An update on Young Living, the Cinnamon Bark Testing, Me, and this Blog:
There have been new developments regarding the Young Living Cinnamon bark testing and I am sharing them as I promised I would. My apologies for the delay, but this statement was not sent to me by Young Living and I had to wait to find out about it from others first and was on the road for the majority of today.
Before I get into the details of the statement, I need to take some time and address a couple things first. My story spread very quickly and much further than I would have expected and I’ve received some interesting accusations and remarks.
At no point in time did I, Crystal, or Betty think that Young Living was purposely adulterating oils and I can’t even say that I think that now. I do however, know that cinnamon is not grown and distilled by YL themselves so that opened the possibility of it potentially being a supplier issue, missed testing, etc. When I discovered that large amounts of essential oils such as Lavender, Wintergreen, etc were being imported by Young Living from places such as China, the safety net we always had of “we have our own farms” quickly evaporated and felt all we were led to believe was false (this is easily verifiable by looking up public record import logs for customs on websites such as Port Examiner and 52wmb.) The point was we didn’t know how this could happen and that is why we wanted answers. For those that do not know me, I’ve been a Young Living member and distributor since 2011. To say Young Living changed my life would be an understatement. There seems to be this conception that I am some kind of saboteur amongst a small group of people, but the truth is that I loved Young Living and they changed my life for the better by immersing me in the world of aromatherapy, essential oils, and chemical free living. I am not foolish enough to forget that, and I’ll forever remain grateful for some of the wonderful people I met at convention and the relationships I have built because of Young Living. Despite all of that, I will not remain ignorant to the truth. The fact remains that multiple oils/lots were tested and problems were found. The subsequent handling of the issue by Young Living was, in my opinion, very poorly executed. You all can make those decisions for yourself based on the facts presented. All of the statements issued by Young Living and Dr. Buch previous to the new one below were posted on my previous blog entry “The Day Young Living broke my Heart.”
The evening of Friday April 30th I received a letter from Julie Hunter with Conduct and Education at Young Living. It appears with the publication of my story the other day, I was in violation of the policies and procedures that my membership was bound to. The opening statement of the letter claims Young Living seeks to create an atmosphere of positivity and truth throughout its global business. My experience and the experience of others does not support this claim at all. In the letter I am given the option of removing my blog and comments, or terminate my membership. After speaking with the other distributors that I worked on the testing with, I discovered they had received the same letters from Conduct.
Let me make something very clear…. I WILL NOT be bullied or threatened in an attempt to keep me quiet and shut me up. Young Living is a company built on the backs of fellow distributors and members and those members, as well as general consumers have a right to know the truth and make informed decisions. No one should censor that information with orders to follow blindly and keep quiet. Based on the actions up to this point and the intimidation attempt, I advised Julie to terminate my membership. [A copy of the letter I received from Conduct can be found below]
Shortly after receiving the e-mail from Julie, someone off the website e-mailed me with a link to a new reply from Young Living and Dr. Buch. Again, I was never sent this communication by Young Living themselves as they promised they would and even now the next day I still have not received anything via email. [I’ve included a copy of that statement below]
In this statement, Dr. Buch talks in length about the process YL went through regarding the testing of the cinnamon bark. While I certainly appreciate this, it’s very unfortunate none of this was communicated with myself, or the other distributors involved in the petition for the past 3 weeks. A simple statement or e-mail outlining the steps that would be taken (securing raw material samples, re-distilling, etc) and a timeline of completion would have easily put everything else on hold before everything got so out of hand. The statement contains a lot of information, but zero documentation to back it up. Authorization was provided to the lab in Canada that did the testing to speak with Young Living chemists about the test results, as one would assume that any scientific professional and expert such as YL would want to collaborate with colleagues in their industry to better processes, procedures, and identify mistakes. A great deal of emphasis in the statement is placed on the data libraries the testing labs use. If this was a possible reason for a false reading, I would assume YL would want to reach out to that lab to confirm their data? This still has not occurred as far as I am aware when I checked with them last week.
