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Have you heard the rumors? The latest scam everyone’s buying into?
Essential oils. Yep, you heard me. Those fancy-schmancy oils are just one big hoax.
You know how I know? The FDA.
Yep, that’s right – the FDA is cracking down on essential oil companies.
What? It’s true! Believe me, I read the letter. Click here and you can too.
Ok, so the letter was long. And wordy. I’ll summarize it for you.
The letter is an official warning from the FDA, notifying an essential oil company that it is against the law to market essential oils for the prevention or treatment of any ailment, sickness, illness or disease.
Read that: AGAINST THE LAW
Yikes! That sounds bad. Really bad.
But is it? And what does it mean?
Does it mean that essential oils don’t work? That they are ineffective – or worse – dangerous?
Before you draw any hasty conclusions, read on… and YOU decide.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates food and drugs in the United States. According to current law, anything that claims to prevent or cure a disease is considered a “drug” and “drugs” must be approved by the FDA. Any company marketing a product, suggesting that it can “prevent, cure or treat” any ailment or disease without prior FDA approval, it is considered an illegal and unapproved drug by the FDA.
This means that while the FDA thankfully has the power to protect us from potential false or misleading claims, current law also makes it illegal for natural supplement companies and food producers to share accurate, science-based health information with you – if that information includes anything about preventing or curing illness. Thus, why the FDA challenges companies who make (even truthful) claims about their products helping to prevent or cure disease.
In 2012, the FDA sent a warning letter to Diamond Food for making accurate, science-backed health claims about the omega-3 fats in walnuts. Research shows that omega-3 fats in walnuts help prevent and protect against diseases, such as heart disease, strokes, arthritis, mental illness, some types of cancer, tumors and depression. But claiming that they do so categorizes them as “drugs” – which by law must be regulated and approved by the FDA. Since walnuts have not been approved by the FDA to be used – as drugs – to prevent and cure diseases, Diamond Food is restricted in their ability to share that honest, helpful health information.
If you think that’s crazy, you’re in good company – U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant agrees that the FDA has gone too far in censoring health claims.
So what’s the big deal? Why doesn’t Diamond Food just get their stinkin’ walnuts approved and be done with it? Here’s why: in order for a company to get a food, product or supplement approved by the FDA so that important health-related information can lawfully be shared – such as the helpful fact that walnuts can help prevent common diseases – costs well over a billion dollars. Which may be feasible for big-name drug companies to secure their approvals, but not so much when you’re just trying to sell a handful of walnuts a day to keep those pesky doctors away (WAIT! Are apples drugs too?!?).
So, Are Essential Oils Bad For You?
Not any more “bad” than walnuts.
The situation outlined above is the exact position essential oil companies have found themselves in – even when they’ve followed the regulations.
Though some companies (like the one addressed in the letter) are meticulous in their product information and marketing – following FDA regulations, being careful to avoid making claims about how the oils can treat and prevent illness – the truth still leaks out.
Everyday people – like you and me – use the oils, discover their effectiveness and of course, spread the word about everything the oils can do.
So when trying to understand the FDA “crackdown” on essential oils, let us remember the innocent walnut. Just because it is illegal for Diamond Food to promote walnuts based on certain health benefits does not make those benefits any less true.
The same goes for essential oils. There are wonderful, scientific studies detailing the effectiveness of essential oils to support health and wellbeing in many areas of life. Check out scholarly articles at Aromatic Science and PubMed.gov to find some of these things out for yourself in their scientific glory.
But telling you about some of the benefits of essential oils in plain English, just happens to currently require breaking the law. Thus, the FDA warnings against essential oil companies.
So we won’t tell you that essential oils can take you from sickness to health, or even prevent sickness, because that would qualify them as drugs.
And they are so much better than that.
Clarity on Essential Oils
Here is what we can tell you:
- Essential oils do not prevent, treat or cure disease. (ie. they are not drugs)
- Your lifestyle choices can help prevent or reverse disease processes.
- Your doctor treats symptoms and fixes broken parts. (and gives you drugs)
- Your body is made to protect itself, fight off sickness and cure diseases.
- Essential oils can help support the body to function at its best, enabling it to be as healthy as possible.
There you have it. Essential oils help the body function like it was made to.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
**The advice on this page is not intended to replace professional medical help. These statements are for educational purposes only, they are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. This information is offered as a way to use essential oils to assist the body in its own natural processes of reaching balance and homeostasis.