doTerra’s response to Immortelle eyesight claims is inadequate
When I first read doTerra’s response to baseless medical claims about its Immortelle oil blend, I was pleased to see them denouncing the claims.
…then I realised that’s not what they were doing. doTerra was just covering its ass.
Sometime last week, Canadian doTerra distributor Samantha Lotus held an online class.
Tickets were $11, and Lotus claimed attendees would be taught how “to see clearly again”.
As reported by The Daily Beast on September 10th;
Lotus is offering her tens of thousands of social media followers the chance to throw away their glasses and heal the “spiritual, emotional, mental and physical reasons” behind their bad eyesight, according to an Instagram post.
Mallory, a Canadian anti-MLM content creator, paid the $11 asking price and attended Lotus’ class.
Mallory breaks down Lotus’ class but, in a nutshell, Lotus puts shortsightedness down to “diet and nutrition, lifestyle factors, mind-body connection, environmental considerations, detoxification and conflict”.
Rebecca Watson, owner of Skepchick, provided context to Lotus’ claims in a YouTube video.
TL;DR: The claims have been around for over a hundred years and, of course, have been thoroughly debunked.
The MLM connection to Lotus’ class, which Mallory claims pocketed her around five thousand dollars, ties into doTerra’s Immortelle essential oil blend.
doTerra markets Immortelle as an oil blend that “reduce(s) the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and promote(s) visibly healthy-looking skin.”
Standard anti-aging personal care claims that you can find attached to countless products from countless manufacturers.
Where things get sketchy is doTerra distributors promoting Immortelle as an eyesight improver.
Citing Lotus’ class, Mallory reached out to doTerra on Twitter. This prompted doTerra’s response, as quoted earlier;
While our products can be used to promote a healthier lifestyle and achieve certain wellness benefits, they cannot be used or marketed as capable of preventing, treating, or curing any disease or symptoms associated with a disease.
What doTerra doesn’t do is categorically state “Our Immortelle oil blend does not improve eyesight. Stop making these baseless and illegal medical claims“.
It sounds like that’s what doTerra is saying but when you read it over again, they’re just stating marketing Immortelle with medical claims is illegal. They don’t touch on the claims themselves, and this is a problem.
It took me all of twenty minutes to find examples of doTerra distributors’ Immortelle claims, dating back to at least 2013.
These examples are all publicly available…
…meaning if I could find them so could doTerra.
God knows the level of misinformation that is being spread behind closed doors.
As you can see, the claims are all similar.
Immortelle is touted as an eyesight improver, which is medically baseless and illegal as per the FTC Act.
In a Twitter thread dated September 10th, Mallory claims Lotus began harassing her on multiple social media platforms. This culminated in threats of legal action.
In a follow up tweet, doTerra stated they’d
taken immediate action to review any of the distributor’s statements that may not comply with our policies and relevant legal requirements.
Whether Lotus is still a doTerra distributor is unclear. At time of publication Lotus’ previously accessible personal website and Instagram profile have been set to private.
Lotus’ YouTube channel and FaceBook profile have also been scrubbed.
Mallory claims she reported Lotus to doTerra last December for the same conduct…
doTerra appears to have ignored Mallory’s report. Dare I say the only reason doTerra took action this time around is because major news publications picked up the story (Salt Lake Tribune, New York Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, National Post etc.).
At the risk of invoking Godwin’s law, this is very reminiscent of politicians dodging public denouncement of nazis, white nationalists, or (insert group society has long reached general consensus as being abominably objectionable).
If doTerra wants to stop the illegal medical claims being made about Immortelle, they need to issue a public statement acknowledging such claims are bogus and without any factual or medical basis.
Given this nonsense has been going on for ten years, pointing out making the claims is illegal (i.e. the obvious and bare minimum), clearly isn’t good enough.