Federal Agency SUED for Trampling Scientific Freedom of Speech!

September 21, 2010

pom-500x329Breaking News: The Federal Trade Commission is being sued for prohibiting a juice maker from making health claims—even though the claims are true and supported by competent, reliable scientific evidence.

Juice maker POM Wonderful has filed suit against the Federal Trade Commission in US District Court, claiming the agency has created a new legal standard for the evaluation of deceptive advertising that tramples the company’s free speech rights.
Lawyers for POM, who include attorney Barry Coburn, say that the FTC’s new rules require advertisers to obtain prior FDA approval before making any health-related claims about food, beverages, and dietary supplements. They claim the FTC has created this new legal standard without going through the proper rulemaking procedures. In their complaint, they say that FTC told them specifically that no other claims can be made unless two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are performed—and that this standard applies to the entire industry. (The current FTC standard is that claims must simply be supported by competent, reliable, scientific evidence.)
The agency denies making any new requirements, but we know that the FTC has been making such requirements on a company-by-company basis via consent decrees. The idea here is that once the FTC has moved against a company for any reason, they can then add these additional requirements on as pre-condition for any settlement. POM contends that the agency has no such regulatory authority, and thus cannot be making any such requirements.
Famed constitutional lawyer and Virginia-based attorney Jonathan Emord backs POM’s assertion that the FTC standards change was unconstitutional, and violated the First Amendment. “The agency cannot make unencumbered commercial speech dependent upon anything other than the requirement that the speech be non-misleading,” he said. “Speech not approved by FDA may be true. Speech not supported by a set number and kind of human trials may also be true. The constitutional burden of proof is on FTC to prove falsity in each specific case based on the precise content of the claim.”
Does all this have a familiar ring? It should. As we reported back in April, the recent Waxman/FTC provision in the House finance bill would have given the FTC the unquestioned authority it seeks to create this new standard for all food and supplement producers. Thanks to you, that provision did not make it into the final finance bill passed by House and Senate. It was a cliffhanger, with negotiations going into the early hours, but the outpouring of public protest stopped it.
Congressman Waxman once said that nothing in Washington is settled forever. We recently learned that he may attach the FTC provision to an Omnibus bill in the House during the lame duck session. The provision is easy to hide because it’s short but written in legal gobbledegook. We are working now to stop this ploy should it happen.
If the FTC and Waxman prevail, you can expect many functional foods and supplements to disappear from the shelves—or, if not, to cost much, much more.

27 responses to “Federal Agency SUED for Trampling Scientific Freedom of Speech!”

  1. Go, POM, go!
    How come toxic chemicals can be included in food without scientific proof that they do not
    cause harm to human health? Seems like a double-standard is alive and well at U.S. FTC.
    I think consumers must start demanding REAL proof from the FTC, other government oversight agencies like FDA, USDA, CDC, HHS, and food processors that toxic ingredients in foods do not contribute to or damage our health.
    My December 2009 book, Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into
    What’s Probably Making Us Sick, documents that most food processing chemicals do cause health problems per published peer review scientific journals, and even governmental agency documents. What gives FTC?
    Go, POM, go!

    • Oralia Acosta says:

      I wish I HAD MONEY — I would sue everyone in congress that passes these absurd DOUBLE STANDARD rules/laws, etc., that conveniently put/give MORE power to the FDA and the U.S. Gov’t. and USDA OVER US!! I will eat what I damned well please, I am an informed consumer that won’t be bought by what the “powers that are” here in this country.
      Quite the contrary, if the U.S. gov’t says it’s good for us, DON’T BELIEVE IT!!
      Catherine is right, why are SO MANY toxins, toxins which have SERIOUSLY CAUSED ME HEALTH ISSUES, been allowed to be produced and PUT IN OUR so called FOOD, without REPERCUSSION, but a farmer can’t produce something that is good for us, without pesticides? Why can’t POM, or any other company that has scientific proof — which is what THE FDA WANTS — claim that SOMETHING IS GOOD FOR US?
      Who put these PROSTITUTES IN congress? WHO says they DECIDE what is good for US??? THIS country is ONE OF THE WORSE countries when it comes to selling themselves to the highest bidders, e.g.: BIG PHARMA, BIG AGRIBIZ, MONSANTO, BP, and anyone else, individual or company that will give these BASTARDS/WHORES money! And in the meantime, “we the PEOPLE” just sit and watch!!!
      COME ONE PEOPLE, IT’S TIME TO HIT THE STREETS AND PROTEST!!!! WHAT ELSE DO WE HAVE TO LOOSE? OUR FOOD IS CONTAMINATED, OUR WATER IS CONTAMINATED, OUR AIR IS CONTAMINATED, OUR OCEANS ARE CONTAMINATED (AND THUS THE SEAFOOD WE EAT)…WHAT’S LEFT? WHAT MORE DO WE HAVE TO LOOSE???

