While educating people on food choice means that I have the great honor of making a difference in the lives of many, sadly your health is not the bottom line of most mainstream food producers (or the U.S. government). And quite honestly I am so tired of hearing the same story over and over again.
In a recent Nutrition Action Health Letter, compliments of Center for Science in the Public Interest, the news was that a multi-year debacle with yet another food producer was finally put to rest. The headline read POM [Not So] Wonderful? Company loses—again—trying to defend its misleading pomegranate juice claims. If you are not aware of POM’s problems and plea, let me enlighten.
In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made a judgment that POM made “false and unsubstantiated claims that their products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.” In short, POM misled consumers for years by making product claims based on flawed studies that the company itself paid for. So the article offered this on where POM now stands:
“‘The First Amendment does not protect….deceptive and misleading advertisements.’ With those words, a federal appeals court in January put and end to attempts by POM Wonderful to claim that its ads about pomegranate juice are free speech protected by the Constitution.”
Thank goodness!!! But unfortunately this story is just one of many. Meaning that there are many companies producing products with false claims. And unless these “mishaps” are brought to the attention of the FTC, you are likely to continue believing and buying products that boast claims like POM.
You see, food producers have the ability to smack any ole label on their product despite “strict guidelines” set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Most companies hire attorneys who are in the FDA-know so boundaries aren’t crossed, but crooked still exists. And it’s you that ends up being suckered and suffering the most.
I can’t help but question how the people at POM can actually feel good about their product and themselves when they are well aware of their lies. The same holds true for many other companies and a large handful of people they employ. I don’t mean to be holier than thou (cause surely I am not perfect), but a little truth goes a long way. Something that is hard to come by these days—in food and in life…
POM is surely getting their karmic relief (as I like to call it). In other words, what goes around comes around! Despite POM’s fate, companies will keep trying to get away with outlandish claims so it’s up to you to make informed and educated choices. Please opt into real food and don’t believe the banners on the boxes. A product professing too much health can be a dead giveaway for phony food. Overhyping edibles is epidemic so stop buying into the BS and become a skeptical shopper. If you don’t know where to start, pick up a copy of my book—not a nightstand read but surely a useful guide! And know that truly healthy food is humble…
Stirring the Pot is back with 2 new shows per month on WPPB 88.3 FM so don’t forget to tune in Thursdays at 5:30pm (with an encore Saturdays at 7am). This week it’s Bibles of Flavor and surely check out the Weekly Yum Recipe.