The carbon testing that was performed by another analyst in Georgia still remains relevant despite the statement made by Dr. Buch and the distraction it attempts to create by referencing things such as the Shroud of Turin and ancient samples. The point the C14 testing makes is that a synthetic aromachemical that is derived from petroleum (as many are in the flavour and fragrance industry) will have a greatly depleted carbon-14 levels as fossil fuels are generally millions of years old [source] compared to anything from recent times. This is why a carbon-14 reading can sometimes be used to clearly distinguish a synthetic substance from one that was plant/nature derived. There is mention of conferring with “leading experts” on Carbon 14 analysis but no mention of who these experts are, which I think is highly relevant if you are going to site experts as facts.
The statement goes on to mention that numerous tests were run on both raw material samples, samples from around the world, etc. Where are these test reports? Where is the documentation? There is none. Coincidentally the statement from Dr. Buch was released right after my story went “viral” so to speak. Had we just been waiting for all these raw material sample tests to be completed, surely that could have been communicated to everyone? With the claim of being the “world leader in essential oils” consumers and customers hold Young Living to a high standard and expect the transparency that the company so commonly proclaims. All of us here have been robbed of that transparency by not being provided backup and documentation for these critical claims. Emphasis was placed on the fact the scientists interpreting the GC/MS data need to have the training and experience to correctly interpret it, perhaps insinuating the chemists at Laboratoire PhytoChemia do not. Yet YL themselves used Chemtech-Ford, an analytical laboratory not accustomed to testing essential oils? Based on their website they focus on drinking and waste water, soil, and hazardous waste groups. Why did they (YL) not reach out to the chemists from PhytoChemia who performed our testing? The high coumarin levels presented in one of the tests was not adequately addressed either, which is concerning for anyone on blood thinning medications/OTC’s.
Even though the questions continue to mount and documentation and proof continue not to be shared, we are closing the petition created several weeks ago on change.org. The petition’s purpose was to get answers to a specific list of questions. While those answers may not be complete, explained to our liking, or backed up with documentation, they are answers nonetheless. It’s very clear the direction and stance Young Living wishes to take over this issue and that they will not be looking into it any more. This is evident by the communication issued by Matt French with YL legal that advises Diamond leaders to “set the tone” in their downline and move forward with business as usual. [copy of that communication can be found below]
What does that mean for everyone else left still wondering? It means my/our task of seeking the truth is not over. More testing is being commissioned of both Young Living products as well as others in the aromatherapy industry. While this started as simply sharing my story and experience, after numerous emails and comments from concerned members, customers, and un-related parties I know now that I must continue this path of seeking the truth and sharing it with all of those ready and open to see it. I know I will continue to be threatened and slandered as I do this. I’ve come to realize through this ordeal that people get extremely creative when their beliefs or livelihoods are under siege. I understand this and I sympathize with those feeling that way as I was in your shoes not long ago. I’m always open to having a dialogue with those of you who may think I’m working for a competitor or have other motives as it’s certainly not the case at all which is why I have zero recommendations for anyone asking which companies to use. The only reason I had this website to start with was for my YL business.
In subsequent entries I will be posting the results from the latest test results we received regarding the other oils sent for testing including Young Living Lavender and German Chamomile, DoTerra Cinnamon Bark, Plant Therapy Cinnamon Bark, and more. There is also a fundraising campaign running right now to raise additional funds for more testing of oils and companies that contributors vote for, so there will be more testing and results to come! You can check back here when you like, or you can subscribe to be notified of a new post by entering your e-mail below. I’ve provided the subscribe option only because I’ve been asked for it so many times. I have no interest in anyone’s email address except for the explicit purpose of notifying you of new posts regarding essential oil testing. As my distributorship with Young Living has been terminated, I have zero affiliation with another product company and am not interested in selling you anything. My comment on my previous article about not being interested in joining another MLM oil company still stands, so please do not e-mail me your links, offers, etc. Please also refrain from posting them in the comments section as they will be flagged as spam and not approved for posting.