Posting in Cancer
If a CEO goes on TV and claims pomegranates prevent cancer, is that advertising or free speech?
When the ad above ran on English billboards last year, the country's advertising regulator was quick to take action. The Guardian reports that the company's defense was that of course the claim was ridiculous, and it "could not possibly be taken seriously."
This time the company's response is not so tongue-in-cheek. It claims to have spent $34 million on over 55 trials, and stood behind its First Amendment rights.
The FTC is violating POM’s constitutional rights to share useful and important information with the public, and therefore we have initiated a separate lawsuit to preserve these rights.
Maybe. But even the First Amendment Center says only "commercial speech that is neither false nor misleading is fully protected speech." So are POM's ads misleading?
The question may be one of burden of proof.
Drugs have to prove everything they claim with scientific rigor. Getting into the market takes years, and ads are closely watched. (That's why most are so vague.) Regulators seem anxious to bring this standard to food claims. They even went after Cheerios. (That may be why Ben & Jerry's no longer claims to be all natural.)
This week's action should be no surprise to POM. The FDA warned about its ads in February. But the words in the FTC's notice are unequivocal. " When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made." (The full complaint is on the FTC Web site.)
What I find most interesting here is the personal angle. The target of the government action appears to be Lynda Resnick, a paid-in-full member of the Hollywood Glitterati who has made a career of pushing the envelope in marketing claims. She has even written a how-to book on it, Rubies in the Orchard. (And she's an active Democratic contributor.)
A 2008 New Yorker profile dubbed Resnick "The Pomegranate Princess" and she trades on that reputation, giving speeches where she touts the health benefits of pomegranates. She's also a TV regular, having appeared on Oprah, Charlie Rose and other programs.
The question here is one of the border between marketing and huckstering. If Resnick goes on TV and claims pomegranates prevent cancer, is that advertising or free speech? Should foods be made to substantiate every health claim they make, the way drugs do, or are such claims merely marketing, harmless hype no one should take seriously.
Lynda Resnick has made her life on the border of that question, and her reputation depends on how we answer it.
Sep 28, 2010
I found this blog remarkable and I think the companies making drugs must adhere to rightful advertising and not be misleading, FTC taking good actions. http://www.ppiclaimuk.org.uk
If you thing government controls are perverted now wait until the LSTs finish their takeover by "Fundamentally Transforming" the USofA. Please see: http://www.referendumusa2010.com and use it if you wish. George
How in blazes is it relevant to the presumed point of your story to tell us that Lynda Resnick is a "Democratic contributor"? Does this mean that Hollywood Democrats, or democrats in general support POM or unsubstantiated health claims, or what? Or maybe does this reveal that you are a reactionary Republican or a Tea Party member?
-No comparison to natural foods vs chemicals or drugs, especially fruits and vegetables. BTW, the salt is harmful -decreases life for sure! The common logic says this: No need to worry about what or how many compounds has a fruit, 1st) it has been tested for millions of years on humans (human nature might also have been adapted to it), 2nd) more and more researchers verify or discover additional healing properties every day 3) It has been made by nature "Nature Inside". Just omit the rare and exotic ones and stay with what is well known to be 100% safe. -Nothing wrong has ever been found AFAIK about well-known fruits and vegetables. wizoddg said: coconut oil--widely regarded last I knew as a horrible arterial clogging fat--today is regarded as 'good' oil. -If you want a miracle oil, try olive oil. It has been used for many thousands of years (mostly by the Greeks) and there are many scientific researches the last 40 years that prove its life-extending benefits and disease protection. Olive oil trees live 300-600 years but there exist live olive trees of 3000 years old! You can put olive oil in your salad daily and make youself healthier (only the "extra virgin" olive oil). wizoddg said: (People believed for CENTURIES that we saw by emitting light from our eyes-despite the fact that we can't see in the dark. They believed it because Aristotle said so(Aristotle said several other things which weren't close to reality too.) -According to your logic, cars are bad things because they make ...noise! Like with cars, educate yourself before attempting to judge one of the greatest figures ever existed, Aristotle. You'll be amassed! I agree that scientific knowledge is changing daily, but we cannot compare our recent tests to nature's millions-of-years tests, so nature remains the most trusted source. In sort, the answer to your dilemma is simple: The closer to nature the safer!
