Health & Fit Amazon pulls products mocking mental illness

22:26  16 may  2018
22:26  16 may  2018 Source:   cbsnews.com

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A nurse who went on Amazon to find self-help books for her binge eating was upset to find ‘tasteless’ products which mocked her condition. ‘This case is using mental illness to sell products – I was so shocked when I saw it.’

The truth is that Busey’s behavior is a form of mental illness spawned by brain trauma, and yet we find it hilarious. That being said, I’m forced to wonder if Amazon ’s choice to showcase him in its commercials is in poor taste.

The line between irreverent and hurtful came into play this week as Amazon found itself being called out by a British media outlet for selling products making light of mental health conditions.

Amazon pulled some of the offending items after being contacted by British media site iNews. Yet coffee mugs and clothing emblazoned with slogans jesting about afflictions including schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder remain on the retailer's site, iNews reported on Wednesday.

Contacted by CBS MoneyWatch, a U.K.-based spokesperson for Amazon stated in an email: "All Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines, and those who don't will be subject to action including potential removal of their account. The products in question are no longer available."

a close up of a device © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

It was unclear if the statement covered products sold worldwide or only in the U.K., and Amazon declined to elaborate.

Amazon's selling policies for third-party merchants include prohibiting "inappropriate or offensive behavior," which extends to information "in listings, content or images."

Still, as relayed by iNews in its story, a search of both Amazon's U.K. and U.S. sites found items including an "obsessive-compulsive action figure," which comes with a surgical mask and hypoallergenic moist towelette, as well as multiple t-shirts and coffee mugs with joking references to schizophrenia.

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A tasteless computer game mocking anorexia sufferers has been generating controversy from the moment it went on the market this year, but Amazon has taken a stand by pulling the game from its "Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness ," wrote Brian Cuban on his blog.

ING Direct "Suffering from RSP" commercial in exceptionally poor taste. Mocking mental illness , very clever. But by yesterday afternoon the bank decided to pull the commercials off the air after caving into pressure from mental health advocates and customers.

The retailer has found itself in hot water before over products with messages found to be objectionable by some, including a sweatshirt sold in 2017 describing anorexia as "like bulimia, except with self-control."

a close up of a book: Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 29, 2016. © Mike Segar / Reuters / REUTERS Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 29, 2016.

New York, Virginia become first to require mental health education in schools .
New York and Virginia became the first two states to enact laws requiring mental health education in schools. Both laws come into effect amid an increased focus on mental health and suicide.<br>New York's law updates the health curriculum in elementary, middle and high schools to include material on mental health. Virginia's law mandates that mental health education be incorporated into physical education and health curricula for ninth- and 10th-graders.

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