Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission finalized an order settling charges that mouthguard marketer Brain-Pad, Inc. and its President Joseph Manzo made deceptive claims that their mouthguards reduce the risk of concussions from lower-jaw impacts, reduce the risk of concussions generally, and have been clinically proven to work. Brain-Pad mouthguards retail for $10 to $30.
Part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from over-hyped health claims, the settlement also prohibits Brain-Pad and Manzo from misrepresenting the health benefits of any mouthguard or other athletic equipment designed to protect the brain from injury. The FTC also sent warning letters to 18 other sports equipment manufacturers that may be making allegedly deceptive claims that their mouthguards, headbands, or other devices can reduce the risk of concussions.
Consumers should carefully evaluate health claims made by advertisers. For more information about concussions, see: Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.
The Commission vote approving the final order was 4-1, with Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch voting no.
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