(Sacramento Bee) The politically well-connected California billionaires who built POM Wonderful into a pomegranate juice powerhouse have lost their latest challenge to federal regulators, but the fight isn’t over yet.

In another turn to a long-running dispute over health claims and aggressive salesmanship, a Washington-based federal judge dismissed POM Wonderful’s assertions that the Federal Trade Commission went too far in restraining advertising. In quietly dismissing the case Sunday, U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts suggested the Los Angeles-based fruit juice company was simply trying to beat regulators to the punch.

“POM’s conduct leaves the disfavored appearance that POM hastily filed the instant case, in part, to secure tactical advantage,” Roberts said.

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