One problem is that even drugs which have been in use for ages (aspirin for instance,) can be found to have effects which were previously unknown.so much more foods--which receive far less research.. And reductionism (confining all but one variable to see what that one variable does,) fails when dealing with things like food, which consist of thousands of different compounds, interacting.) Salt won't usually injure you, bu take it apart and either half will. Nearly 7 billion humans exist, and each of them may have a different reaction to any substance or combination. Since the scientific method accepts that All findings are subject to revision as our understanding changes, scientists and others familiar with the methodology KNOW that any claims may later be found to be wrong. This confuses the heck out of the man-on-the-street, who really, really prefers to have one nice straight memorization unchanging answer (which is exactly what religion hives him/her.) I lost about 12 years to medical problems, I wasn't really here, and I missed as much as I might if I'd been on a deserted island. After 3 years of improving health, I STILL stumble over things which I 'know' but which have changed. Everything from language and images on TV to thing likes coconut oil--widely regarded last I knew as a horrible arterial clogging fat--today is regarded as 'good' oil. Physically, we are evolved to learn while we are young-when EVERYTHING is new--and to lock those memories so long as we are eating well--there is hardening of the mind as well as the arteries. Worked for millennia. For most of the time, the conditions didn't change much over the 25-70 years or so of a human lifespan, and if you failed to learn new things, your children didn't fail. Now, the world changes drastically nearly daily. Look at the differences 9/11 made to our society--though there were no actual changes in the world (such an event could have happened any time in the past 50 to the next thousand years,) our perceptions changed--enough that we refer to 'pre' and 'post' 911. It is only in the past couple centuries that change has happened at a rate which requires adults to 'unlearn' what they 'know.' And unless you are starving, this can be exceedingly difficult. This is why Woody Allan's classic "Sleeper"is a classic. Ironically, the major reason this is the case is that we developed the scientific method-the first philosophy which recognizes that what we know is subject to reinterpretation with new data. (People believed for CENTURIES that we saw by emitting light from our eyes-despite the fact that we can't see in the dark. They believed it because Aristotle said so(Aristotle said several other things which weren't close to reality too.) Indeed, this is one of the main problems fundamentalist of all religions have so much trouble with the modern world--whatever they believe, they believe to be unchanging truth. It's far more comfortable than finding out that what you believed yesterday is no longer true. And much easier, since thinking and absorbing new ideas is work. And we all much prefer to be comfortable..even if we are comfortably wrong.
I know you claim to be a proud conservative, but are you really arguing against the 1803 decision in Marbury vs. Madison, giving courts the power to declare laws unconstitutional? And if courts don't have that power, who does. You? Because someone must. Any lawyer worth their degree can argue either side of just about any issue you can name, involving the "plain language" of the Constitution. Which I agree is pretty plain.
1. People die earlier because of toxins in every product AND because of really bad toxic drugs, most of them doing more harm than good, even been FAKE! 2. Drug companies who make these drugs, do their best to protect their investments even with unethical, misleading methods. 2. People die earlier also because of too much unhealthy food consumption (eg from fast food restaurants). 3. People live longer when they eat healthy natural food and drink natural juices, antioxidant or not. In that case, they need less or no drugs. 4. Various studies, have shown that some natural juices (like orange) can extend expected life, protect from heart diseases and even prevent cancer (to some degree). Most, have been sabotaged by drug companies. 5. Even the water that Americans drink, contains Fluoride, the most toxic ingredient! In sort, NOBODY wants you healthy! So, I'd prefer 100 ads about healthy natural juices which overdo it a bit, than 1 ad about dangerous drugs, Big Macs, pizzas, colas etc which provide you with powerful misleading INDIRECT messages via the persuasion tools of modern marketing!
No false claims. I don't believe ripping people off simply because they don't have the in-depth knowledge for every product on sale is a fair process. Back up your claims or sell the product on some other merit that doesn't bilk the customers.
I guess we should go after those apple marketers that said an apple a day will keep the doctor away.....oh! That's right, they don't make housecalls anymore!
---To put it plainly, making a false statement, either on a written form, under oath in court, or in person, on TV, the radio, or other media is fraud. Fraud is one of those universal crimes; with the sole exception of when used to entertain. --- How could I have missed it. Politicians are here to entertain us. That is why so few are in jail for the obvious lies they tell.
