Summary of Action

TINA.org investigated doTerra International, LLC, a Utah-based multilevel marketing company that sells and markets essential oils, and found that it uses unsubstantiated, and therefore deceptive, health and disease-treatment claims to market its products. Such claims — made both expressly and implicitly — include representations that doTerra’s essential oils can treat or alleviate the symptoms of ADHD, diabetes, PTSD, autism, fibromyalgia, IBS, epilepsy, gout, bronchitis, insomnia, endometriosis, and arthritis, to name a few.

TINA.org collected a sampling of more than 140 examples of such deceptive claims made by doTerra’s distributors, the vast majority of which were made after doTerra received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration admonishing the company’s use of disease-treatment claims to market its products, none of which are FDA-approved drugs.

As a result of these findings, TINA.org filed a complaint with the Direct-Selling Self Regulatory Council (DSSRC) on October 16, 2019 urging it to take action. On April 7, 2020, the DSSRC issued a decision stating that doTerra distributors had been making unsubstantiated health claims, as well as deceptive income claims, to sell products and promote the doTerra business opportunity. The DSSRC recommended that the company cease using such claims, and stated that it would “continue to monitor the messages disseminated by the Company salesforce on social media and will immediately initiate a compliance inquiry should it identify an ongoing proliferation of egregious, unsupported product or income claims disseminated by dōTERRA and/or its salesforce.”

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