Books that promise cures for autism through potentially dangerous therapies have been quietly removed by Amazon during the past week.
The removals followed an exhibit in the Wired magazine this week which highlighted how Amazon was selling dozens of titles claiming to be able to cure the condition for life with nostrils from camel milk to yoga and to veganism.
Thursday morning, Healing the Symptoms known as Kerry Rivera's autism, which claims the administration of autistic children with a bleach-like substance, chlorine dioxide, was no longer available from the online giant. The Autism Research Institute states that chlorine dioxide, which is known as "Miracle Mineral Solution" by its disciples, "has side effects known to be seriously harmful."
Another book named in the article Wired, Fight Autism and Win, has also been withdrawn from Amazon. It promotes a process known as chelation, which involves the use of a dose of chemicals to remove heavy metals from the body. It is not an approved treatment for autism and can be dangerous: in 2005, a five-year-old boy died after undergoing chelation treatment.
The miraculous mineral supplement of the 21st century, from the inventor of "Miracle Mineral Solution" Jim Humble, is no longer for sale on Amazon.com.
Anti-vaccination activist Larry Cook, the founder of Stop Mandatory Vaccination, highlighted the removal of books in a Facebook post to his followers, claiming that "censorship in the Amazon started" and inviting readers to "stock up on books and DVDs right now". He shared a screenshot, presumably from Amazon, in which the bookseller stated that the subject of Rivera's book was "in violation of our content guidelines".
Amazon has been contacted for comment. He confirmed to NBC News that he had withdrawn the books, but did not comment on whether it was part of a greater effort to clean up the site.
Media giants have been increasingly criticized for their role in amplifying the anti-vaccine movement, with Facebook banning advertisements including misinformation on vaccines last week. Cook's videos were demonetized by YouTube in February, and the Daily Beast reported that Facebook removed Cook's ads, whose Amazon "storefront" directs readers to books like The Unvaccinated Child and Vaccine Illusion.
The moves follow last week's revelation in the Guardian that Amazon appears to be helping non-profit anti-vaccine organizations in the United States through its charitable arm, the Amazon Smile Foundation.