Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2253 Inactive Terms

I'm one of those guys who reads the fine print and wonders. Though I'm not bold enough to read the "terms and conditions" of every modern service I use. One person figured out it would take 180 hours, or one month of a typical person's life every year. Not sure if that was slow or fast readers. Or if comprehension was included.

If you're interested in hearing about that reading, check out a movie called "Terms and Conditions May Apply." In order to avoid YouTube copyright restrictions, the Spanish version is on the web. But it's in English. 

Some irony in there somewhere.

Anyhow, my latest foray into fine print perusal was the back of a allergy medication bottle. The inactive ingredients got my attention. What my drugs are packaged with always amazes me. Mostly because nothing is truly inactive.

One of the inactive ingredients was pregelatinized starch. Post-gelatinized starch is somehow better or worse? Gelatinized starch a hazard? Why not just call it starch?

The next inactive ingredient was lactose monohydrate. Which sounds like wet milk sugar. Or at least milk sugar with an added water molecule. Safe, I suppose, I have no lactose intolerance. It would be bad to take an allergy pill that triggered an allergy.

The final inactive ingredient was magnesium stearate. Stearate is a nice way of say fat. Crayons are substantially stearate. Which comes from stearic acid, which comes from animal tallow. Magnesium stearate is in the pills as a lubricant. Not for me but so the pills don't stick to the machines that spit them out. 

Tallow huh. So if I'm a lactose intolerant vegan, so far the allergy pills don't look so hot.  Bonus, some science also indicates magnesium stearate suppresses T-Cells. 

Inactive indeed. Terms and conditions may not apply.

America, ya gotta love it. 

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