Judge: POM deceptively marketed pomegranate juice

A federal administrative judge has ruled that POM Wonderful used deceptive advertising with its claims that its pomegranate juice could treat or prevent heart disease, prostate cancer and other illnesses.

Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell sided with federal regulators and ordered POM to halt all claims of health benefits and performance for its beverage. Expert witnesses testified in court that pomegranate juice is not proven to treat or prevent the diseases mentioned in POM's advertising.

The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against POM and its parent company, Los Angeles-based Roll International Corp., in September 2010. The agency said there is no science to support the company's advertisements.

POM Wonderful is seen as having started the pomegranate craze that spread to everything from smoothies to salad dressings.