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Posted by Anonymous
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Health Impact News Editor

The FDA issued warning letters this week to the two largest distributors of essentials oils in the United Sates, Young Living and dōTERRA. The FDA is claiming that their products are being marketed as unapproved drugs. The companies have to remove all health claims and take corrective actions, or face very serious legal action, which can include armed federal marshals coming to their warehouses and seizing all of their inventory.

This is of course not the first time that the FDA has gone after companies selling natural products, products that could never be patented, for making health claims about those products. They have a history of issuing warning letters against the producers and marketers of such things as walnuts, cranberries, elderberry juice, coconut oil, and many more. The FDA requires that companies selling natural products and making health claims get their permission first, by going through a lengthy and costly drug approval process.

What is interesting about the FDA targeting these two distributors of essential oils is that they are network-based marketing companies with independent distributors marketing the products on their own websites or out of their homes. This situation presents some unique challenges for both the FDA in seeking compliance, as well as the companies, who will most certainly want to comply. The FDA is taking the position that these independent distributors are “paid consultants,” and that therefore the parent companies have direct control over how they market their products.

The two companies could choose to challenge the FDA’s assertion that they have control over how non-employees choose to distribute their products, especially if the parent companies have issued guidelines and restrictions on how their products can be marketed that do comply with FDA requirements.

With thousands — if not tens of thousands — of distributors of essential oils in the marketplace, the companies could argue that it is nearly impossible for them to ensure 100% compliance, and argue that it is the FDA’s responsibility to enforce compliance of independent businesses. It would be like distributors of soft drinks putting up websites or producing marketing materials claiming their products cured diabetes. Would that be Coke or Pepsi’s fault if independent distributors chose to market their products in such a way without their approval? Wouldn’t the FDA have to go after the businesses making the “illegal” marketing claims, rather than punishing the parent company for the actions of their distributors?

But that won’t happen. Neither company will take the route of challenging the FDA. It would take years to litigate, and in the meantime the FDA would accomplish their goal, by seizing all of their inventory, possibly arresting the corporate leaders, and effectively putting them out of business while they attempt to challenge them in court.

But what happens if both companies do their best to warn and stop distributors from making health claims, but some do not? If the parent companies are aware of it, they would stop selling them their products. But who can police thousands or tens of thousands of independent distributors like that in a network-based marketing company?

Why is the FDA Targeting Essential Oil Distributors Now?

Because of the difficulties and intricacies of a network-based marketing company as mentioned above, the FDA probably has been hesitant to go after these two companies in the past. After all, these two companies have been around for many years, and the independent distributors have been making health claims for the essential oils for a very long time. So why is the FDA acting now?

The answer can clearly be seen in a mainstream media report of this action. In what reads more like a press release directly from the FDA, the Washington Post explains very clearly why the FDA is choosing to act at this time: because essential oils are making claims for being able to cure Ebola.

According to the FDA, these promotions — especially ones related to Ebola — are inaccurate but not unexpected. “Oftentimes with public health incidences, like Ebola or even during H1n1, we see products that are marketed, often online, that claim to treat or cure the disease…without FDA approval,” FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Yao said in an interview, adding that “these sorts of things pop up” in almost any public health crisis. (Source.)

The article reports that the FDA issued warning letters not only to the two large essential oils distributors, but also to the Natural Solutions Foundation, which is marketing a product called Nano Silver which could potentially kill the Ebola virus.

As has been documented in many other places, the Ebola crisis presents a huge market opportunity to the pharmaceutical industry to rush new drugs and vaccines into the market, and I have no doubt that one or more of these pharmaceutical giants have made complaints to the FDA against essential oils and other natural products that might cure Ebola. The U.S. government already owns a patent on the Ebola virus.

This FDA assault on essential oils appears to be a very extensive plan to eliminate as many health claims for essential oils as possible. Just days before issuing these warning letters, they edited a page on their website warning about the dangers of essential oils, adding quite a bit of text clearly designed to scare consumers of essential oils.

Here is the page that was up until just recently, which was last updated in March this year:


And here is the much more lengthy page updated on August 22nd, but also revised on September 19th, just three days before issuing the warning letters to the essential oil companies:

Posted by Anonymous on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Ruby Member on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:35 PM
2 moms liked this
You lost me at Health Impact News. Sorry.
by Anonymous 2 on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:35 PM

by boxerdog lover on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:36 PM

sorry i'm not going to read all that. cliff notes?

by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:37 PM

Quoting momtolittleg: You lost me at Health Impact News. Sorry.

by Anonymous 3 on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:38 PM
I'm trying to figure out why I should care...
by Anonymous 4 on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:38 PM
Me too

Quoting momtolittleg: You lost me at Health Impact News. Sorry.
by Gold Member on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:39 PM
While I do think the FDA needs to back off, these companies do need to get control of their products.

So many distributors recommend things that are SOO unsafe
by Ruby Member on Jun. 11, 2016 at 10:39 PM
I'm sure essential oils are a perfectly harmless placebo.
by Silver Member on Jun. 12, 2016 at 3:48 AM

Quoting momtolittleg: You lost me at Health Impact News. Sorry.
by on Jun. 12, 2016 at 3:59 AM

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