POM Wonderful LLC v. FTC, No. 13-1060 (D.C. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
After the FTC voted to hold POM and the associated parties liable for violating the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), 15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1) and 52(a), and ordered them to cease and desist from making misleading and inadequately supported claims about the health benefits of POM products, POM petitioned for review. The court denied most of petitioners' challenges; the court saw no basis to set aside the Commission's conclusion that many of POM's ads made misleading or false claims about POM products; and the Commission had no obligation to adhere to notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures. Further, the court held that the Commission's order is valid to the extent it requires disease claims to be substantiated by at least one randomized and controlled human clinical trial (RCT); the order fails Central Hudson scrutiny because it categorically requires two RCTs for all disease-related claims; the Commission has failed to adequately justify an across-the-board two-RCT requirement for all disease claims by petitioners; and, therefore, Part I of the Commission's order will be modified to require petitioners to possess at least one RCT. The court denied the petition for review in all other respects.