The WHO found a way to profit??

Cidu Bill on Mar 8th 2013


Filed in Bill Bickel, FDA, Pardon My Planet, Vic Lee, comic strips, comics, humor | 21 responses so far

21 Responses to “The WHO found a way to profit??”

  1. AMC Mar 8th 2013 at 12:12 pm 1

    Horrible lettering.

    PROAT AND UST, together with a joke about a government agency wanting to profit like a drug company.


  2. Winter Wallaby Mar 8th 2013 at 12:14 pm 2

    You wouldn’t normally expect the FDA to approve of leeches as as medical treatment. But the FDA now runs leech farms, and would like to increase the demand for leeches. So they’ve approved them, and the doctor can prescribe them freely.

  3. David Mar 8th 2013 at 12:20 pm 3

    No points for timeliness, the FDA approved leeches in 2004, and at that time, it was the French leeching the money.

    But people have been trying to profit off leeches for centuries:

    Edmund: Never had anything you doctors didn’t try to cure with leeches. A leech on my ear for ear ache, a leech on my bottom for constipation.
    Doctor: They’re marvellous, aren’t they?
    Edmund: Well, the bottom one wasn’t. I just sat there and squashed it.
    Doctor: You know the leech comes to us on the highest authority?
    Edmund: Yes. I know that. Dr. Hoffmann of Stuttgart, isn’t it?
    Doctor: That’s right, the great Hoffmann.
    Edmund: Owner of the largest leech farm of Europe.

  4. John Small Berries Mar 8th 2013 at 01:42 pm 4

    What’s even worse, AMC, is that it’s clearly not hand-lettered. I don’t know if Vic Lee tightened the spacing up that much because he didn’t want to expand the balloon so the words would all fit, or if someone actually spent the time and effort to create a typeface that’s that poorly spaced.

  5. JHGRedekop Mar 8th 2013 at 02:04 pm 5

    This would make a lot more sense if the FDA were in any way a for-profit organization…

  6. Paperboy Mar 8th 2013 at 02:42 pm 6

    The cynical view that the F.D.A. approves things based on kick-backs?

  7. The Vicar Mar 8th 2013 at 03:34 pm 7

    I think this may be a sort of badly-done reference to the strange, suspicious story of aspartame (brand named Nutra-sweet) and stevia.

    Stevia (part of the rebiana family of plants, native to South and Central America) has been used as a sweetener for decades with no documented problems around the world. It was on the FDA’s list of approved additives for decades. Countries with food safety agencies independent of the U.S. (such as Japan) have been using it continuously since around 1970 or so, IIRC. It is a natural product which essentially does what aspartame claims to do, without having to be synthesized in a lab.

    Then aspartame was invented, patented, and got FDA approval, which was highly contentious at the time (and was the subject of various hoaxes later). Around the time the approval was granted, the FDA suddenly banned stevia. The justification was a single, anonymous complaint, which was never investigated in detail or made public, against the FDA’s own official regulations, which require more documentation and investigation.

    Around the time the aspartame patents were to expire, the enormous food combines represented by Coke and Pepsi found a way to make a powdered stevia-based sweetener which could be used like sugar (i.e. sold in bulk, used in baking, available in packets for coffee, etc.) and which, incidentally, would be vastly more profitable than aspartame.

    Amazingly enough, suddenly the FDA reversed its position on stevia, which is why you now see “Truvia” (Coke’s stevia sweetener) and “Stevia in the Raw” on the shelves at your local supermarket — and “Pepsi Next” which is stevia-sweetened.

    Oh, and aspartame is suddenly under investigation again. Turns out that some of that controversy, true or not, had enough statistical validity to warrant further investigation, even though the FDA apparently didn’t think so at the time.

    (Just incidentally, the original banning of stevia took place under Reagan’s FDA, and the company which owned the patent on aspartame, G. D. Searle, was a heavily-Republican-connected one; at the time their CEO was none other than Donald Rumsfeld.)

  8. chuckers Mar 8th 2013 at 09:21 pm 8

    @The Vicar

    Add to that that stevia tastes far more pleasant than aspartame ever could. I can’t stand aspartame. A really cloying sort of sweetness.

  9. Heather d Mar 8th 2013 at 09:43 pm 9

    @The Vicar:

    I love you and I want to have your babies.


    Yours too. Blackadder references always get me Arlo’d.

  10. zbicyclist Mar 9th 2013 at 12:30 am 10

    The WHO would be the World Health Organization. That’s a U.N. agency, although as international agencies go it seems decent.

  11. Proginoskes Mar 9th 2013 at 02:01 am 11

    The WHO = Pete Townsend, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, John Entwistle.

  12. Charlene Mar 9th 2013 at 07:46 am 12

    Stevia is awful.

  13. Morris Keesan Mar 9th 2013 at 08:40 am 13

    Townsend et al. are The Who, not The WHO.

  14. mitch4 Mar 9th 2013 at 09:36 am 14

    Phew!, the hardest thing to follow in this discussion was comment #1! But finally I found the PROAT and the UST. Not sure if I was supposed to look for an erroneous AND or if that was just an ‘and’.

  15. Kilby Mar 9th 2013 at 09:38 am 15

    I haven’t been all that interested in listening to The Who since I attended a disappointing farewell concert they held in Los Angeles.

    That was in 1983.

  16. Powers Mar 9th 2013 at 09:57 am 16

    I didn’t notice the compressed spacing.

    And the FDA would actually be the agency that regulates the use of leeches.

  17. The Vicar Mar 9th 2013 at 02:33 pm 17


    Stevia has its place. I find that it works very well in things which are fruit flavored, and it works well with tea as long as you add it long enough before you drink (for some reason, maybe the local water mineral content/Ph level, Truvia takes a while to dissolve). It doesn’t get bitter when baked like aspartame-based sweeteners (Equal, for instance). If you bake with a 50-50 mix of stevia and plain sugar, it works very well indeed, better than any other sweetener I’ve found (a 50-50 mix of Equal and sugar is just barely enough to keep the recipe from getting so bitter as to be inedible). But, as with all artificial sweeteners, including Splenda, you have to add more water or milk to the recipe because it acts more like flour than sugar when it comes to mousture, and that can alter the flavor of the recipe by itself. But it doesn’t work well with chocolate.

    Also, either I’m just noticing a bitterness which I never tasted before (and which isn’t present in Truvia) or else Stevia In The Raw has a fairly short shelf life (especially when you consider that Splenda and sugar last essentially forever if kept sealed and relatively cool).

  18. AMC Mar 9th 2013 at 03:43 pm 18

    Sorry mitch man.

    I should have taken off the caps lock.

  19. Molly J Mar 9th 2013 at 04:45 pm 19

    I’m a Splenda girl myself. Stevia tastes awful to me and aspertame gives my husband migraines.

    Of course there’s a lot to be said for good ol’ sugar, too…

  20. coondawg68 Mar 10th 2013 at 12:15 pm 20

    Dave’s law (


    There, fixed!

  21. Meryl A Mar 15th 2013 at 01:11 am 21

    Leeches have been found very good at doing what they do - sucking blood. If there is excessive bleeding in surgery or one has a bad bruise, the leeches will remove the excess blood. One of the members of our reenactment unit is a non-practicing chiropractor. He portrays a doctor in period (1770s). He recently had a supply company donate leeches to the unit (luckily directly to him, I would not want them in my house) for him to show at events.

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