|Founder||Donald Gary Young|
Lehi, Utah, |
|Mary Young (CEO)|
|Products||Essential oils, home products|
Young Living is a multi-level marketing company based in Lehi, Utah that sells essential oils and other related products. The company was founded in 1993 by Donald Gary Young, a controversial figure previously convicted of the unlicensed practice of medicine.
In September 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Young Living against marketing its products as treatments or cures for Ebola virus, and other conditions, including "Parkinson’s disease, autism, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, insomnia, heart disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dementia, and multiple sclerosis, that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners."
As a multi-level marketing company, Young Living recruits "thousands of independent distributors who can sell directly to customers and earn commissions on sales to distributors recruited into a hierarchical network called 'downlines'." According to public records from 2016, approximately 94% of Young Living's active members made less than a dollar that year.
Prohibited marketing claims
In September 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Young Living against marketing its products as possible treatments or cures for Ebola virus, and other conditions, including "Parkinson’s disease, autism, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, insomnia, heart disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dementia, and multiple sclerosis, that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners." The letter named specific essential oil products, "such as, but not limited to, "Thieves," "Cinnamon Bark," "Oregano," "ImmuPower," "Rosemary," "Myrtle," "Sandalwood," "Eucalyptus Blue," "Peppermint," "Ylang Ylang," "Frankincense," and "Orange," are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs under section 201(g)(1)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B)], because they are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease." The warning further stated that the marketing and distribution of these essential oil products as drugs without FDA approval are violations of the Act.
In August 2013, Young Living filed suit against doTerra for theft of trade secrets, alleging that the company had recreated their production process illegally. Chemist Robert Pappas, who has spoken at the conventions of doTerra, has said the oils, which were tested by the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, did not apparently match any oils sold by doTerra. Additionally, Pappas has given a court deposition saying that Young Living utilized synthetic chemicals in some of their organic products.
In September 2017 on a ruling against Young Living, the US Department of Justice announced a fine of $760,000 and guilty plea on federal misdemeanor charges for the illegal trafficking of rosewood oil and spikenard oil in violation of the Lacey Act of 1900 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
- "Local biz: New executives at doTerra and Young Living Essential Oils (Press release)". Herald Media. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
- Harvey, Tom (August 1, 2013). "Essential oils rivalry spills into Utah courts". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Ohlheiser, Abby (September 24, 2014). "FDA warns three companies against marketing their products as Ebola treatments or cures". Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
- Sepkowitz, Kent (December 5, 2014). "Honey Boo Boo, Snake Oil, and Ebola: The Weird World of Young Living Essential Oils". Daily Beast. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- Mitchell, LaTonya (September 22, 2014). "Warning Letter: Young Living". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- Monroe, Rachel (October 9, 2017). "Something in the Air". The New Yorker. New York: Condé Nast. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
According to a public income statement, more than ninety-four per cent of Young Living's two million active members made less than a dollar in 2016, while less than one-tenth of one per cent—that is, about a thousand Royal Crown Diamonds—earned more than a million dollars.
- "Young Living Essential Oils, LC (Plaintiff) v. doTERRA, Inc., et al. (Defendants)" (PDF). United States District Court for the District of Utah Central Division. July 18, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- Markosian, Richard (August 21, 2014). "Report Used in Young Living Farms Case Against DoTERRA Suspect". Utah Stories. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- Keeson, Arvid (August 15, 2014). "Damning Evidence That Young Living and DoTERRA's Essential Oils are Adulterated". Utah Stories. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- "Essential Oils Company Sentenced for Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act Violations to Pay $760,000 in Fines, Forfeiture, and Community Service, and to Implement a Comprehensive Compliance Plan". US Department of Justice. September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
Several company employees and contractors harvested, transported, and distilled rosewood (Aniba roseaodora or Brazilian rosewood) in Peru and imported some of the resulting oil into the United States, through Ecuador. The importation of illegally harvested wood and timber products harms law-abiding American companies and workers and threatens forest resources around the world