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Young Living and doTerra Essential Oil Companies Cited by FDA for Non-Compliance Sept 2014

Updated on November 10, 2014

Unverified and Unauthorized Information

The recent flood of blogs posting clean looking articles and credible looking recommendations such as this one on Ebola have been a common cause of concern for professional and ethical essential oil users worldwide.
The recent flood of blogs posting clean looking articles and credible looking recommendations such as this one on Ebola have been a common cause of concern for professional and ethical essential oil users worldwide. | Source

September 24th, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued Warning Letters to three essential oil companies this week citing violations from activities and promotions which would classify these companies' products as drugs under section 201(g)(1)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The companies, Young Living Essential Oils, doTerra International LLC, and Natural Solutions, were found to be in violation of FDA rules and regulations for labeling, advertising, and distributing products intended to be drugs without FDA-approved applications.

The companies as well as their independent paid sales representatives were found to be distributing claims that their main product, essential oils, can diagnose, mitigate, treat, and/or cure diseases including cancer, tetanus, Alzheimer's disease, and the Ebola virus, which classifies their product as unapproved pharmaceutical drugs by the FDA.

The warnings issued by the FDA address the marketing practices including distribution and labeling of essential oils used by these companies, not the existence or availability of essential oils themselves.

The FDA states in the warning letters that they approve new drugs based on scientific analysis of the substances efficacy and safety.

Cause for Concern

Aggressive marketing and unsafe recommendations for essential oil use have caused a rise in essential oil injuries reported to American Poison Centers over the past few years.
Aggressive marketing and unsafe recommendations for essential oil use have caused a rise in essential oil injuries reported to American Poison Centers over the past few years. | Source

In Violation

Memes such as this one discussing treatment for certain types of mental illness have been found in violation of FDA rules and regulations.  Proponents of safe EO use feel the citations are necessary for both the safety and well-being of the patient.
Memes such as this one discussing treatment for certain types of mental illness have been found in violation of FDA rules and regulations. Proponents of safe EO use feel the citations are necessary for both the safety and well-being of the patient.

The Professional Community Celebrates

Proponents of safe essential oil use including licensed practitioners, research writers and certified aromatherapists are celebrating the warning letters, seeing this as a huge victory for the safe and ethical use of essential oils.

"We've wondered for years how these larger, multi-level marketing based essential companies can promote unsafe use and wild claims of an otherwise well-respected and cautiously utilized potent natural component of natural medicine" says one such concerned proponent, a member of the Facebook group "300 Strong Against Essential Oil Ingestion". "Today we learned they can't - and that's a real relief. We feel this will help justify ethical and safe use of essential oils to newcomers who may otherwise learn improper and unsafe usage techniques from home-parties or social media."

"At long last" says Martin Watt of the warning letters. Watt is a long-time advocate of responsible essential oil use and author of articles addressing unethical essential oil practices at aromamedical.org.

Recipes for essential oil use, including internally, topically, and via inhalation found on independent sales representative websites and social media accounts made up the majority of violations cited in the individual warning letters. The companies have 15 days to contact the FDA about correcting their violations.

To read the FDA Warning Letter issued to Young Living, click here.

To read the FDA Warning Letter issued to doTerra International LLC, click here.

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