My name is April. I am the mother of two, a 22 month old toddler and a daughter who passed away shortly after birth. I have an Etsy.com store where I sell soaps, most made with human breast milk, and I use the proceeds from that store to buy plaster handprint molds for families of babies who pass away, so they will always have a memory of their child.
Etsy.com is a place to buy unique, handcrafted items from local artisans and stay at home parents. It is a place to sell vintage clothing and homemade baked goods. At Etsy.com, you are encouraged to celebrate your individualism and creativity. But today, the Etsy.com Marketplace Integrity team has disappointed me and many others with the emails that classify breast milk as "human remains" and prohibit any items made with it.
I recieved an email from Etsy.com stating that I had prohibited items for sale in my shop, and that they needed to be removed. I was confused, because I had thoroughly read Etsy.com's Prohibited Items list, and there was nothing stating that I could not make soap out of breast milk and sell it on the site. It was stated in the email that breast milk soap is prohibited because it is classified as "human remains". What!?
I have started this petition on change.org to state that breast milk should not be classified the same as a human body part, semen, urine, vaginal secretions, blood, or saliva. Breast milk is composed like any other milk from any other species, and if goat's milk or cow's milk soap is available, than human milk soap should be allowed, also.
All milks, from any species, have the same properties. All milks contain fats, proteins, lipids, and nutrients, among other things, to nourish the young from the mother. All milks contain hormones from the mother, because it takes hormones to induce lactation. Human breast milk has been shown to combat illnesses, and it has been shown to be effective at relieving various skin ailments.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states on their website: "No special precautions exist for handling expressed human milk, nor does the milk require special labeling. It is not considered a biohazard. The Universal Precautions to prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis B virus, and other bloodborne pathogens do not apply to human milk." (http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/disease/hiv.htm)
FOX news even reported that human milk might even destroy HIV (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/06/15/breast-milk-may-block-hiv-transmission/).
I think that all milk can carry benefits and risks, but all milk should be treated equal. Human, goat, cow, camel, bison, yak; pasteurized or raw. Milk is milk. Since Etsy.com is allowing animal milk use in products, human milk should be allowed as well.
Etsy.com, please stop the prohibition of breast milk soaps/products on your site. You allow the sale of baked goods that may come from unclean kitchens. You allow taxedermy (dead, stuffed animals) and animal bones. But the sale of soap made from human milk, that undergoes the same heating process as other milks during the soap making process, is prohibited?
Human breast milk is not "human remains"!
April Schmid started this petition with a single signature, and now has 453 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.