MLM cited for continued claims to treat autism, dementia, other conditions

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - serggn
©Getty Images - serggn

Related tags Health claims regulation Health claims MLM

An MLM that sells dietary supplements has been advised to remove claims relating to conditions such as autism, dementia and other disorders from the social media posts managed by distributors.

The demand was made by the Direct Selling Self Regulatory Council (DSRCC), which is run by BBB National Programs.  The company in question is Root Wellness LLC, which sells a variety of dietary supplements and health and wellness products, including air purifiers. The company’s core health message is detoxification as a foundational principle for health.

Wide variety of disease treatment claims

An earlier DSRCC ruling found that Root Wellness was making unsubstantiated disease claims via social media posts made by associates.  The latest action was a ‘compliance inquiry’ to verify whether the 2021 ruling was being followed.

The new inquiry found that four claims from the first ruling were still publicly accessible on the company’s website.  In addition, the inquiry noted that an additional 29 disease treatment claims are now being made.

Among the cited claims are:

  • “Fibromyalgia Rheuma Arthritis Psoriasis Eczema Darmon Disorders and Still a lot more can be treated with it”
  • “I am noticing some of my autoimmune symptoms are subsiding, my skin is amazing and those pesky sugar cravings are gone.”
  • Claims to have helped a non verbal autistic child to acquire language
  • Claims to have reversed the loss of spoken communication for an older man suffering from dementia.

Root Wellness had responded that it was not responsible for the posts because they were being made by associates. Nevertheless, it had agreed to remove the four continuing claims as well as the 29 new ones, and then, according to BBB National Programs, apparently made no move to do so. 

Enforcement stick

Among the BBB National Programs is a dispute resolution program run by the National Advertising Division. Parties use the program to quickly resolve disputes and avoid costly litigation.  One of the compliance tools in that program is the quick referral to the Federal Trade Commission if a party doesn’t do what it had agreed to do.  A similar enforcement stick is applied in the DSRCC cases.

“If Root Wellness does not remove the claims from circulation or provide evidence of a good faith effort to remove the claims within a reasonable period of time, DSSRC will refer this matter to the appropriate government agency,”​ the DSRCC statement said.

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