Canadian Health Authorities approve Lead -Skeptic North
Buzzardskill 22 was the clear favourite this week, but alas, it is no testament to ancient Anishinaabe wisdom. The actual approved product is Plumbum 4CH, proudly bearing Natural Health Product Number 00876119 as proof of its safety and efficacy.
Plumbum (abbreviated Pb on the periodic table) is simply lead, and 4CH tells us that it’s a homeopathic dilution of one part in a hundred million. Using the latin name is quite common for homeopathic remedies, and Plumbum makes it easy to see why. Lead is a poisonous heavy metal that should be stridently avoided, but Plumbum…well, that just sounds like healing in a bottle. This kind of re-branding strategy is common in advertising, and its ability to impact our risk perceptions is well established. [For more on this topic, scroll down to the block quote around the middle of this recent post.]
So next question: why would someone buy really really dilute lead, regardless of what it’s called? Health Canada tells us that Plumbum’s Recommended Use or Purpose is (wait for it): “Homeopathic remedy”. Well that certainly clears things up. And of course, by issuing a Natural Health Product Number, Health Canada is telling consumers that it’s effective at being a homeopathic remedy.