The Federal Trade Commission is looking into possible action regarding safety claims made for new and reconditioned football helmets used by high school and younger players. Chairman Jon Leibowitz made the revelation in a letter to Sen. Tom Udall. The New Mexico Senator had requested an FTC investigation into what he called “misleading safety claims and deceptive practices.” The chairman wrote: “We agree that these are serious concerns and will determine what action by this agency may be appropriate.”
In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, Chairman Leibowitz said that issues involving serious health concerns — especially those for children and young adults — are a “high priority for the commission.” The commission will be looking at several factors “in determining whether to take enforcement or other action.” In his letter to the FTC, Sen. Udall referred to what he called “misleading safety claims used in online video advertisements for helmets,” specifically citing Riddell and Schutt Sports. The senator was “troubled by misleading marketing claims by Riddell, a leading helmet maker that supplies the official helmet to the National Football League.” He quotes Riddell’s website as saying that “research shows a 31% reduction in the risk of concussion in players wearing a Riddell Revolution football helmet when compared to traditional helmets.”
According to Senator Udall, “there is actually very little scientific evidence to support the claim,” adding that the voluntary industry standards for football helmets do not specifically address concussion prevention or reduction. At the time of Sen. Udall’s letter, Riddell called his allegations “unfounded and unfair.” Schutt Sports said the company never claimed its helmets were “concussion reducing.” Last fall, Sen. Udall asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate whether safety standards for football helmets are adequate to protect young players from concussions.
Source: Associated Press
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