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 Page: Profile: Notice   Total Views: 2,661,709  

Notice Specs

Acct. ID: 373004

Notice ID: 18072

Category: Press

Posted: August 20th., 2012

This Notice has been viewed 5573 times
Commercial Notice

Etsy Excludes Natural Herbal Products

Proclaimed by: Ocean Wyndsong
Proclaimed from: Mesa, Arizona


A notice to all Pagan product sellers/buyers at Etsy.

A blog announcement dated August 8, 2012 revealed that among some quite obvious product restrictions like human bones and bongs, Etsy has also included restrictions for all herbal based products. Furthermore, those sellers who include folkloric descriptions about stones/minerals are now required to remove such claims.

Below are examples of the new policy, its affect and responses from both sellers and Etsy admins!

~~From the notifying blog post from Etsy~~
Drugs, medical drug claims about an item, drug paraphernalia: We have clarified the previous language from “drug-like substances” to now be “medical drug claims about an item.” A medical drug claim makes a correlation between a product and the cure or relief of a health condition or illness. In many cases, an item itself is not problematic, but the way it is presented with certain language is against this policy. With this update, we’re also reinforcing our standards regarding drug paraphernalia. This includes, but is not limited to, items such as pipes with carburetors, water pipes, bubblers, oil domes, hash skillets, vaporizers, and ash catchers. (Note: Tobacco pipes that do not have carburetors are still allowed, as long as they otherwise meet Etsy’s marketplace criteria.)

~~Responses via a forum at Etsy ~~

Question - "Stella- what about tinctures? Their entire reason for "being" is the claim of relief or remedy. Are they to be banned outright?"

Admin Response - In many cases, the item itself is likely not problematic, just the language used to describe the item. For example, an item may have other uses unrelated to the medical drug claim (ex. as a cosmetic, like hand lotion; or as food, like tea) . When possible, we want to allow shops to continue selling such items. A listing may remain on Etsy provided any medical drug claims are removed, the seller is still able to accurately and truthfully describe their item, and the item otherwise complies with Etsy’s rules.
Question - RareDaisyJewelry and a few others have raised questions about "spiritual" or "metaphysical" claims.

Admin Response - The policy prohibits medical drug claims about an item, so if the listing is making claims that the product may cure or treat a mental illness, that would be prohibited. Claims for spiritual effects are not necessarily considered medical drug claims.
On page 22, BeyondThePicketFence asked a related question:
"shouldn't stones be more under "spiritual" healing as upposed to "medical" healing...isn't that TOTALLY different!?"

Admin Response - As I mentioned in an earlier post, the policy pertains to all listings on Etsy. A seller may not make claims that using their product (whatever the item may be) correlates with the cure or relief of a health condition or illness.
The Herbologist from wortsandcunning says

Hiya Rob,

How long will it take our emails to be answered by the Integrity Team? A number of us have not received replies to our queries and we are expected to make immediate changes to our shops. Thanks so much for your time!

Admin Response - Our Marketplace Integrity Team will respond to the emails that you and other members have sent as soon as they can; the response time may be a little longer than usual if there is a significant influx of email with queries like the ones some of you are posing here.

With that said, we'll be cognizant of the questions you're asking and the efforts that you show you're making when enforcing policy and we'll handle each case appropriately. The key thing to do is to make and finish the effort to make your listings compliant with the updated Prohibited Items policy and to ask our Marketplace Integrity Team whatever you need to ask them to get there. I hope this is helpful!
Seller Post -
Hi everyone!

I sent an email to Eliza at Etsy Marketplace Integrity a few minutes ago and this is what I wrote:


Hi Eliza,

There is a large discussion on this subject currently running in the forum and we've come up with a list of words/phrases that we would like clarification about whether or not they can be used in our listings. Shop owners are confused as to how to revise their listings to be in conformance with this Etsy policy. We are frustrated because all of the answers we've received to our questions so far from Etsy Admin have been generic and non-specific. We want to be in compliance with Etsy policy and many hours have been spent revising listings. Without a clear understanding of how to do this properly, many shop owners are dismayed by the results of what may be overly drastic revisions. Your assistance would be most appreciated.

Here's the list of questionable words/phrases compiled so far:

Heal / healing (Not for a specific ailment, ie: chakra healing)
calm / calming
sooth / soothing
relax / relaxing
energizing (spiritually or metaphysically)
sore muscles
sober / sobriety (ie: "sober character", not alcohol or drug related sobriety)
breath ease
menstruation/menstrual ease
sleep/dream tea
weight control
balanced diet
healthy tea
remedy (ie: "spiritual remedy for ___" or "metaphysical remedy for ___")

Can these words/phrases be used? Please give us examples of how we can use them.

Once we have revised our listings, will Etsy Integrity review our store for us?

Once again, your assistance is most appreciated. We look forward to your response.



Hopefully we will receive a response to my email soon. If the response is sent to me personally, I will copy it in its' entirety to this thread as soon as I receive it.

hugs and many blessings,

Admin Response - Another good question!

As Lauren mentioned earlier in this thread:

"The policy pertains to all listings on Etsy. A seller may not make claims that using their product (whatever the item may be) correlates with the cure or relief of a health condition or illness. This includes historical, folklore or "time-tested" claims that make a correlation between the product and the cure or relief of a health condition or illness."

Back to my thoughts -

Most sellers were never notified directly. I was not. I sell products which have extensive stone descriptions in them, I will not be changing them. They are folkloric and claim no direct medical benefit. Many others are having to alter their descriptions - stripping them of all vital info that helps customers make informed decisions.

This was my response on the forum to this issue:
Ocean Wyndsong from WyndsongDesigns says

Personally, I think this reeks of control and selective exclusion.
As an artist who creates mystical rosaries, I use folkloric descriptions, known properties of stones and other info to convey the possible intent of my rosaries.

I find that I neither violate the FDA rules regarding "medical" advice or implication of my product producing said affects.

I pride myself on providing to my clients the metaphysical intent of my line of rosaries. I am entitled to do so under the Freedom of Religion amendment of our constitution. I am protected just like a catholic, buddist or methodist. Etsy cannot violate my right of religious freedom in their attempt to squelch any and all "alternative" products.

Jewelry does not fall under the FDA or any other governing board of the USA with regard to intent of use. It may fall under other guidelines as far as use of construction materials.

I find it appalling and distasteful to think that Etsy is effectively eliminating any product that is not mainstream.

When will this country step out of the dark ages and realize that alternative medicine, products and services are what made it great. All pharma came from the earth and will return to the earth. All stones/minerals not consumed are excluded from pharmacology issues!!

Wake up Etsy and smell the metaphysical sage smoke rising. You will loose sellers and buyers over this.


I am NOT changing my listings, my Spirit Rosaries are not medical devices or herbal products, or bath and body. I am not claiming healing anyones physical ailments and I am not suggesting someone eat my rosary to gain health. I allow my customers to decide their beliefs about the properties of stones, and participate in their own process of healing, centering, manifesting, etc.

If I am called to task for not removing the "offending" descriptions, I will be removing my product completely. I will not compromise. This is an issue of integrity of my beliefs. There will be no alteration made for those who I sense are becoming narrow minded, singly focused followers.

When I joined Etsy 4 years ago, I saw it as a progressive, artsy site built just for artist like me. 4 years later, they cater to the Wedding industry consistently, allow resellers from other countries and allow violations of the very rules which made them a handmade haven.

Shame on Etsy!!!!!!!!!

PS- Ebay is following suit!

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