct 08 2010 12:40pm

There’s more news on health products making claims they can’t substantiate and getting in trouble by the feds. One of these products is POM, the pommegranite juice maker. Reports this week say the FTC has cited POM for using using marketing language permitted only for FDA-approved drugs, which  violates the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. According to a new story in U.S News and World Repor t, POM ads say the juice decreases arterial plaque, promotes healthy blood vessels, and treats and reduces the risk of prostate cancer. POM has asserted that it disagrees with the FTC charges, and claims it has spent $34 million to fund research that supports its claims.

I don’t know. I remember while back reading a  about the research POM was investing in to validate the health profile of pommegranites. I’m sure a lot of that research demonstrated some fairly good antioxidant properties of the product and maybe even some condition specific benefits. But I’m trained and conditioned to be diligent in not making outright disease claims about a supplement product, especially in consumer advertising or packaging, even if there are human studies that may show a condition-specific benefit. A product may support certain biological functions, like immune health, etc., but to say a nutritional supplement  reduces risk of cancer, man that’s getting out there. That is, at least until there are some significant changes in health claims rules.  The closest we’ve seen to allowable language on that front is here, with selenium . But it’s still very qualified language that’s allowed.

Bottom line: claims or no claims, do your research or consult with a qualified health professional.

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