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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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