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What dangers lurk in your diet supplements?

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Posted 25 October 2018

PRETORIA NEWS / 24 October 2018 / Georgina Crouth

Between 1865 and 1906, the US experienced a “golden age” of quackery, which saw over 50000 patent medicines on the market.

Toothache was treated with cocaine (which also helped for brainpower, endurance and “throat troubles”); fussy babies were calmed with opiates; paleness ameliorated with “pink pills”, freckles were removed with mercury; and “women’s ailments” were relieved with a punchy mix of cannabis and chloroform.

Drugs were bought and sold like any other consumer goods. These often contained dangerous, addictive and misidentified ingredients.

There was no legal or ethical requirement to disclose the contents, nor to list warnings about misuse.

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