Full text copy of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision dismissing POM Wonderful’s Latham Act false advertising claims against Coca-Cola for the labeling used to describe its Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices.
From the ruling:
“In concluding that Pom’s claim is barred, we do not hold that Coca-Cola’s label is non-deceptive. Pom contends that the words ‘Pomegranate Blueberry’ appear in larger, more conspicuous type on Coca-Cola’s label than do the words ‘Flavored Blend of 5 Juices.’ If the FDA believes that this context misleads consumers, it can act. But the FDA has apparently not taken a view on whether Coca-Cola’s labeling misleads consumers—even though it has acted extensively and carefully in this field. (The FDA has not established a general mechanism to review juice beverage labels before they reach consumers, but the agency may act if it believes that a label in the market is deceptive.) As best we can tell, Coca-Cola’s label abides by the requirements the FDA has established. We therefore accept that Coca-Cola’s label presumptively complies with the relevant FDA regulations and thus accords with the judgments the FDA has so far made. Out of respect for the statutory and regulatory scheme before us, we decline to allow the FDA’s judgments to be disturbed.”
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