The Constitution exists to "promote the general Welfare". To do that, the government has the authority under the Constitution to enact laws for the executive branch to enforce. And the general welfare would be the defense of our borders, the defense of the people of the coutnry, and creating laws that prohibit others from taking by force or coersion the property of other people. Or perhaps using your definition of "the General Welfare" all doctors should be made to work for free. That would be for the "general Welfare" of the people of the USA. Or maybe they should pass laws that peopel can only live in 8 X 10 size rooms, one room per person. That would preserve natural resources and "promote the General Welfare". Nah, your definition is too nebulous. Go back and read the Constitution rather than using talking points. "To put it plainly, making a false statement, either on a written form, under oath in court, or in person, on TV, the radio, or other media is fraud." So I guess Obama is committing fraud when he makes his wild assertions about the democare covering every single person in the USA. And he is committing fraud when he makes claims about the economy too. Or does that not count in your definition? Or do you believe he is just "entertaining us". "The primary purpose of advertising is not to entertain; but to pursuade. When such pursuasions are based on false premises, that constutites the same sort of fraud as making a false court deposition under oath; and therefore is not protected speech." The consumer can sue if they feel defrauded. It is not the gubermints place to determine truths and falsehoods. If it was every single newspaper, TV and Radio station would be shut down and the management jailed for the "news" reporting they do.
The Constitution exists to "promote the general Welfare". To do that, the government has the authority under the Constitution to enact laws for the executive branch to enforce. To put it plainly, making a false statement, either on a written form, under oath in court, or in person, on TV, the radio, or other media is fraud. Fraud is one of those universal crimes; with the sole exception of when used to entertain. The primary purpose of advertising is not to entertain; but to pursuade. When such pursuasions are based on false premises, that constutites the same sort of fraud as making a false court deposition under oath; and therefore is not protected speech. Doesn't matter if it's food or drugs. If you make a claim about your product, no matter how frivolous, it had better be true or you should be fined, go to jail, or lose your business.
Hmmm... since all human beings require sustenance and hydration to remain alive, doesn't all food allow us to cheat death?? If someone was dying of starvation and dehydration in the desert, wouldnt a twinkie and a mountain dew allow them to cheat death? I'd love to see the ad for that! ;)
"But even the First Amendment Center says only ?commercial speech that is neither false nor misleading is fully protected speech.? So are they the authority on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, or is the actual document the authority? You and them should be embarrassed. Either your both are un-informed, or too lazy to look at the actual document. To save you the effort... here is Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html "The question here is one of the border between marketing and huckstering. If Resnick goes on TV and claims pomegranates prevent cancer, is that advertising or free speech?" Free Speech, even if she is advertising the product. "Should foods be made to substantiate every health claim they make, the way drugs do, or are such claims merely marketing, harmless hype no one should take seriously." Drugs do not need to substantiate every claim they make. The consumer has every right to be informed of the benefits and harms of the foods they consume. I ask you... where oh where is the illustrious guberment including the FTC, forcing milk producers to label dairy products that have rGHB in them. They don't force the labels on something proven highly dangerous? What? The gubermint doesn't enforce that? How about the labels on gmo foods? What? They don't enforce that either? It's all a sham to have the gubermint artificially determine winners and losers. It is another reason to get rid of the current US gubermint and install one that understands, respects and obeys the Constitution of the USA... as it was written. And if it needs changing, then have a Constitutional Convention and change it.
This kind of advertising just cries out to be regulated. "Cheat Death?" Really? That's a claim that should be pretty simple to verify or disprove, given enough time. Claims like this by any kind of product that is ingested, applied topically, or that interacts in any way with the body should be subject to regulation. If they can't be substantiated, then the product's advertising should be banned. How to do this in a reasonable manner, of course - ah, there's the rub. If a product is going to be advertised, then the ads should be legitimate. If it's going to be sold at a road-side stand, on the other hand, it's unlikely that there will be the same regulation. If someone is harmed by the road-side product, though, there's always the court system for remedy via lawsuit. In an age when "magnetic health bracelets" are being sold on the internet, preaching the same health benefits that "magnetic" products did over a century ago, and providing nothing that is scientifically verifiable, I don't expect that we'll see a full solution to nonsense claims anytime soon, unfortunately.
Your link requires a registration. This one doesn't, and explains that it was a watchdog group, not a government agency, was behind the change: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/27/AR2010092704053.html
POM's "claims", which are, obviously tongue-in-cheek and no more preposterous a claim than brewers implying that beer drinkers will turn into "babe magnets" or that facial creams will "reverse the aging process". If people are dumb enough to believe that they can "cheat death" by ingesting this product, they deserve to be stripped of their money.
I agree with the FDA, when foods are promoted as drugs, then they must meet drug standards. Otherwise, they need to take the route of nutritional supplements and print the disclaimers. I would argue for the supplements coming under the same standards, but I consider the FDA to be in the back pockets of the major drug manufacturers and would delay, squelch, and minimize anything that would negatively impact their profits.