Monday, June 13, 2016

Supplements? GRAS?

MWM: What is the GRAS LIST? 

Not a day goes by without us hearing from someone preparing to order essential oils for internal use.  We are often asked, “Are your oils safe to take internally?” Or my favorite, “Are your oils therapeutic grade?” (see prior blog) That’s why Lacey’s question for Marge during Mondays with Marge last week was so very timely!  

Lacey asked: “Could you explain to me why some oils are being labeled as supplements (safe to ingest) and the same oils not safe to ingest with other companies? I've been told by other members/up line that they are the same exact oils, BUT the FDA approves them safe for internal usage...according to the labels.”

VERY misleading GRAS list from an MLM

Marge: Okay…there's a big different between the GRAS list which refers only to FOOD FLAVOURINGS... being used in parts per million or parts per multi-thousand... and when an EO is properly emulsified in the product. Generally Regarded as Safe. THAT is what GRAS means. When people make Lemon pie or cake, and there is a drop of Lemon oil in it, to be shared between how many servings? THAT is GRAS. Generally regarded as safe for the intended use... as a food FLAVOURING.

That has nothing to do with Supplements.

Now about three or four years ago a few companies started labeling their EO's as "supplements" because herbalists, people producing food supplements, can make SOME claims that we are not supposed to legally make about the EO's if we are selling the oils. (teachers can, suppliers can't.) It was thought that by labeling them as supplements they could make the claims... problem being... according to federal law, food supplements MUST be ingested. They cannot be sold for topical use, for inhalation, for any of the other methods of using an essential oil.

So, at least one company came out with a line of "food supplements,”-the exact same oil under a different ‘line’ or name. And the oils they are selling as supplements have been approved by the FDA as "food flavoring" as described above, never for the types of uses that Herb Supplements are recognized for.. They have never been approved by any government agency for the sort of internal use you have been taught.  Other companies, on the other hand, still label their essential oils as "food supplements" while also recommending topical use or inhalation. The best of both worlds??? 

The problem is, the FDA does NOT approve or mandate Food Supplements. They do NOT say that they are either safe to use, or effective as used. They only get involved when there are complaints. Most of the people injured by ingestion of the essential oils are reluctant to enter a formal government complaint. After all, the odds are you bought it from a friend or relative, who thought they were doing the right thing. And who wants to issue a government complaint against a neighbor or relative? And the MLM's have very carefully set it up so that if you DO have a bad reaction, they are not responsible. The affiliate who sold you the oils, your up-line, is responsible. They are independent contractors.

We have friends who have permanent esophageal scarring because of drinking citrus essential oils, labeled as food supplements, in water.

The oils are powerful medicine. I am not one who says "never take them internally"... but in my family we treat them with respect and use them as the powerful medicine they are. Does that make sense? Or did I confuse you more?

Marge continues: Lacey, When you look at the GRAS list, almost everything on it is food, spices, herbs, things that in their 'raw' form you might have in your kitchen. The FDA has never approved supplements...that chart is...typical deception. It's partially true—the list of GRAS essential oils—but the rest is marketing hype. Don't feel bad. Gary Young has made millions. He is an expert marketer, and I am sure your uplink, who shared it with you, believes that it is true. Why would they question it? The GIFT is that you came up for air and started asking questions!!!! Most people don't... so applause for you!

Lacey replies: I understand. Thank you for your detailed response. This has really helped.

Carol ODonnell: Marge, coming in a bit late on this, but could you create a blog post or put this explaination on your website? This is the clearest explanation I've heard regarding this issue and I would love to have a printable version to share with friends. Thank you!

Christi:  Ta da!  We aim to please. 
Have a dilemma or question pertaining to Aromatherapy? Ponder it, then pose it to Marge each Monday night at 8:00 p.m. CDT for Mondayswith Marge on the Nature’s Gift Facebook page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, How deceptive MLM's are. Great article. Marge, you explained this perfectly.