FDA warns two Utah companies about use of oils

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doterra oils
The FDA sent warning letters to doTERRA and Young Living, stating their consultants have been making false claims stating essential oils can cure diseases and marketing the oils as drugs. (Courtesy of doTERRA).

Two Utah companies have been cited by the FDA for consultants making claims that essential oils can prevent and cure such illnesses as ebola.

The FDA sent a letter to dōTERRA International LLC and Young Living, makers of essential oils, stating that their products are being falsely marketed as drugs intended to cure and prevent diseases.

The FDA letter to dōTERRA said, “Your consultants promote your … dōTERRA Essential Oils products for conditions including, but not limited to, viral infections (including ebola), bacterial infections, cancer, brain injury, autism, endometriosis, Grave’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, tumor reduction, ADD/ADHD, and other conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners.”

Beckie Larsen, a wellness advocate for dōTERRA, said the company’s corporate offices give clear guidelines and direction on how to share information about the essential oils.

“It is the responsibility of each wellness advocate to learn and understand the provided literature so that they share and communicate accurate information,” Larsen said.

Any Time Essentials website, a dōTERRA consultant’s website, is temporarily closed with a disclaimer stating the consultant is not a doctor and some of the comments have not been evaluated by the FDA. The website says the site is in full compliance with the FDA.

According to Emily Wright, executive vice president of dōTERRA, in an interview with Channel 2 News, dōTERRA products never have been claimed to cure ebola.

dōTERRA has until the third week of October to notify the FDA of how it has corrected the violations posed by the FDA.

Larsen uses dōTERRA oils topically, aromatically and internally, seeing “positive results with: sleeping, heartburn, snoring, depression, anxiety … sore muscles and headaches.”

Larsen said essential oils can be used not just for the body but also for around the house; her husband uses them in the garden as a natural pesticide.  

Peter Tidwell, corporate communications manager for dōTERRA, said in an email, “We are pleased to share that in our normal course of compliance auditing practices, we were already working to correct distributors’ marketing materials referenced in the FDA letter. Since receiving the letter, we have contacted all the distributors who own the sites in question. They have all corrected, or are working to correct, their marketing materials to ensure they are compliant with FDA and company regulations.”

dōTERRA, meaning “Gift of the Earth,” started in 2008 selling oils made from seeds, barks, stems, roots and flowers from plants and trees. dōTERRA oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, helping users relieve stress, focus and soothe muscles. On Sept. 24 dōTERRA opened a new facility housing corporate headquarters in Pleasant Grove.

Young Living was started in 1993 by Gary Young, who produced the oils from his organic farm. Young Living’s essential oils are Therapeutic Grade, preserving the potency and integrity of the oils. Young Living distributes its products around the world.

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