It recently came to my attention that the owners (their term) of the “movie” Uncommon Scents have been advertising and promoting a doTerra essential oil collection (valued by the company) as being worth over $500, as part of their fundraising *crowdfunding* efforts to finish their project. A lot of people objected to this affiliation and the movie producers turning what appears to be a blind eye to all the harm and injuries this company has been responsible for, in their pursuit of money to fund the “finishing” of their film/video project.
Here is one of many reasons I am opposed to any promotion of this company; back in 2013 I wrote the following article:
Essential Oil “Expert” risks lives!
As a follow-up to my report to the FDA, I made a call to the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners.
While I certainly care about the future of Aromatherapy in this country, I also care very deeply about innocent people being led to believe essential oils can cure their medical problems.
Here is just one example; this doTerra Multi-Level-Marketing Salesperson is actually prescribing an essential oil for the serious, life threatening illness – hemophilia…which equals practicing medicine without a license!
Some information about hemophilia from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]:
“Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly. This can lead to spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery.” http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html
“Mortality rates and hospitalization rates for bleeding complications from hemophilia were 40% lower among people who received care in hemophilia treatment centers than among those who did not receive this care.” http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/data.html
“Death can occur if the bleeding cannot be stopped or if it occurs in a vital organ such as the brain.”
And how does self-identified “Essential Oil Expert” answer the following question from a Mother on Facebook?
Evie asks “what oil would you suggest for someone who’s son is a hemophiliac? Would Helichrysum stop the bleeding?”
She tells the Mother “Evie, Helichrysum will definitely help stop the bleeding“
Does she care that her medical advice could kill someone or cause permanent harm? Does she care that in fact, every oil that has ever been tested is, if anything, either inactive or blood-thinning and yet she is advising someone to use this EO for this condition which could KILL A CHILD?
Nope…all she cares about is making money selling essential oils to unsuspecting customers.
After all…she calls herself an Expert! Is she a Certified Aromatherapist? No.
We know she is not a doctor – perhaps a nurse or a licensed massage therapist? Nope…she is nothing – and has no actual professional education in the field of aromatherapy or health care at all.
But she thinks adding the standard doTerra company Disclaimer means she can say and do whatever she wants and it is up to the public to dig around her website and discover…too bad if you get hurt…you are on your own: “I am not a licensed physician and can’t diagnose or prescribe medications for you. This disclaimer acts as the explicit waiver of any liability of myself as an Independent Product Consultant or doTERRA as a company.”
So…if she can’t prescribe medications by law – why is her Facebook page under the category “Health/Medical/Pharmaceuticals” …because she wants her customers to THINK she CAN prescribe Essential Oils to cure their Medical problems…that’s why!
This is a proposed Class Action Complaint against The Honest Company (“Honest”) for falsely, misleadingly, and deceptively labeling its products as “natural,” “all natural,” “naturally derived,” and/or “plant-based,” and for falsely, misleadingly, and deceptively labeling these products as containing “no harsh chemicals, ever!” when these products in fact contain a spectacular array of synthetic and toxic ingredients (collectively, the “Falsely Labeled Products”).
Yes! The Honest Company (of Jessica Alba fame) was presented with at least one Class Action Law Suit for selling products they said were natural, but which actually contained synthetic ingredients!
Instead of allowing the suit to proceed, both sides have agreed to settle the original dispute to avoid burdensome and costly litigation. What does that mean?
Does this mean other companies which market their products as natural, can be sued? It sure does!
So all those companies which claim that no one regulates the term natural, or they use this term loosely when they sell you their soap, cosmetics, household cleaners, or other products – just might want to educate themselves about what natural means – and more importanly – does NOT mean!
Young Living has been trying to reign in their zillions of consultants ever since the Petition to Protect the Future of Aromatherapy and the resulting FTC and FDA complaints by Aromatherapy United, resulted in Warning Letters to the company.
Some things they have done in the best interest of their finances, like label certain essential oils as “dietary supplements” in order to legally make structure and function claims. That serves no one but themselves, and eventually the FDA will catch up to the fact that most of the structure and function claims they make are unsubstantiated and that there is no reason to ingest essential oils on a daily or even regular basis. It may take a few more deaths, but I believe it will happen.
But other things are done well, and while also with the ultimate goal of protecting the company, has the positive side benefit of protecting consumers from misleading SNAKE OIL sales pitches and dangerous advice, which have led to so many adverse reactions over the past years. [example see the Injury Databases at Aromatherapy United].
Here are a couple examples from a publicly available Young Living presentation from last year.
Funny, some people just don’t get the message. So I took a couple screen shots off Facebook yesterday and I’ll be adding to the ongoing File of complaints with both the FTC and the FDA!
This particular consultant is making “pain relief” testimonial claims for topically applied YL essential oils, in spite of the fact that pain relief products are a category of over-the-counter drugs.
It does not matter if the essential oil is labeled and sold for topical use – making it a cosmetic;
it does not matter if the essential oils is labeled and sold as a “dietary supplement”:
pain relief is a DRUG CLAIM.
So unless that bottle is labeled according to FDA regulations for OTC Drugs – it is illegal to imply it will work to relieve pain.
It is dangerous enough that this company casually sells Wintergreen Essential Oil with no hazard warnings, but when their consultants continue to promote it as a drug – well – the company still has a long way to go before consumers are safe from their “consultants”!
So the next time a Young Living consultant tells you it is healthy to ingest essential oils – whether the bottle they are trying to sell you is labeled according to the FDA regulations for cosmetics, or labeled according to the FDA regulations for “dietary supplements”… you can tell them Young Living themselves says
“There are no health claims approved for essential oils”!
Well…I went to my first Farmers Market of the summer on Sunday. I tried not to be confrontational…just “helpful”.
When I was told a certain product contained “no toxins” I politely asked “what toxins are those“? She actually meant allergins not toxins.
Then I asked if the raw materials were certified organic – and was told “No, organic certification is too expensive – but these ingredients are actually BETTER than organic.” BIG SIGH… really? I was so hot I could not even argue, but I did tell them they should recommend to their supplier that they check out BayState Organic – they have great prices, and also check into the rebate program because up to 75% of the costs of organic certification can be refunded!
So that said, I want to highly recommend this book by my online friend and author, Kayla Fioravanti, which not only covers how to make cosmetics but how to properly label them for sale!
The rules don’t change just because you are small… consumers deserve to know what is in the products they buy, and they have a right to know how to contact you if they have an adverse reaction to their product – so the laws for labeling cosmetics must be followed even if you are selling from a farm stand, a boutique, at a market or online!
There is so much to know when you make cosmetics like soap, lotions, salves, balms, scrubs…from proper chemistry and safe preservation to the FDA regulations for labeling the finished products. It does not matter if you sell one or two products to friends, at the local Farmers Market or on EBAY, everyone has to follow proper cosmetic formulation rules in order to produce a safe and healthy product and the FDA regulations apply to everyone!
Here is my MUST READ list. I am fortunate that my past career working for the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild and later running the Natural Ingredient Resource Center, and selling advertising space for The Herb Quarterly magazine, introduced me to these authors personally. I highly recommend any and all of them!