Amazon and other online retailers have been known to hawk untested and unproven products marketed with medical claims, which some are saying is the last marketplace for unregulated products with cures for everything from autism to cancer. Plain and simple – buyer beware: These could be the new snake oil store fronts.
“Amazon should immediately withdraw all adverts which are exploiting people at their most vulnerable with false claims and quack therapies,” said MP Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Heath Select Committee, who advocates an immediate investigation in to the practice of selling unproven medical gadgets and tonics.¹
“These products exploit fear and sell false hope,” said Oxford University cancer researcher Dr. Robert Grimes.
Examples of Products Sold as Cures
The following products and gadgets have been sold online and advertised as cures, in some cases for use on children:
- Claptrap – the Diamond Shield Zapper has been touted as a cure for HIV/Aids.
- Dr. Reckeweg R17 Tumor Drops sell for £35 for five vials and advertise that they treat “all tumors, malignant or benign,” including those for breasts and stomach cancer. Plus, they claim to regenerate diseased tissue.
- Book: “The Cures for All Cancers: Including Over 100 Case Histories of Person Cured” by Hulda Regehr Clark, Phd. D., N.D.
- Book: “MMS Handbook” which offers a bleach recipe for enemas to cure autism.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings on products, like MMS a.k.a. the “Miracle Mineral Solution.” The Cancer Act of 1939 expressly bans the adverting of cancer treatments, including a possible penalty of up to three months in jail.
How is Amazon and Other Online Resellers Getting Away with Allegedly Selling Quackery?
Probably the biggest reason Amazon, EBay and other online resellers are able to get away with selling such dubious products, is because most of the products fall under the guidelines of being called dietary supplements. It used to be that these products weren’t even regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but now they are only slightly monitored to ensure they don’t make miraculous or false claims.2
“A lot of supplements can make claims about health benefits as long as there is a disclaimer,” said Yale research scholar Gregg Gonsalves. “So Amazon is just making a buck off of a system that doesn’t rigorously regulate these products.”
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1“’DANGEROUS AND MISLEADING’ How web giant Amazon ‘endangers’ the sick and vulnerable by ‘peddling bogus miracle cancer cures’” published in The Sun, September 2016.
2“Amazon is a giant purveyor of medical quackery” published in Vox, September 2016.