  2. Eleanor Schwank says:

    How come they don’t fine or penalize the big cereal companies, and the food producers that make false claims about the safety of the garbage they put on the supermarket shelves?

  3. Suzanne says:

    The FDA, the AMA, and all the other government agencies as well as all the disease research organizations like the American Cancer Society should also be sued — everyone of them.
    For example, cancer and most other diseases (even AIDS) have been cured time and time again by vitamin C, whole foods and coffee enemas. This is the Gerson Diet. The doctors in the US are not allowed to let people know about it. Then there is Poly MVA and Protocel, which both cure cancer.

  4. Patricia Tursi says:

    Equal rights is not a part of our system…look at the personhood of corporations right to pump all the money as they want via the Supreme Court. There has always been double standards on getting patents for items that challenge the profits of oil ( the zero point energy researchers), for food suppliers, for small farmers, for health claims, etc. The FDA is controlled by corporate interests. The Flexner Report instigated the control of health by Rockefeller who paid for the report and stood
    to gain from pharmaceuticals (which he had investments in). It is blatant and needs lots of citizens to complain. This administration appointed Monsanto genetic engineering executives to oversee food and drug issues, negotiate global agricultural trades, etc. Due to media control, few people are not aware of these issues. Thanks to Alliance for Health in supplying info.

  5. mark edgette says:

    please stop the cancer that politicians has cursed us with they are an embarassment to all americans “put them in prison”

  6. Steve Sollars says:

    My response to the FDA is emphatically that we are not snoozing and therefore not losing this one. There have been numerous times gone by that we have done nothing, but this time I applaud your effort to fight back.
    Does GRAS come into play here.?. Generally regarding as safe! The FDA and FTC sleep together on this one to suit their own purposes. Mr. Coburn, have you considered this angle that they so often use.
    I believe GRAS was the mask they used to swiftly approve aspartamine to the market. High Fructose Corn Syrup? GMO’s? The list goes on.

  7. The New Deal ushered in Socialism and is the basis of all of America’s problems today.
    The Declaration of Independence is the organic law of the land and its main tenet is that “all men are created equal”. This is the basis of individual sovereignty. The Constitution was adopted to form a gov’t that would uphold this tenet. The Constitution acknowledges this where in Article I, section 8 it grants the federal gov’t jurisdiction over foreign commerce, interstate commerce, and trade with the Indians. The federal gov’t has no jurisdiction over intrastate commerce since the law is based upon the tenet that “all men are created equal”. These Supreme Court decisions uphold the sovereignty of the individual – United States v. Lee, 106 U.S. 196, Hale v. Henkle, 201 U.S. 43, Julliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421, Chisholm v. Georgia, 1 L.Ed. (2 Dall.) 415.
    Since, as the Supreme Court has held many times, the individual is sovereign, the federal gov’t has no authority to threaten force against said individual. No one can convey a power to any gov’t bureaucrat that one does not have, by voting or any other way – no gov’t bureaucrat has the right to initiate force against a sovereign American. This is because “all men are created equal”.
    Yet look at all of the federal alphabet agencies that were created during the New Deal and look at all of the current “Czars” today. Socialism, regardless of its name, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Social Democracy, etc., always relies on the threat of initiatory force. A crime consists of a perpetrator and a victim. Our gov’t was established only as a defensive entity – recourse for the victim. All Socialism is criminal activity and it always leads to more poverty, homelessness, crime, illiteracy, innumeracy, and eventually to war and terrorism.
    The big secret of the New Deal was the real reason for the creation of Social Security. The “Form SS-5” that one uses to apply for a S.S.# is actually a federal employment form. You know the name of the federal employee – the “taxpayer”. “Taxpayer” is a legal term defined at 26 CFR 2.1-1(a)(5) as a member of the Merchant Marine – a federal employee. Only a federal employee is liable for federal employment taxes. At 26 CFR 2.1-1(b) it states that this is the definition of the term as used throughout the Code and regulations for all calculation of taxes.
    As federal employees Americans have unknowingly forfeited their sovereignty and allowed the federal gov’t to grow into the unresponsive behemoth that it is today.
    All political debate today revolves around who’s going to be in power to enact their chosen programs that are always touted as the solution to whatever the problem du jour happens to be. Republicans and Democrats are sure that their candidates will be the right ones to “fix” whatever problem was caused by the previous administration, which when seen in the rearview mirror, were the ones that were going to “fix” the previous problems with their chosen programs.
    All regulatory agencies are guaranteed to increase general poverty. The Prohibition, the War on Drugs, No Child Left Behind, the War on Poverty, ad nauseam, have all been absolute failures. That is all any federal regulatory agency can ever be – a group of bureaucrats wielding the right to threaten force to enforce the agency’s regulations. Socialism in any form is simply criminal activity. We Americans all rail against Communism, yet we are now immersed in it.
    Income tax is the second plank of the Communist Manifesto. Inheritance tax is the third plank. Centralization of the banking is the fifth plank. Having the gov’t control education is the tenth plank.
    Gov’t is simply made up of other people. Since “all men are created equal”, no bureaucrat has any special power over anyone else – except for other federal employees.
    Abolish Social Security, return everyone’s money, with interest, and restore individual sovereignty.
    See the entire Social Security Scam at LLSTULER.wordpress.com for all of the actual statutes and regulations.

