Amazon criticized for promoting phony anticancer vitamin

Amazon criticized for promoting phony anticancer vitamin has found that Amazon steers customers to purchase the phony vitamin, B17, which is another name for amygdalin, a chemical constituent of apricot pits that was debunked in the 80s as an “alternative” cancer treatment. [B17., Dec 10, 2020] The organization reported:

  • The first autocomplete suggestion for “B17” on was “b17 vitamin for cancer.”
  • Searching “b17 vitamin for cancer” yielded no less than 232 results, including dozens of books.
  • Many listings contained testimonials from people who say the products helped treat or cure their cancer or a loved one’s cancer even though companies are prohibited from making claims through consumer testimonials that they could not make directly.
  • This past August, three people in New Zealand were hospitalized after consuming raw apricot kernels.
  • In 2017 an Australian man taking an apricot kernel extract as part of a prostate cancer treatment regimen ended up in the hospital with cyanide poisoning.
  • In 2019, after customers had complained of “severe poisoning,” the FDA arrested a U.S.-based apricot seed vendor for repeatedly refusing to stop selling his products as a cancer cure in violation of a court order


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Consumer Advocate
287 Fearrington Post
Pittsboro, NC 27312

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