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  • Stupidity Kills

    Posted by James R. Rummel on May 23rd, 2008 (All posts by )

    The headline reads….

    NYC issues warning after aphrodisiac kills man

    Why in the world would anyone need to be warned that taking the product was a bad idea? Or that they would think that sucking down something made from toad venom will get you in the mood for a romantic romp? The very last thing I would do to get all hot and bothered is to ingest something with the word “Venom” in the list of ingredients.

    I think we’ll have to chalk this one up to evolution in action.

    (Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)


    One Response to “Stupidity Kills”

    1. Shannon Love Says:

      The very last thing I would do to get all hot and bothered is to ingest something with the word “Venom” in the list of ingredients.

      Don’t be so quick to judge. After all a wide variety of modern medicines come from animal venom and plant toxins. All food spices are pesticides as is the caffeine in coffee and tea. The natural world is full of poisons because, well, it’s trying to kill you. The difference between a poison and a medicine is merely a matter of dosage.

      I imagine that this compound is a traditional medicine from the Caribbean and that most of the people who use it are immigrants. The New York Times, of course, will not tell us that.

      I would note that the “illegal” product that is banned by FDA is sold in a bag with a bar code on it. That suggest to me that it is not that illegal. I think the story errs in stating that the FDA has banned the substances. The FDA only has jurisdictions over the advertising of products. By law, the FDA decides what statements a producer can make about the efficacy and safety of the product in the treatment of disease. As long as you don’t claim that it cures any disease, you can sell strychnine.

      A few years ago, the “all natural” craze led to the creation of a loophole by which the FDA could not regulate in anyway product deemed “nutritional supplements”. Again, you can sell whatever crap you want as long as you label it as supplements. Most people don’t know this, however, and think that the government would stop the sale of anything dangerous.

      So, in the end, an agency founded to protect people from dangerous snake oil now encourages their use by fooling people into believing the benevolent state is standing guard to prevent any harm. People trust the products because they trust the government never realizing that regulatory capture has turned the FDA into a marketing tool for snake oil salesmen.