    • SE says:

      On the face of your letter, a more unperceptive person might think it had not much to do with the issues of health but more to do with taxes, property, the founding of the nation and so on. The things you write of ARE THE central driving issue that forces our hand. The US government is out of it’s jurisdiction, the District of Columbia is a for-profit corporation (a legal fiction) and has declared every Citizen of the (US) a Federal Employee through the Birth Certificate and then sold the Birth Certificate to the central banks as collateral. The name on the certificate is also a legal fiction, fraudulently incorporating the infant who had no choice in the contract to oppose the deal. This is how sovereignty is stolen from the person (legally, not Lawfully). First, realize this fraud, then declare sovereignty in your heart and mind, but don’t make the mistake that your federal government agrees with you, being their property and all.
      Fiction emerges from Law, but Law cannot rise out of Fiction.

  8. Mary O'Connor says:

    Oh sure, no GMO labeling as that would cause concern among consumers that GMO foods might not be safe. But now you want to punish a food source that has proven legitimate claims? It’s obvious your pockets are lined by lobbyists for the “food” industry and their highly processed crap. You sure as hell aren’t working for natural health which truly protects the consumer. You just continue to perpetuate and cover up the food industries’ misleadings and lies. Good work.

  9. Björn Hammarskjöld says:

    When we are talking about toxic chemicals we should include glucose, fructose and other carbohydrates.
    Protein and animal fat are nontoxic, we have enzymes to digenst these essential macronutrients.
    Glucose and alla other carbohydrates are toxic if we eat too much. What is too much?
    We have 50-100 mg/dL glucose in the blood. That is equal to 3-6 grams or 1/10 to 1/5 of an oz in the total blood volume of a 70 kg (154 lb) person. We need at least 50 mg/dL of glucose to be able to transport oxygen in the blood and release the oxygen from the hemoglobin. More than 100 mg/dL is toxic to our blood vessels and organs.
    Then we should eat a whopping 60 % of all energy or 375 grams or 13 oz of carbohydrates (carbohydrates are the same as glucose, most carbohydrates consists of glucose polymers like starch).
    Without our disaster preventing hormone insulin we would die when the blood glucose level is above 600 mg/dL. Insulin have a lot of tools to normalize the glucose level in blood.
    Carbohydrates are not essential, we can make all suger molecules we need. So we don’t have to eat one single molecule of any sugar.
    Diabetics are deficient in insulin so they should minimize the carbohydrate load of the body by having much less carbohydrates.
    All juices consists approximately 10-14 % of carbohydrates.So the juice manufacturer should prove that the juice does not contain any carbohydrates if the juice is to be regarded as healthy.
    So stop advertizing juices as healthy, they are toxic, at least to diabetics.
    Also read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. That book is very good.

