A proposed class action lawsuit alleges POM Wonderful pomegranate juice contains a significant amount of harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals.”
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According to the 49-page lawsuit, The Wonderful Company and POM Wonderful “aggressively” promote their POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice as healthy, “All Natural” and containing only the juice of four California pomegranates. However, independent testing by the New York-based plaintiff has revealed that the product contains a “significant” amount of PFAS, a category of harmful artificial chemicals associated with serious effects on human and environmental health, the suit alleges.
Per the case, PFAS are considered toxic at even very low levels and often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they accumulate in the body and environment over time. Research indicates that exposure to these man-made substances is linked to numerous adverse health conditions, including heightened risk of several cancers, developmental complications in children, reproductive concerns and more, the complaint explains.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s testing detected “material levels” of PFAS in POM Wonderful juice, including 2.5 parts per trillion PFOS and 6.5 parts per trillion of PFPeA.
The alleged presence of PFAS in the defendants’ product flies in the face of their “wellness-minded corporate image” and representation that the pomegranate juice is 100 percent natural and significantly nutritious, the filing charges.
Per the case, the claim that the juice is an “Antioxidant Superpower,” which appears as part of the product’s logo, and the phrase “Drink It Daily. Feel It Forever,” displayed on the cap, reinforce the idea that POM Wonderful juice is good for consumers. The back label also boasts that the supposedly “All Natural” product is made with no added sugar and contains only “100% Juice from 4 California Pomegranates," the suit states. The complaint adds that the defendants’ website and social media platforms similarly emphasize the representations that the juice is healthy and natural.
The companies focus their marketing efforts on the health-conscious public to capitalize on the growing demand for nutritious products free from artificial substances, the filing claims. But, as the lawsuit tells it, this is not their first run-in with false advertising allegations. In September 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lodged a complaint against POM Wonderful, maintaining that the company had made “false and unsubstantiated claims that the Product will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction,” the suit reads. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the FTC and determined that some of POM Wonderful’s marketing schemes misrepresented the data about the purported health benefits of its products, the case shares.
Like other consumers, the plaintiff, who has bought the pomegranate juice numerous times, assumed based on representations of the product that it was not only safe for consumption but nutritious, the complaint claims. The plaintiff would not have paid as much for the juice, or purchased the product at all, had she known it contained toxic forever chemicals that could be harmful to her health, the filing says.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the United States who purchased POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice for personal use during the fullest period allowed by law.
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