What is a Health Benefits Claim?
A Health Benefits Claim is any element of a listing or shop that suggests an item prevents, heals, or treats a medical condition or disease. In many countries, Health Benefits Claims are subject to regulation.
Shop Main Street Online is a marketplace where sellers choose the best way to describe the items they are selling. While we do prohibit certain types of claims as described below, there may be sellers on Shop Main Street Online who make claims which we do not explicitly prohibit, but which may be subject to the varying regulations around the globe.
For example, while Shop Main Street Online does not specifically prohibit dietary supplements, the way a seller might describe a supplement’s intended effect is subject to regulation in the United States.
It is the seller’s responsibility to know and follow any law or regulation that is applicable to them. If you’re making claims about the items you’re selling that might be medical in nature, we strongly urge you to speak to a qualified expert to ensure that you are describing your items in a way that complies with any laws or regulations that apply to you.
Regardless of accuracy or legality, some types of claims are prohibited on Shop Main Street Online. Here is a non-exhaustive list with examples of claims we do not allow:
- Claims that an item is a prevention, remedy, or cure for a terminal or serious medical condition, such as cancer or heart disease
- Claims that the use of an item may result in weight loss or otherwise significantly alter or transform one’s body
- Claims that an item will improve or enhance sexual performance; cure sexual dysfunction; or augment, enlarge, or enhance primary or secondary sexual characteristics
If a seller makes or implies prohibited claims in their shop or in the presentation of an item—including in the title, description, tags, or images in the listing—Shop Main Street Online may remove the item.
Note that Shop Main Street Online prohibits the listing or sale of all pharmaceuticals and numerous herbal substances due to legality or potential harmfulness.
Can I make other Health Benefits Claims that are not listed as prohibited?
Shop Main Street Online is not able to advise whether or not regulations apply to you. However, we will enforce our own policies against the types of claims described above. The types of claims prohibited are subject to change at any time. If you are unsure whether or not a claim you wish to make may be in violation of our policy, please reach out to our Marketplace Policy team at policies@ShopMainStreetOnline.
Can I make Health Benefits Claims if I add a disclaimer?
It’s up to each seller to determine whether a disclaimer works for their shop and complies with any laws or regulations applicable to the items you are selling. Shop Main Street Online is unable to advise on this matter. We urge you to speak with a qualified expert.
Can I have testimonials from previous buyers?
Shop Main Street Online does not prohibit testimonials, but they must not make prohibited claims and must make sure to comply with any applicable laws pertaining to endorsements or Health Benefits Claims.
What if my item makes a prohibited claim about healing or curing, but I believe the claim to be true?
Some claims are prohibited on Shop Main Street Online regardless of whether or not you believe or can prove their truthfulness. For example, it is not allowed to claim that your product cures a terminal disease such as cancer or that it will cause weight loss. Shop Main Street Online is unable to verify the truth of these claims and therefore we consider them inappropriate for our marketplace.
Can I make false claims?
As with any item on Shop Main Street Online, you may not knowingly make false claims about it or otherwise describe it inaccurately.
Shop Main Street Online provides some potentially helpful resources for informational purposes only. We can not provide legal guidance and we can not vouch for the accuracy of any third party resources.
- Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?)
- Guidance for Industry: Structure/Function Claims, Small Entity Compliance Guide
- Medical Foods Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information
- Dietary Supplements Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information