  10. Joanna L. Saucedo says:

    Let me get this straight! Partially Hydrogenated oils can be found in almost every packaged food in your local grocery store (which has been unequivocally linked to chronic illness). Chemicals such as dimethylpolysiloxane (A POLYMER OF SILICONE) is used in foods such as McDonalds Chicken Nuggets. Let’s not forget about the toxic levels of arsenic and flouride found in our tap water. Why doesn’t the FTC or FDA stop these companies from poisoning us and our children? POM is a honest company, trying to make an honest business, by selling us the consumer an unadulterated product PROVEN, did I say PROVEN, to increase health benefits. You GO POM, we the consumers will fight along with you! Not for ourselves, but for our children as well!
    To Good Health!!!!!!

  11. Cheryl LIndsey says:

    I agree. Go POM go! our governement has become so bloated, power hungry and self-serving that it more closely resembles Jabba the Hut and these Senators the bounty hunters doing thier paid dirty work. Thank you to the Alliance for thier vigilance and for keeping us informed so that we know what and how to move on these issues.

  12. Julie says:

    The FDA has approved such poisons as aspartame as safe! Yet, they believe they have the right to regulate beneficial vitamins and herbs! Aspartame causes brain tumors, but what do they care about people’s health. It is more money to be made by Big Pharma and and our corrupt medical complex, especially the cancer industry!!

  13. Julie R says:

    “FTC told them specifically that no other claims can be made unless two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are performed—and that this standard applies to the entire industry.”
    Too bad such rules do not apply with regard to GMOs, food additives, or vaccines (not to mention other poisons).
    Geeeeeez, these government entities reveal themselves more every day as sleazy whores for Big Pharma and Biotech.

  14. jack eich says:

    I have juiced ten years and it gives you boundless energy , no colds,no flu,no diseases. no free speech in america. big government is trying to tell us how to think. everything is illegal in the states anymoe. constitution,what constitution? bill of rights,the drug war destroyed that.

  15. Nanette Cook says:

    I COMPLETELY AGREE with Catherine J. Frompovich!!!!!!! All of the organizations that are SUPPOSED to be protecting our food & health have chosen to poison us for profit! Our bodies are living organisms that require LIVING food-NOT food that is devitalized then chemically re-vitalized! It is absolutely no wonder disease is running rampant through our country-our bodies CANNOT process nor breakdown all the non-living chemicals that have poisoned our food & water supply (not to mention all the pharmacudical drugs pushed onto society) thus creating cancer’s, heart issues, & many more DISEASES that are now considered commonplace! Can people NOT see what is happening here? The USDA, FTC, FDA, etc, took AN OATH to protect the people & they are NOT! These same organizations SWORN to protect us are now doing ALL in their power to keep us UNHEALTHY thus continuing to line their pockets at OUR EXPENSE! The facts are right there in front of EVERYONE, yet these ridiculous laws & rulings are being allowed to continue-how the hell is that possible? I was traumatically injured 6 1/2 years ago & have been in the FIGHT OF MY LIFE to get what I need to be healthy & recover! It is unreal-these Drs. & specialists continue to belittle me when I refuse to be a human guinea pig for their drugs, anti-depressents, etc-they REFUSE to cover the treatments that will ALLOW me to recover (at a cost of maybe $200/month) yet will pay over $3,000/month for Dr. visits, meds, etc-it is BEYOND RIDICULOUS!!! I have worked for 30 years before this accident & I can’t get any help unless I allow myself to be drugged & poisoned-I can’t even get food stamps so I can buy the nutritional food I desperately need to heal/recover ( I’m sent to food pantries where all the food is processed)! These proposed laws are COMPLETE DOUBLE STANDARDS-THEY are allowed to skip around all these rules & poison people, yet they are going to nail people to the wall for wanting to be truly healthy? What is wrong with these people? I have ZERO faith or trust in our government & medical profession as most of them are only concerned with money & power (regardless of the tragic cost to the people). And this so called Health Care Reform Act-what a joke-it’s just another way to gouge the people of money. Yes, I agree that EVERY PERSON DESERVES HEALTH CARE but it’s the government allowing these corporations to poison us so they can all stay in business that cause people to need all these major medical treatments in the first place! If they were TRULY concerned with Health Care Reform, they would bust their asses to stop people from being poisoned in the 1st place & DO THEIR JOBS! The FDA, FTC, USDA, etc, no longer stand nor work for the people-they are OWNED by Big Pharma & therefore can NO LONGER be trusted. God, I wish I knew of more I could do to battle all this-I see it for what it is-I pray ALL the time in regards to all this!!! Our rights are being blocked & violated at EVERY TURN-yet it is allowed to continue without punishing those that are violating us! But if WE stand up for our rights, then we are jailed or prosecuted for such! I support ANYONE who stands up to FTC, FDA, USDA, etc & fights for their rights! This is ALL a double standard & I am sick of it! The time for change is RIGHT NOW & it begins with US as individual citizens-one person at a time! WE must act before our freedom to choose our health over toxicity is gone forever!!!!!

