McLean, VA – October 18, 2022 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs has referred direct selling company Root Wellness LLC to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible enforcement action. The referral comes after a lack of compliance by Root Wellness with DSSRC recommendations as well as the company’s inability to substantiate a growing list of health-related product performance claims.
At issue are product performance claims disseminated by Root Wellness and its salesforce members on social media communicating the message that Root Wellness products can treat serious health-related conditions including, but not limited to, psoriasis, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, chronic fatigue, fatty liver disease (Hepatic Steatosis), fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, COVID-19, and more.
These claims were originally addressed in February 2021 by DSSRC as part of its ongoing independent monitoring of the direct selling marketplace. In March 2022, as part of its compliance process, DSSRC identified additional social media posts communicating product performance claims of concern and reevaluated whether Root Wellness had complied fully with DSSRC’s recommendations. DSSRC determined that because social media posts making unsubstantiated health-related product performance claims remained accessible to the public, Root Wellness was not in compliance with DSSRC’s 2021 recommendations.
In addition, the March case brought to light false references to third parties in press releases, such as the BBB and Direct Selling Association, to which Root Wellness is not affiliated.
DSSRC requested the removal of all health-related product performance claims that could not be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence demonstrating that Root Wellness products can effectively produce the results indicated in the health-related claims. In addition, DSSRC recommended that the misleading press releases also be removed.
After the compliance inquiry was published in July 2022, Root Wellness not only did not remove the problematic claims from the marketplace but allowed the continued proliferation of serious health-related claims on social media.
Root Wellness has provided no competent and reliable evidence in support of the claims being made by its salesforce members, did not demonstrate a good faith effort to have the claims removed, and has not made an effort to curb the dissemination of misleading communications implying endorsements that do not exist for Root Wellness and its products (most recently on October 10, 2022).
As a result of this lack of compliance, DSSRC is referring this matter to the FTC and other appropriate government agencies.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council: The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent, impartial monitoring, dispute resolution, and enforcement of false product claims and income representations made by direct selling companies and their salesforce members across digital platforms. The DSSRC seeks to establish high standards of integrity and business ethics for all direct selling companies in the marketplace.