As I’d posted recently, Zicam cold remedies (e.g. nasal gels) contains zinc gluconate, commonly used as an orally administered supplement.. Zinc is really bad to stick up your nose, as it could kill your sense of smell permanently. It might not technically be homeopathy according to homeopaths themselves, however it got by FDA approval by claiming to be homeopathy, and therefore falling under the jurisdiction of a really old law stating that homeopathy gets a bye-in into the public sphere. This law got passed mostly because the lawyers understood that, as homeopathy is almost identical to water, it has no real negative effect on humans aside from distracting people from science-based medicine. In other words, the law was passed to protect those idiots that run around trying to sell pure distilled water that may have once touched an atom of something chemically active — a law specifically designed to protect snake-oil salesmen, to the detriment of the public at large. Zicam took advantage of this already horrid law in creating a drug that obviously does not fall under its intent.
Despite the huge smackdown Matrixx (the maker of Zicam) received at the hands of the FDA for intentionally bypassing their approval process, astroturfers from Swansons Vitamins came out in full force to FUD up comments at Greg Laden’s and Stephanie Zvan’s blogs. Their main goal appears to be to claim that the FDA’s potential cracking down on acetaminophen proves that the FDA is ineffective and therefore should be eliminated, ushering in a new era of free-for-all “free market” quackery. They claim to be merely employees who want to defend their favorite faux-medicine products, but when they’re obviously protecting their cash cows, it’s pretty blatant how ridiculous they come off.
Want to see what homeopathy really is? I mean, in its purest, most-diluted (you read that right) form, not the zinc-filled nasal gel Matrixx and Swansons Vitamins are peddling. Luckily for you, Phil Plait just posted this great video which should demonstrate exactly just how stupid it all is.
Yeah, I’ll stick to science, thanks. If I’m sick, and anyone tries to mess with crystals or chakras or horoscopes or tiny amounts chemicals that “produce the same symptoms” as the ones I have but are then infinitely diluted in purified water, and I’m somehow incapacitated and can’t beat the person about the head and neck myself, please, on my behalf, tell them to shut the fuck up and give me something that science has proven actually does something.
Tonight’s ReformedYankee’s birthday party. Jodi and I intend to go over there and have a few drinks, but if I catch him trying to distill our drinks to make them “stronger”, I might have to punch him. I know you read this blog pretty regularly, so consider this a warning in advance, pal.