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The Federal Trade Commission orders Focus Education to stop making unsubstantiated brain training claims

Federal-Trade-Commission.

Mak­ers of Jun­gle Rangers Com­put­er Game for Kids Set­tle FTC Charges that They Deceived Con­sumers with Base­less “Brain Train­ing” Claims (Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion):

A Texas com­pa­ny and its offi­cers must stop mak­ing unsub­stan­ti­at­ed claims that their com­put­er game, Jun­gle Rangers, per­ma­nent­ly improves children’s focus, mem­o­ry, atten­tion, behav­ior, and school per­for­mance, includ­ing for chil­dren with atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der (ADHD), under a Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion set­tle­ment

The FTC’s admin­is­tra­tive com­plaint states that Focus Edu­ca­tion, its chief exec­u­tive offi­cer, Michael Apstein, and its chief finan­cial offi­cer, John Able, have mar­ket­ed and sold the ifo­cus Sys­tem, includ­ing the Jun­gle Rangers com­put­er game, via tele­vi­sion infomer­cials and the company’s web­sites for $214.75 plus tax, gen­er­at­ing sales of approx­i­mate­ly $4.5 mil­lion between 2012 and the mid­dle of 2013.

The adver­tise­ments claimed that Jun­gle Rangers had “sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly proven mem­o­ry and atten­tion brain train­ing exer­cis­es, designed to improve focus, con­cen­tra­tion and mem­o­ry” and tout­ed the soft­ware as giv­ing chil­dren “the abil­i­ty to focus, com­plete school work, home­work, and to stay on task.” Focus Education’s web­site implied that these ben­e­fits would be per­ma­nent…

The FTC has charged that Focus Edu­ca­tion and its offi­cers vio­lat­ed the FTC Act by mak­ing false or unsub­stan­ti­at­ed claims that the ifo­cus Sys­tem per­ma­nent­ly improves children’s focus, mem­o­ry, atten­tion, behav­ior, and/or school per­for­mance, includ­ing in chil­dren with ADHD. The com­pa­ny also alleged­ly false­ly claimed that these ben­e­fits were sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly proven.”

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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