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Young Living disputes many of these claims as outdated, misleading, or exaggerated. These allegations simply do not reflect the company that Young Living has evolved to be today, instead referring to events that happened years (and even decades) ago to provide an inaccurate and sensationalized view of Young Living.
Starting as a small operation more than 25 years ago, Young Living grew to become a global enterprise. The fuel for that growth has always been the desire of consumers to purchase and use essential oils. Indeed, Young Living helped create an industry that now includes numerous successful brands and products that are carried by mainstream retailers, ranging from Walgreens and Target to Nordstrom and Whole Foods. These other well-respected companies see the benefits of essential oils and serve the same market as Young Living. Like all companies in this industry, Young Living is subject to a wide array of U.S. and foreign laws related to cultivation, harvesting, production, distribution, and sale of its products and is proud of the quality of its essential oils.
To the extent the article targets the company’s now-deceased founder, Gary Young, the company has evolved far beyond its founder’s unique history. To be sure, Gary was a maverick within the industry and had strong beliefs about essential oils and their uses. It is also true that many of Young Living’s members and customers maintain those beliefs today. Young Living does not advocate the use of essential oils outside of the labelled usage instructions and the advice of any individual’s medical doctors. At the same time, clinically proven benefits of essential oils do exist. This all contributes to the demand for the products and why so many other companies market essential oils.
In recent years, Young Living has doubled down on its compliance program to educate and police its members to ensure that accurate and proven claims about its products are being made. The company promotes only FDA-compliant marketing material and all members are instructed to only use materials approved by Young Living. It has disassociated itself from the desk reference offered by Life Science Publishing. Through its membership agreement, each Young Living member promises to sell products in compliance with all laws and regulations. No member is permitted to make inaccurate claims about Young Living’s products. The agreement further provides that a member in violation of these requirements may have their membership terminated. Today, Young Living’s compliance team is strong and empowered to robustly enforce its policies and procedures, and the company has terminated members for failing to remain within compliance.
As one timely example of the company’s compliance efforts, Young Living is determined to prevent misleading claims relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding to its previous education and instructions to its members regarding the virus, Young Living recently circulated a notice to all of its members that they are wholly prohibited from making claims that any Young Living product can be used to prevent, cure, destroy, or contain the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. Young Living also reminded its members that they are prohibited from making claims or implying that participation in the Young Living business opportunity can replace income lost due to unemployment or economic slowdown, whether or not mentioning COVID-19 or the current pandemic.
In addition to repeatedly reminding members of their obligations tied to COVID-related product and business opportunity claims, Young Living has also demonstrated its commitment to taking immediate corrective action when non-compliant claims are identified. Since January 2020, Young Living has actively searched for and removed more than 1,500 improper COVID-related product or business opportunity claims made independently by members across social media and other channels, including freezing member accounts and terminating members to force member compliance. Business Insider has not disclosed to Young Living any non-compliant COVID-related claims made by any active members. Immediate corrective action would have been taken if Business Insider had done so.
Separately, Business Insider’s allegations disparaging Young Living’s business model reflect a flawed understanding of the company. Young Living products are often sold through a membership and distributor model, but there are additional ways to purchase via retail channels and some specialty stores and spas. While some customers choose to benefit from wholesale pricing through a membership, they don’t actively sell or promote memberships and receive no commissions. To provide transparency to our members and ensure they understand the potential business opportunity, all Young Living members are required to provide a copy of Young Living’s Income Disclosure Statements (IDS) to contacts when talking about the earning potential of Young Living members. Young Living’s IDS is also publicly available on the company’s website (www.youngliving.com/ids/). The IDS is clear and provides a realistic view of the opportunity for potential members. As in many other well-respected business models, the success of participants varies greatly. Young Living is committed to continuing to provide transparency to its members and potential members and long-planned updates to Young Living’s business plan will be rolled out in the coming months.
Young Living is also committed to doing good in our communities in the United States and beyond, dedicating 2% of its profits to its foundation. Through its foundation and its members, Young Living has dedicated millions of dollars to organizations throughout the world ranging from providing mosquito netting in third world countries to combating human trafficking around the world to assisting in the aftermath of natural disasters. Closer to home, during these trying past few months of the pandemic, Young Living donated products like its hand sanitizer to local frontline workers and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local and national organizations.
We are saddened that past events and actions by the company founder who is now deceased are being dredged up and mischaracterized. We see many of the points in this article as irrelevant and outdated, and not reflective of Young Living as it is today. We are grateful that our members and customers appreciate Young Living and its products and practices. Young Living is focused on sharing the highest quality, purest essential oils with the world and giving back to the communities in which we operate in whatever ways we can. The company has instituted robust compliance practices and complies with applicable laws. As it is today, Young Living is a health and wellness company that strives to make the world a better place.