Happy Birthday Monsieur Pascal

Blaise Pascal was born June 19, 1623 in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Pascal was a truly great mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. I see his name all the time in my work because the SI unit of pressure is the pascal.

Over at Rationally Speaking Massimo Pigliucci has a post with a nice quote from Monsieur Pascal.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

The Wikipedia entry for Monsieur Pascal I find to be excellent so I’ll send you there for more about this giant of science.

Why did it take so long? FDA Orders Zicam Nasal Off the Market

You’ve probably seen this story at many blogs recently.

FDA Advises Consumers Not To Use Certain Zicam Cold Remedies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today advised consumers to stop using three products marketed over-the-counter as cold remedies because they are associated with the loss of sense of smell (anosmia). Anosmia may be long-lasting or permanent.

The products are:
–Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel
–Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs
–Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (a discontinued product)

While this is good news, what took so long for the FDA to act on this? As pointed out at What’s The Harm? What’s the harm in homeopathy? (Lisa Weatherington & 339 others) Zicam settled a lawsuit over this issue nearly 3 1/2 years ago.

By Sandra G. Boodman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The manufacturer of Zicam Cold Remedy has agreed to pay $12 million to settle 340 lawsuits brought by consumers who claim the popular over-the-counter zinc nasal gel damaged or destroyed their sense of smell.

Full article: Paying Through the Nose – washingtonpost.com.

Did the FDA really need over three years to act on this problem? Are the 130 injured mentioned in the FDA notice in addition to the 340 from the 2006 lawsuit?

Lets see, the science has shown a potential problem since 2004 and further documented in 2006, the manufacturer settles a lawsuit in 2006, then finally the FDA acts in 2009. The FDA should have acted much sooner!

For some interesting additional information info on the men behind the company see: The Men Behind Zicam – washingtonpost.com.

FDA links: