Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I smell a rat, or at least I used to.

Consumers in the USA have been warned to stop using a homoeopathic cold remedy product called Zircam. Apparently this product does nothing to help you recover from a cold but does destroy your sense of smell, permanently. The effect on people like me who enjoy collecting wine as a hobby or professional critics, or chefs etc. would be simply catastrophic; and if you think about it, loosing your sense of smell is a potentially life threatening disability. Not recognising burning smells when you should or the smell of a gas leak etc. could limit ones longevity in a pretty serious way.

When tackled regarding this serious oversight the FDA (the Food & Drug Administration) said that "Zircam was never formally approved because it is part of a small group of remedies that are not required to undergo federal review before launching. Known as homeopathic products, the formulations often contain herbs, minerals and flowers."

Minerals like Zinc, which is known to cause nerve damage if used in excessive quantities, all it needed was some BS marketing that claimed efficacy for swine flu and we could have had a whole lot of anosmic people wandering around wishing they just had flu.


Elizabeth said...

I bought some of this once; in fact, I think I still have the bottle somewhere. My aunt swore to me that it reduced the length of her colds and recommended it to everyone. it's amazing to think that it could kill your sense of smell but was sold for years.

That reminds of a friend who takes expensive supervitamin pills/mixtures that her friend sells and tried to get me to buy it. She said she never gets sick anymore but this week she is at death's door with a bad cold. It makes me think that we all more and less have the same amount of colds (unless someone is a smoker).

good post, as usual

Did you get to L'ortolan? where's that post? :)

Steve Borthwick said...

Sounds like you should probably find it an put it in the rubbish!

re. l'Ortolan, not been yet, if we go at all it will be tonight, my American wine buddy is busy so I may have to cancel at the last minute. If I do go I'll post about it, I did a post on this restaurant back in 2006 Read about it here