CPSDA ListServ Guide

In  order to preserve the professional and educational purpose of the CPSDA Yahoo Groups Listserv, all participants are expected to abide by the following guidelines in all communications. Sanctions may be applied to participants who violate these listserv guidelines. Please read the addendum near the bottom of this document under the heading "Preventing Predatory Practices" published August 22, 2012 to help us protect the integrity of this valuable educational tool.


Listserv Violations and Sanctions

Personal and non-professional exchanges may be, depending on their nature, inappropriate, and any list member who engages in this type of exchange will be sanctioned. Members who have concerns in this regard should contact Sarah Markey, CPSDA Director of Operations at sarah.markey@cpsda.org, rather than engage in any form of discussion on the listserv.


CPSDA reserves the right to monitor the posts to this listserv and to impose sanctions upon any participant who violates these listserv guidelines, including, but not limited to, revocation of posting privileges, either permanently or for a specified period of time. The following process shall apply to addressing potential violations:


1. Complaints or inquiries about possible violations may be raised by list members or staff. CPSDA reserves the right to designate volunteer and staff personnel to monitor the listserv from time to time.

2. The decision to act upon any violations or any complaints about list participant conduct will depend upon the severity of the violation and will be made by the CPSDA leadership team.

3. Where action beyond a letter of warning to the violator is recommended and called for, such as removal of the participant from the list, the decision will be made by the CPSDA leadership team.

Unacceptable Topics

The following topics and subject matter are unacceptable, must not appear in messages on the listserv:

1. Discussions of price, fees, or reimbursement amounts (which, as noted by the CPSDA’s Board of Directors, may create the risk of antitrust exposure to the CPSDA and to participants)

2. Abusive, threatening, defamatory or libelous comments

3. Pornographic, obscene or sexual materials or references

4. Inappropriate comments or references with respect to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnic background

5. Religious solicitations

6. Politics

7. Profanity

8. Illegal or unethical practices, including promoting drug or banned substance use; or

9. Advertising, promotions, or endorsements of commercial products or services

Usage Guidelines

Participants are urged to use their professional judgment in evaluating the appropriateness and nature of the information posted.

1. All participants must conduct themselves within the bounds of professionalism, courtesy and respect. While disagreements and differences of opinion are encouraged, no one may engage in personal attacks or criticism that has the effect of disparaging or insulting any individual.  Inflammatory comments, taunting, and baiting are prohibited.

2. A participant must not send or upload material to the list that is or may be protected by copyright unless written permission from the copyright owner has been obtained. Participants may, however, provide a brief summary or review of a copyrighted article and/or, in most cases, the URL where the material may be found.

3. All messages posted to the list are, except where otherwise indicated, intended to be viewed only by members of the list, other CPSDA members and CPSDA staff, and should be treated as confidential. Except for messages clearly intended for broad circulation, such as those requesting professional assistance or publicizing job openings or opportunities, no message should be forwarded to or shared with an unintended recipient without the author's permission. Members of the list must also refrain from giving access to the list to nonmembers.

4. List participants must not utilize the lists for purposes that cause injury or damage to the CPSDA or that are directly detrimental to the CPSDA’s interests. While constructive criticism and open discussion are appropriate, distortions, false statements, misrepresentations, or deceptive practices are not. Participants should state clearly that opinions expressed on matters of public interest are their personal views and not those of the CPSDA.

5. Discussion lists are a value-added service of the CPSDA, and they are owned by the CPSDA for use by its members.



The following additional points of conduct and protocol will improve the experience of all list participants. Adherence to these suggested practices is strongly encouraged:

1. Unless responding to a message in which the author has specifically asked for private replies, a participant should send any reply to the list so the response is shared. Addressing a copy to the sender is usually not required, but is acceptable.

2. A participant should include a descriptive subject line in each posting. If using the digest mode and wishing to respond to a post, the participant should be sure to use a subject header that matches the original post. A participant should sign every message with the name, organization, phone number and e-mail address of the sender. Promotional tag lines should be kept to a minimum.

3. A participant should disclose any employment or consulting relationship with nutrition products or services related to topics of listserv's discussion.   

4. Where it is appropriate to reply only to the original sender, as with "me too" or "I agree" messages, the participant should refrain from replying to the entire list unless the message will be of interest to the majority of contributors to the ongoing discussion.

5. The language of a written message can be ambiguous and subject to different interpretations. Each participant should carefully consider the phrasing and choice of language in his or her message to ensure that the intended message is conveyed. Although the list is private and confidential, all participants should also consider the effect of their message if publicly distributed or read by a third party.

6. A participant should refrain from sending jokes, chain letters, junk mail, religious messages, or spam, as well as e-mail attachments that might contain viruses or virus warnings. In addition, each participant has an obligation to other participants to take appropriate steps to avoid the spread of viruses through the list, including the installation of virus protection on all computers by which the list is accessed.

Preventing Predatory Practices

In order to ensure that the educational interests of our members are best served, and to protect the interests of our 17 current CPSDA sponsors (CPSDA Sponsor_Directory), we’re asking everyone to be aware of predatory sales practices that have surfaced recently on the listserv from outside vendors unaffiliated with CPSDA.  We're asking all CPSDA members to give special attention to these four points to protect the integrity of our listserv: 

  • Online discussion reflecting both favorable and unfavorable news about health and nutrition-related products and services is part and parcel of the CPSDA listserv—an instrument of the continuing education process--for both members and sponsors. The CPSDA Board of Directors believes we’d be doing a disservice to both members and sponsors if we were perceived to censure fair and open exchange of constructive ideas and well-considered opinion. However, we strongly discourage members of the CPSDA from expressing unfair or untrue opinions, and remind our members to be respectful toward everyone and toward the providers of all products and services, regardless of their affiliation with CPSDA.
  • CPSDA sponsors are invited to view our listserv posts to acquire real-time knowledge, but strongly discouraged from directly participating in the exchange of information.  The CPSDA Board will, from time to time, post announcements on behalf of CPSDA sponsors as they relate to continuing education or knowledge-sharing. 
  • Outside vendors--purveyors of products and services that have not been approved by the CPSDA Board of Directors--are not permitted to engage CPSDA members through our listserv in any way.  In order to protect the integrity of the listserv, CPSDA members must take special care not to copy or forward correspondence received from outside vendors.  Listserv participants view such efforts by outside vendors as predatory, which invariably yields undesirable results and resentment, especially in a community of professionals as tightly connected as the CPSDA
  • Posts on the listserv don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of the CPSDA Board of Directors, of course, but rules of “netiquette” will always apply. CPSDA will do its best to monitor the listserv on a daily basis and remove unfair, untrue or unfounded expressions of opinion when deemed appropriate to do so.

CPSDA Board of Directors

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