Tea Tree Industry Requests Retraction
Posted: February 27, 2007
Recent reports alleging that lavender and tea tree oil may be causing breast growth in young boys has little substance, is a product of poor reasoning, and is cast into doubt on many grounds, states the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association (ATTIA).
After consultation with numerous research scientists by Christopher Dean, Chairman of the Australian Tea Tree Oil Industry Technical and Safety Committee, the group requested a retraction from the Journal of New England Medicine in relation to an article it had published, titled "Prepubertal Gynecomastia Linked to Lavender and Tea Tree Oil."
According to ATTIA, many researchers and scientists examined this article and raised concern about the poor methodology and conclusions that reportedly were not supported by science. In the group's response statement to the industry, it claimed that "When such science is amplified by publication in a respected journal and the media beats up the story, it has damaging consequences out of all proportion to the facts."
ATTIA also added that this article was uncritically reported around the world, which caused alarm, commercial impacts and fear.
The tea tree industry reports it has a long history of documenting all adverse events reported, and two of the largest companies selling retail products, with global sales of over 150 million units of tea tree products over three decades, have never had an instance of this side effect reported.