It has been hard to avoid the recent coverage regarding the sales of “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” on Amazon.com. The story has grown to some significance in the last week getting much airtime on CNN and other outlets and resulting in a litany of media articles and commentary on the topic.
According to a Los Angeles Times article, “Amazon dumps pedophile book,” on Nov. 12, “the book was published for the Kindle, Amazon’s popular e-reader device, Oct. 28.” So, in approximately two weeks the book has garnered enough attention and resulted in enough pressure on Amazon that it has been pulled.
Now arguments abound as to whether the book should have been allowed on the site in the first place. Amazon issued a statement Wednesday that said it “believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable.” Others cite free speech right as reasons the book should remain available. We believe, as many do, that the heinous instructions for proper pedophilia are offensive and obviously that argument won out. Nonetheless, the book is not illegal, it is merely fiercely objectionable and that is what got it pulled.
Meanwhile, despite their being illegal, steroids remain available on Amazon.com today. We pointed this out in a previous post, “Despite numerous efforts to the contrary, prohormones remain widely available today” (Sept. 15).
In the post, we recounted the Nov. 3, 2009 press release Bodybuilding.com voluntary recall of 65 Dietary Supplements that may contain steroids. According to the notice, ‘the FDA has advised the Company of its concern that the Recalled Products may contain the following ingredients that are currently classified, or the FDA believes should be classified, as steroids: “Superdrol,” “Madol,” “Tren,” “Androstenedione,” and/or “Turinabol.”
At the time we wrote our previous post, several of these products remained available on Amazon.com, more than a year after the recall. Still today, Nov. 12, some of the recalled steroid products remain available on Amazon.com, including Competitive Edge Labs – M-Drol. We searched for another of the brands that was included in the recall, Advanced Muscle Science, and did not find either of their two recalled products listed on Amazon.com. What we did find was more than 30 new options available from Advance Muscle Science, several of which appear likely to contain steroids as well. A glance through the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section seems to lead to more options.
We understand how a book that is as offensive as the “Pedophile’s Guide” can be removed within two weeks, not because it is illegal, but rather because it is offensive. We can not understand, however, why products that are likely to contain steroids, such as those included in the voluntary recall, remain available after more than a year if they are illegal to sell.
The recall should have been a road map to removal of these products from the marketplace, yet some remain on Amazon.com. Many more remain available elsewhere, from other major retailers. If we value the protection of our youth and the integrity of sport, we can and should work to get steroids removed from Amazon.com and other retailers as well. Supporting our Dietary Supplement Survey, a scientific examination of dietary supplements and their ingredients with the results made public, is one way you can help. For more information, visit the Ant-Doping Research website at http://www.antidopingresearch.org.