In the Matter of Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc., File No. 1423132
The punitive action of the FTC in the matter of Dr. Aaron Seitz and his vision training software is extremely troubling. It is not at all clear how the FTC came to the decision that evidence backing the efficacy of the training system developed by Dr. Seitz and his colleagues is inadequate. This work is grounded in an exceptionally solid evidence base and the positive effects of this training on visual processing have been well-judged by scientific peer-review. Comments on this FTC website from internationally recognized experts at the top of this field agree that the evidence in support of Dr. Seitz's training method is strong. The FTC evidence review clearly disrespected or ignored scientific expertise in this matter. One of the most disturbing aspects of this action is the personal attack on a respected academic scientist. At a time when NIH is encouraging scientists to make their scientific discoveries available outside the university, the behavior of the FTC sets a dangerous and discouraging precedent. It is perhaps not odd that this action was aimed at a company that is so small it has no employees and no resources to fight. The size of the fine for such a small company that is not profiting from sale of this product and for individual scientists also not profiting from this product is hard to understand. Of course we need market regulation. But we need regulation that is responsible and fairly applied. This action is neither responsible nor fair but represents an abuse of power that is more akin to a bully on the playground. Jeanne Townsend, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego.