FDA Does Big Pharma’s Dirty Work Again, This Time to Censor the Benefits of Essential Oils

By Kristen Anderson

In September of 2014, the FDA began a coordinated attack on companies that market essential oils. The top brands are dōTERRA and Young Living. Both companies offer essential oils to help manage a variety of symptoms ranging from headaches to anxiety to hyperactivity. Many essential oil users claim to have eliminated the need for over-the-counter medications due to using specific combinations of essential oils to target common maladies.

Back in 2014, Young Living received a warning that you can see on the FDA’s website. It seems they had conducted a thorough search of the Internet, including websites, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and cited instances that Young Living essential oils were mentioned in conjunction with a medical diagnosis. For example, “Eucalyptus Blue essential oil has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.” And, “Since I have become an avid Young Living essential oil user I have learned all about the anti-microbial properties of so many oils, including ANTI-VIRAL constituents in many of our essential oils.”

The FDA requested

that you notify this office in writing within 15 working days from your receipt of this letter of the current status of your corrective actions and the specific steps you have taken to correct the noted violations. In your response, include documentation of your corrective actions. If you cannot complete all corrections before you respond, we expect that you will explain the reason for your delay and please include a timetable for the implementation of any remaining corrections.

It seems that dōTERRA had received similar notification, as they released a public letter to their Wellness Advocates on July 13th, 2015 explaining that they continue to review concerns presented by the FDA last September and have instituted new policies effective immediately.

For example, Wellness Advocates can no longer maintain independent websites listing the ways essential oils have benefited them – all websites must be cookie-cutter sites issued by dōTERRA with approved language on them. They asked the advocates to “scrub” their PERSONAL and business social media accounts of any mention of dōTERRA products as well.

A Wellness Advocate from dōTERRA reported on 7/17/15 that PRIVATE and PASSWORD PROTECTED pages of her blog had been accessed by the FDA, which had made a complaint to dōTERRA requiring that the pages be edited or eliminated. Let me put that another way. Private citizens may not share written information on the Internet about how essential oils have improved their health, the health of their families, or the health of their clients.

Now let’s be fair. In the FDA’s complaint to Young Living, they cited several instances where essential oils were being marketed for their ability to kill the Ebola virus. If all it took to kill the Ebola virus was waving some cinnamon bark and oregano, the death toll for the latest outbreak would not have surpassed 10,000. It IS the FDA’s job to protect consumers from claims that products can cure us of diseases. But it is also our First Amendment right to share how anything has helped or harmed us. If an essential oil has helped me reduce my dependence on pain medication or antibiotics, shouldn’t I be allowed to tell you about it? No matter who I work for?

A large percentage of the population is interested in natural remedies and natural health. Many times, natural remedies can reduce our symptoms without side effects and at a fraction of the cost of a doctor visit and a prescription. But natural remedies come at a cost, and that cost is to Big Pharma.

Pharmaceutical companies are losing big money as researchers show what humans have known for a long time: by improving our health through diet, exercise, and natural remedies, we can avoid most reasons to go to the doctor and consume both over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

The FDA differentiates between cosmetics and drugs on its website.

If a product is intended only to cleanse the body or to make a person more attractive, it’s a cosmetic. So, if a product such as a shower gel is intended only to cleanse the body, or a perfume or cologne is intended only to make a person smell good, it’s a cosmetic.

If a product is intended for a therapeutic use, such as treating or preventing disease, or to affect the structure or function of the body, it’s a drug. For example, claims that a product will relieve colic, ease pain, relax muscles, treat depression or anxiety, or help you sleep are drug claims.

Such claims are sometimes made for products such as soaps, lotions, and massage oils containing “essential oils” and marketed as “aromatherapy.” The fact that a fragrance material or other ingredient comes from a plant doesn’t keep it from being regulated as a drug.

Under the law, drugs must meet requirements such as FDA approval for safety and effectiveness before they go on the market. To find out if a product marketed with drug claims is FDA-approved, contact FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), at druginfo@fda.hhs.gov.

The FDA argues that dōTERRA and Young Living are marketing their products as drugs without being FDA approved. Almost a year after their initial probe, these companies now risk armed federal marshals coming to their warehouses and seizing all of their inventory. But the companies have argued that their consultants are not employees and are allowed to say whatever they want about these products. If I buy chocolate chip cookies from a wholesale distributor and then set up a website claiming that these cookies cure infertility, is it the wholesale distributor’s fault? Are they responsible for how I market their cookies?

The FDA has added information on its page about the toxicity of essential oils. Yet the American Association of Poison Control Centers has 0 deaths on record from essential oils. How many people die each year from FDA regulated drugs? Have you ever heard of anyone becoming addicted to essential oils? Do any drug dealers sell essential oils on the street corners of your city? Have you ever heard of anyone being murdered because of the sale of illicit essential oils?

If the FDA gets their way, they will either silence the essential oil companies or they will force them to get their oils FDA approved. What does that mean for consumers? Big money and long waits. If oils are to be approved for the relief of specific symptoms, they have to undergo lengthy and expensive testing which will ultimately be paid for by us.

Aromatic plant oils precede medicine and pharmaceutical products by thousands of years. The National Institutes of Health’s website has published thousands of peer-reviewed studies proving the benefits of these oils. There is big healing, but not big money in essential oils. You can’t patent a plant, so paying for an FDA study for a product that anyone can create at home is out of the question.

Only time will tell the future of the essential oil industry. Humans have been using essential oils safely and effectively for thousands of years, let’s hope the FDA doesn’t succeed in taking down one of nature’s biggest gifts to us.


Kristen Anderson writes for Activist Post and droppingkeys.net

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription

17 Comments on "FDA Does Big Pharma’s Dirty Work Again, This Time to Censor the Benefits of Essential Oils"

  1. Robert Colescott | July 20, 2015 at 9:02 am | Reply

    When anyone makes a “drug claim” for a product, which usually means saying it cures or treats a certain disease or disorder, you must follow all FDA regulations for manufacture, storage, and sales of the product. And in order to back up any drug claims you’ve made you must have studies which back up your claims. Now it certainly may be true Big Pharma rules the roost with its capture of FDA and forcing companies to pay exorbitant sums to get a new drug approved, but we shouldn’t allow snake oil salesmen to sell snake oil as a drug. There are a lot of problems with FDA and their regulation of the food and drug industries, but I agree if people are going to make drug claims these claims need to be true.

    • Great idea. Then we should make banks who claim to be lending us money actually have the money they’re lending rather than just type numbers into your account. Our entire economy is built on fraud, with the real snake oil salesmen at the highest levels, not the lowest. The state of Ohio tried to make it illegal for politicians to lie in their campaigns, but their supreme court struck it down — it IS legal for politicians to lie to us.

      Lies and fraud are endemic in our country, but it should be illegal to personally discuss whether or not a product helped you? How about drawing the line at paid endorsements? If the FDA can prove compensation was provided for saying something about a product which the FDA was able to prove was untrue, then assess fines. If not, butt out. Then extend the same policy to all liars, politicians, judges, prosecutors, police, and bureaucrats included.

    • Really? You too Robert Colescott, a shill for big pharma?

    • Most all of herbal remedies have been “proven” for centuries. Essential oils included.
      “One Ring to rule them all….”
      As for me FDA has failed over and over again, and their approval of under-tested “man-made” cocktails/ drugs… some that have nearly killed a few of my friends.
      FDA is funded by drug companies and so it is the blind leading the blind and people are the guinea pigs at present. If enough of them get sick or die, than perhaps that drug might, get removed…. but that takes tons of deaths.
      But there are also those who get over zealous and try to make some things appear as the end all for certain ailments and that must stop.
      So the consumer must study all the time for there really is still alot of confusion …
      In reality no matter what anyone says, it is always up to then consumer to make some kind of informed choice. For FDA and companies that made stuff, are all self serving.

      • James Peters | July 22, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Reply

        Aren’t you appealing to antiquity, how have they been proven?

        • After the revelation that much of the “science” behind modern medicine has been faked, what constitutes proof? Millions of people have used essential oils for thousands of years for many things? Or the corrupted FDA telling you what’s what? Try a little logic and see what you find.

        • you might like to go look at PUBMED alt section
          there are countless tests done proving that teatree oil and Eucalyptus DO have antiviral antibacterial and antifungal properties
          the reason many Aussie soldiers survived to get back to hospitals was our govt included Eucy n ttoil IN personal med kits , applied promptly they helped keep wounds cleaner and lessened septicemia deaths. also for the fungal trench foot n other ailments.
          Sage oil is also in this category as is rosemary
          and the commercial mobs ARE using essential oils to prevent ecoli n other nasties on seafood etc
          impregnating packaging materials with the oil
          maybe the FDA should STFU.

    • There’s one glaring problem with your post and your attitude: essential oils are not drugs. They are oils derived from plants and quite frankly the FDA has proven itself to be so unreliably corrupt that no one really cares what they say any more.

  2. In 1977 I was working on an alteration of a San Francisco Victorian mansion from residential to commercial use when I found a tobacco industry trade magazine from the 1920’s jammed behind a pocket door. One article presented a recent industry advertisement as a good tack for selling cigarettes specifically as a drug. In the ad, laid out as if it was a news story, (I just pulled it from my files, so this is not from memory but taken directly from the original) the headline reads “Need of Steady Nerves made them turn to Tareytons smokers say”. Sub-headlines say “Men and women find they can smoke as many as they want, investigation reveals” and “Pace of modern life jumps Tareyton sales”. The ad copy goes on to present personal endorsements from a mail plane pilot, portrait painter, radio operator, nurse, and railroad engineer all touting how this brand of cigarette steadies their nerves. BTW, the advertised price was 15 cents for a pack of twenty…

    So the FDA has resisted all of these decades since to regulate tobacco as a drug, or even take it off the market for killing 1 in 3 of all people who ever become addicted to it.

    This FDA move to regulate what non-company employees can say about products is more insidious than a first glance reveals. If they establish a precedent for censoring *positive* comments about a product which they deem to be a drug, they are only one step short of censoring *negative* comments about a product. Imagine a blanket gag order for discussing adverse drug reactions or vaccine damage. This is a very serious First Amendment issue. The FDA needs to be taken behind the woodshed for messing with our free speech rights.

  3. You don’t need government to be healthy. Do your own thing.

    • you missed the point? the idea is they want to BAN you from being able to buy /eat/make anything that will keep you healthy by doing your own thing:-)

  4. Sumner Raphael Berg | July 20, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Reply

    We low life are just guinea pigs for all the big pharmacological companies like Merck and Monsanto. Here in Australia we are supposed to have GMO labeling but don’t. I wrote to FSANZ and they told me to ring the company that makes the product which I should not have to do. That is FSANZ’s job. I want to know what I am eating! Monsanto has bought out the FDA and have got away with murder – literally!! I am 72 and was born in Oregon and along with 100 million other humans got the polio vaccination. Well that vaccination contained what they have termed the SV40 carcinogen that apparently came from a Rhesus monkey. The drug companies are also corrupt and buy their way into markets. We don’t look for the CAUSES of the condition but pump out drugs to treat the conditions and the drugs are not tested properly. We have made 80,000,000 chemicals that we have exposed ourselves to and we wonder why we have so much cancer, neurological disorders, digestive disorders, immune system disorders, etc. MONEY _ MONEY _ MONEY!!!! We as a species are stuffed and deservedly so. We have asked for it and hopefully will get it soon.

  5. Ariel Gail MacLean@yahoo | July 21, 2015 at 1:33 am | Reply

    Thank you for posting this article. I have recently reversed multiple complex cancers using a diverse arrary of roots, berries, barks, flowers, leaves, EO’s, seeds, and select retail supplements and a phyto-chemotherapeutic diet (and all while living in a barn and restricted by a subsistence SS check!) The neatest experience thus far, was when I re-discovered the impact of using the largest input channel of all–the organ known as the skin, as another delivery vehicle for reversing cancer with essential oils. This underutilized method is phenomenal. I highly recommend becoming a student of using essential oils.

  6. That settles it – I’m definitely going to get some essential oils…anything they are for or against – just take the opposing side.

  7. pretty sure fda works for monsanto/dupont/syngenta/dow/bayer fk ’em

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.