FDA, FTC Warn Essential Oils Seller

By Happi Staff | 05.28.20

Agencies find that Careful Cents may not have been careful enough regarding coronavirus claims.

Careful Cents, LLC, Colorado Spring, CO, has been sengt a warning letter for unapproved and misbranded products related to coronavirus/COVID-19 after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission reviewed its website on May 6, 2020, and May 19, 2020, respectively. FDA said that it observed claims on the company’s website representing or implying that the products (in this case, essential oils) can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.  Based on the review, FDA and FTC said the claims cause the Amazon associate products purchased through links on the company's website to be unapproved new drugs under section 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. § 355(a). Furthermore, these products are misbranded drugs under section 502 of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 352.  Causing the introduction or delivery for introduction of these products into interstate commerce is prohibited under sections 301(a) and (d) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 331(a) and (d).  In addition, it is a prohibited act under section 301(k) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 331(k), to do any act with respect to a drug, if such act is done while the drug is held for sale after shipment in interstate commerce and results in the drug being misbranded.   

Some examples of the claims on Careful Cents’ website iincluded:

• “Can you use essential oils to boost your immune system and fight coronavirus? Yes! Essential oils are one of the best tools to strengthen your immune system naturally . . .”

• “How To Boost Your Immune System Naturally
         - “Use top antibacterial essential oils to kill gems
         -  “Diffuse essential oil blends for immune support”
         -  “Use top antibacterial essential oils to kill gems“Diffuse essential oil blends for immune support”
         - “Try this essential oils immunity recipe blend”

Website statements also included:
•  “Eucalyptus [Amazon associates link] essential oil . . . has antiseptic agents that help fight . . . viruses.”
•  “Tea Tree [Amazon associates link] essential oil is considered to have potent antimicrobial properties. It aids in fighting against . . . viruses”
•  “You already know that Citronella [Amazon associates link] . . . is also an . . . antiviral essential oil.”

FDA and FTC sai dthat Careful Cents provided a recipe of tea tree citronella, lemon, cypress and rosemary, and stated:  “Apply this essential oils immunity recipe blend to your chest, neck, and wrists. And continue applying as often as needed.”