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SCOTUS has ruled this morning that POM Wonderful can proceed with their suit against Coca-Cola under the Lanham Act which allows competitors to sue over misleading descriptions of products.  Coca-Cola had argued, and a lower court agreed with it, that the labeling of food is the sole domain of the FDA and they are the only ones who can object.  Note the decision is just on whether POM Wonderful can contest their suit, and not whether or not they will ultimately prevail on the merits.

This case had risen to my consciousness due to the brilliant introduction by John Oliver in the premier of his very funny HBO show.  Essentially, Coca-Cola used a tiny amount of pomegranate juice to flavor its drink and then called it Pomegranate and Blueberry despite it being 99% apple and grape juice.  Now you might think fruit is fruit I just care what it tastes like.  Why would I care how much pomegranate juice is actually in it?  Here is where it gets funny.  You'd care because POM Wonderful had been making bullshit health claims about pomegranates and even gotten slapped down by the FTC.  So POM Wonderful sued, because why make bullshit claims about your product if anyone can then take advantage of them.

This may have broader implications as to truth in food labeling.  Perhaps with respect to calling stuff organic or other claims.  A lot may rest on how this case ultimately turns out.  If POM Wonderful ends up losing its suit on the merits anyway than this decision might largely be seen as a moot point.

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