  16. Ethel Rosen says:

    The FDA should be investigated and stopped because they are only interested in making money
    They leave drugs on the shelves that are known to kill people but their kickbacks are so profitable

  17. David Miller says:

    Hi!
    The next tiime you are at your favorite grocery store and decide to buy some “blueberry” bagles, read the fine print; the blue coloring that you think is a blueberry is a blue dye made from distilled petroleum. They like to put in red 40 yellow 5 & 6. and label it as “food coloring”.
    Food coloring used to be made from fruits and veggies, until some chemist figured out how to color the foods using petrol. cause it was much cheaper.

  18. MaryAnn says:

    Why is Congressman Waxman trying to make things difficult for nutritional and food supplements? This makes absolutely no since at all.
    Also, I do not understand the FDA at all. An example would be on the Salmon genetically modified labeling issue. Why would they even consider not labeling the fish as genetically modified. Shouldn’t you know what you are buying. Besides, if the company that has engineered this fish, AquaBounty, thinks it is so wonderful, then I would think they would be willing to stand behind their product with the lcorrect abeling on it that it has been modified, then let the public decide. Why do they want mix their fish with the “real and true” fish that had been created by the Almighty Creator. This issue sounds the same as a counterfeit dollar bill.

  19. MaryAnn says:

    Ooops. I left out several question marks “?” in my comment above. Please insert them if you wish.

  20. Leona Hill says:

    I had not heard of POM Wonderful before, but now I want one. Thanks FTC! Another thing. Why aren’t the US agencies concerned about genetically modified foods? There are many of them on the supermarket shelves now and they aren’t even identified on the labels, so we don’t know what we are eating. The truth is, this battle has nothing to do with the federal agencies’ concern for the public health and we all know it.

  21. joseph bartley says:

    Wow!!! Listen to the achitects of economic slavery. It’s the same ” no good “2010-09-30T13:29:09+00:00″>bastards” who violate the laws of the land and our government still protecting all of them and penalizing you and me. The ” FTC and the FDA” should be investigated for crimes against humanity by the ” FBI”. Because they have killed more americans than any known pestilence, diseases, wars and terrorist acts combined. When the ordinary man disagree with their establishment they call it treason or some make-up felony, eg, The “AMA, ADA, CDC, USDA, ACS & many others with interest on stocks and bonds, many others who treat americans worse than the north korean president, and the united states wants to go to another man’s country and teach about human rights and justice, clean your own confounded backyard before you can clean someone else’s own. Why can’t the FTC investigate the reason why 20% of elderly people who take diuretic drugs deficient in sodium, the good one which the stomach, nerves, and muscle function needs. The constitution of this great republic should make special provision for medical science. To restrict the art of healing to one class will constitute the bastile of medical science, and all such laws are un-american and despotic. Last but not least, In the U.S.A, there are very few true doctors today, A true doctor must be a blessing to his or her patients, not only for this moment, but in years to come. Thomas Huxley once said, ” Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.”

  22. Holly says:

    Well, folks, just be sure you’re voting out any of these bloaks you can come November 2nd! These people have nothing but time on their hands to meddle in everything they can just so they look like they are doing something “for the people.” And get behind your local Tea Parties.

  23. Holly says:

    oops…. “bloaks” meant “blokes” LOL.

  24. B.C. Groves says:

    Get rid of the FDA and all federal agencies who enslave us, rule over us, and cater to all corporations, including chemical and pharmceutical. Stop government spraying with herbicides and insecticides that not only fall on people but also saturate our drinking water supplies. Stop private chemical corporations from selling anything toxic to human beings. Parts per billion is ridiculous. NO parts per billion is healthy.
    Do you think Washington D.C. worries about us? Ha!

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