i-Health, Inc. and Martek Biosciences Corporation have settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they used deceptive advertising in marketing their BrainStrong Adult dietary supplement. The FTC complaint alleged that the supplement makers claimed BrainStrong improves adult memory and prevents cognitive decline, and that they falsely claimed they had clinical proof for the claims.
Television commercials for BrainStrong Adult showed a forgetful woman and a voiceover saying, “Need a memory boost? Introducing BrainStrong…Clinically shown to improve adult memory.” In addition to television, the product was advertised on Twitter and brainstrongdha.com.
BrainStrong Adult sold for about $30 for a 30-day supply and was available at major retail stores, including CVS Pharmacy, Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid, as well as online through DrugStore.com and Amazon.com.
The final order bars i-Health, Inc. and Martek Biosciences from making claims regarding the ability of any promoted dietary supplement, food, drug or product to prevent cognitive decline or improve memory. In addition, they are barred from claiming any product containing DHA can prevent cognitive decline or improve memory in adults, unless the claim is truthful and supported by clinical testing.
It also bars them from making claims about the health benefits, performance, safety, or effectiveness of such products, unless the claims are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. In addition, they cannot claim they have clinical proof when they do not.