doTerra executive Lauren Busch has been fined $15,000 for making deceptive COVID-19 marketing claims.
The DOJ filed a civil complaint against Busch (right) on behalf of the FTC.
As per the DOJ’s January 5th Complaint, Busch violated the FTC Act and COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act.
(Busch) promoted doTERRA products and business opportunities through numerous means (and) represented that certain doTERRA essential oil and supplement products are effective in preventing and treating Coronavirus Disease 2019.
Between January and March 2022, Busch organized eight doTerra webinars featuring current and former health-care practitioners.
The first webinar was held on January 12th, and saw Busch falsely claim doTerra products could prevent, treat and/or cure COVID-19.
Tonight, the layout is we’re going to discuss a little bit about prevention, we’re going to talk a little bit about treatment, we’re going to talk about post-COVID issues and we’re going to talk about recovery for those of you or people that you may love or know that may have struggled from vaccine reactions.
Among other claims, Busch claimed doTerra’s On Guard mouthwash could “clean” COVID-19 from the nose and mouth.
I am telling you if you know that this virus likes to hang out up your nose and in your mouth and it likes to replicate really fast right there, why would we not get that cleaned out of our mouth and our nose. And diffusing is a great way to do it.
Busch also claimed doTerra’s essential oils could “inhibit the SARS-COVID-2 [sic] spike protein.”
In response to Busch’s claims, the DOJ points out:
At present, there is no published report of any well-controlled human clinical study to substantiate that any of the doTERRA Products referenced above: treat, prevent, reduce the risk or severity of, or cure COVID-19; treat, prevent, reduce the risk or severity of, or cure long-haul COVID-19; or counteract inflammation or other purported negative effects of COVID19 vaccines.
Rather than defend herself and prove doTerra’s products have any effect on COVID-19, Busch settled the case.
In doing so, Busch consented to
- a ban against making COVID-19 claims about doTerra’s products;
- a ban against making COVID-19 representations about doTerra’s products, unless she had “competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating that the representation is true”;
- a ban against making any health-related claims about doTerra’s products, again unless substantiating “competent and reliable scientific evidence” is provided;
- preserving any underlying and supporting data of any clinical tests presented;
- representing that doTerra’s products are “scientifically or clinically proven or otherwise established”;
- payment of a $15,000 civil penalty;
- submit compliance reports to the FTC for ten years; and
- record and preserve data pertaining to the same sale of doTerra products, including any consumer complaints and refund requests, for ten years
As per her LinkedIn profile, Busch left nursing to launch Holistic Essentials in 2013. I’m assuming this was the start of her doTerra distributorship.
The DOJ’s Complaint notes that;
Until February 2022, Defendant was a distributor for doTERRA International, LLC.
Defendant held the rank of doTERRA Diamond at the time her doTERRA distributorship was terminated.
That sounds like Busch might have been disciplined by doTerra for making bogus COVID-19 marketing claims.
Rather, doTerra promoted Busch to Senior Manager of Product Development in March 2022. She maintains this position.
Busch is one of three doTerra COVID-19 fraud defendants targeted by the DOJ and FTC.
Eliza Johnson Bacot and Dr. Tina Wong are doTerra distributors. Both settled their respective lawsuits brought against them earlier this month.