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Young Living’s Unapproved Drug Treatment Claims, Part 5?

Latest FDA warning cements MLM's status as a repeat offender.

Ad Alert

Young Living’s Unapproved Drug Treatment Claims, Part 5?

Prior to receiving a warning letter from the FDA last month, essential oils MLM Young Living had already been advised against using Only FDA-approved drugs can be marketed as having the ability to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent or mitigate a disease. to market its products – by our count, at least four times, including twice by the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council following TINA.org complaints to the council. Which is to say, the warning letter only cemented the Direct Selling Association member’s status as a repeat offender.

The June warning letter cited a number of inappropriate health claims made by six distributors – including a “Royal Crown Diamond Member,” which is the top distributor rank in Young Living – in blogs and on social media, specifically Instagram and Facebook. Distributors claimed in posts that Young Living products could prevent, treat or cure everything from urinary tract infections to kidney stones, to epilepsy, diabetes and cancer, without the required FDA approval. The FDA also flagged the oft-used claim that products can reduce inflammation as an unapproved drug treatment claim.

This is not the first time Young Living has received a warning letter from the FDA over these kinds of claims. In response to a previous letter, sent in 2014, Young Living told distributors that they “should view these interactions with the FDA as positive and as an opportunity to ensure that your Young Living business is in full compliance with applicable rules.” But after receiving multiple warnings over the years, the repeat DSA Top 20 company, which experienced “a record year of growth” in 2020, doesn’t seem to be heeding its own advice.

Of note, TINA.org has also found Young Living using atypical income representations to promote the business opportunity and recruit distributors. As its 2022 U.S. income disclosure statement shows, the vast majority of Young Living distributors make next to nothing. Add in expenses and they’re likely losing money. Perhaps this has something to do with another federal agency, the FTC, sending Young Living, among hundreds of other companies, a notice of penalty offenses regarding earnings claims in October.

Find more of our coverage on MLMs here.


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