In June of this year, POM Wonderful won "a round in a food fight with Coca-Cola" in the case about how a fruit juice blend is labeled. It's a case of commercial speech, to which John Oliver opined that "in Coke's defense, they only mislead us about what was in their juice. For years, POM Wonderful has mislead us about what is in pomegranates". Generally speaking, as long as the labeling isn't incorrect or harmful, it can make bold claims, to a point. For instance, you can't claim your cereal could improve kids' attentiveness and memory when it doesn't. Whatever you do, you shouldn't add new labeling to existing, even if it is to clarify that the product sucks less, or is asbestos-free. [more inside]
The entire first episode of John Oliver's new current-events comedy show on HBO, Last Week Tonight, is viewable on its official YouTube Channel. [more inside]
POM Wonderful may not be so wonderful, but that might not be so surprising, given the history of Stewart and Lynda Resnick. The couple are involved with much more than pomegranate juice: they own Fiji Water, pesticide manufacturer Suterra, Paramount Agribusiness (source of citris, well-known pistachios and other nuts), and former owners of the Franklin Mint. This round with the Resnicks started in February 2010, with a warning from the FDA, which lead to a confusing bit of restraining order requested, then soon after requested to be withdrawn (with fears of pushing the First Amendment too far). That phase is past, but POM Wonderful is now stating they believe "very strongly in its first amendment rights to communicate the promising results," results which look similar to placebos taken by control subjects. The FTC is not impressed.