Sunday, July 23, 2006

Drugs Are Bad, M'Kay?

Got a bit of comment spam advertising for herbal stuff, best paraphrased as, "drugs are just bad, so get some herbs!" as if there was a difference. Of course, they're probably talking about pharmaceutical products as "drugs" in this case, which are probably better for the following reasons:

1. When you buy a pill from a pharmaceutical company, you know exactly what's in it. When you buy an herb, you don't know: There's a lot of natural variation in the plants, since they don't consistently produce their active ingredients in the same amounts. Or even any amount. They also contain lots of extraneous chemicals, many of which can be dangerous. Many contain heavy metals.

2. Most herbs have never been properly tested. The manufacturers aren't obligated to test them, like the pharmaceutical companies are: Label anything a "suppliment" and you can innuendo advertise the FDA "not poison to most people" approval as evidence of effectiveness.

3. Herbs aren't exactly "green," despite the environmentalist goals that are often associated with the people who sell them: The majority of herbs are harvested from the wild, not farmed. The growth of herbal suppliment sales risks farming potentially useful herbs into extinction for applications where their usefulness is questionable at best.

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