Snake Bites vs. Snake Oil


"Ephedra isn't snake oil, it's snake venom," declared Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-PA). Which brings up the question–how many people does each substance kill per year? According to my colleague Jacob Sullum, the FDA found that ephedra was implicated in just 2 deaths in 2002. Meanwhile snake bites kill between 9 and 14 people annually. Of course, millions of dieters take millions of ephedra tablets annually, while only 45,000 people get bitten by snakes each year. Banning ephedra isn't organic fertilizer, it's just bullshit.