Essential oils and supplements to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19? If it smells fishy to you, the FTC agrees. According to the FTC, three high-level distributors for Utah-based multi-level marketing company doTERRA International, LLC, broke the law because they didn’t have scientific proof to back up their health benefit claims.
The complaints filed by the Department of Justice on the FTC’s behalf say each defendant — a pediatrician, a nurse practitioner, and a former registered nurse — claimed during a series of webinars that doTERRA’s products could prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19. The FTC says they touted their medical expertise in promoting doTERRA’s products.
To settle the lawsuits, each defendant has agreed to pay a $15,000 penalty. The three defendants also agreed to stop making claims that aren’t approved by the FDA about preventing/treating/curing COVID-19. And the defendants will have to have scientific proof for any health claim they make.
When it comes to spotting unsupported claims about the prevention, treatment, or cure of COVID-19:
- Stay informed. Visit the FDA’s website to learn about treatments for COVID-19. When there’s a medical breakthrough, you’re not going to hear about first through an ad or sales pitch.
- Ask your doctor. If you’re curious about a product that claims to treat any disease, talk to your doctor or health care provider about it.
- Know that unproven products and treatments might be dangerous. Taking unproven products might mean that you stop or delay taking proven medical treatments ordered by your health-care provider. Unproven products might also cause bad interactions with your medications or with other products you might take.
Read Common Health Scams to learn more.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
Why can't I make a comment?
A penalty of $15,000 is probably a very small amount compared to the money that they made. They sold a lie and defrauded people. While it is good that they were caught they still made money. They should have their licenses suspended and the fine a lot higher to discourage others from cheating the public. To me this was just a slap on the wrist.
I am thrilled with the news. I can't thank you enough for your hard work in stopping these criminals.
Seriously? The same could be said about the vaccines and mask policies. Is the pot calling the kettle black ?
ITs Criminal the FDA doesnt regulate vitamins. Esp since we are finding out many are laden with LEAD and heavy metals. How can we get this important point across to regulators? IT WOULD CREATE JOBS!
Why aren't Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, and others held accountable for claiming Covid vaccines were safe and effective in preventing catching or passing the virus when they obviously didn't have scientific proof and reality proved otherwise? Why were they claimed to be safe with so many adverse reactions and deaths and why were they, and still are in some instances, being mandated when they are not safe or effective?
Does the punishment fit the crime? NO
Great to see the 1st amendment is alive and well. Thank you FTC for protecting me and my family. You guys are great!
I think personall, those in evil running this country, are just trying to TARGET and rid off all natural products!!
Happy to see action taken on this webinar that I and others in the anti-MLM movement found, recorded, and reported. These reps and their husbands harassed me and copyright claimed myself and Truth in Advertising for trying to bring awareness to their illegal behavior. Hopefully some action is coming against the real problem in this situation, Doterra, who manipulates their reps into thinking this is ok to do. Especially since this is in direct violation of the 2020 FTC warning letter and the 2104 FDA warning letter that Doterra received. Clearly they have not stopped making unsubstantiated health claims. I have personally submitted a plethora of evidence showing that fact. Fingers crossed this is just the first step.
Dear ftc.gov webmaster, You always provide in-depth analysis and understanding.
Add new comment