March 22, 2023

Permanent Injunction Against doTERRA Supplements For COVID-19

A permanent injunction and orders for civil penalty judgments have been filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against three distributors of doTERRA supplements for allegedly false claims about COVID-19 made when marketing essential oils and supplements. Three persons, Tina Wong, a pediatrician based in California, Eliza Johnson Bacot, a nurse practitioner based in Georgia, and Lauren Busch, a former registered nurse based in Utah, each agreed to pay $15,000 in civil penalties and to permanent injunctive relief to resolve these allegations.

Permanent Injunction Against doTERRA Supplements For COVID-19

Court filings allege that the defendants were or are distributors for doTERRA International LLC, a multi-level marketing company based in Utah that sells these products. The allegation is that, in public webinars in January 2022, the defendants represented that these doTERRA supplements reduce the risk of or severity of, or cure, COVID-19 and long-haul COVID-19 and counteract purported negative effects of COVID-19 vaccines.

Some of the claims were that the chewable products prevent children from contracting COVID-19, that inhaling essential oils inhibit the virus’ spike proteins and viral replication, and that certain essential oils prevent the binding of the virus to human cells. No published report of any well-controlled human clinical study substantiates these claims, according to the government.

And the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, enacted in December 2020, makes it unlawful during the public health emergency, to engage in deception in commerce associated with the “treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, or diagnosis of COVID-19.”

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a statement, “The Department of Justice remains vigilant in its efforts to stem the deceptive promotion of supposed COVID-19 treatments that have no proven benefits in combatting the disease. We will continue working with our law enforcement and agency partners to stop those who seek financial gain by peddling unproven cures for COVID-19.”

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