What Illegal Substance Do You Crave?

 

The Federal Government has, for quite a long time, banned the sale or importation of a very wide range of products. Having never had access to those products, most Americans don’t know what they are missing. But they are a loss nevertheless.

I wrote this post to find out what I am missing. But I can start by sharing an example or two of what Americans lack, courtesy of a stupid federal bureaucracy:

Toothpaste. Yes, I wrote about this before. I now smuggle Sensodyne with Novamin into the US from the UK. My dentist “cleanings” are now perfunctory and painless; no plaque or tartar buildup or cavities since I started using this toothpaste with a good electric toothbrush. I am not alone. But, thanks to the FDA’s decision to treat toothpaste as a drug, innovation has been stifled. You cannot buy Sensodyne with Novamin in the United States. Thanks, Uncle Sam.

Indian/Pakistani Mangoes. These are a taste explosion. You can smell them from across the room… sweet, fragrant, complex.. just an amazing fruit. Sliced thin on salmon, or included with whipped cream in crepes, these mangoes are the most decadent fruits I have ever tasted. They are not, however, legal for import into the United States. The block is, I think, a legacy of the early 1930s-era regulations intended to protect American crops from foreign pests. It is the same reason why there are thousands of potato varieties for sale in Peru, but only a handful in the United States.

Mangoes, of course, seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things. But I think that toothpaste and mangoes are good examples of how Americans are denied, by virtue of silly and overbearing federal government – and not even as a result of the Obama years. Blackcurrants, for example, were banned and exterminated in the US in the early 20th century, and are only now starting to make a comeback.

Is there some foreign treat that I really should try next time I am overseas? Much more importantly: I am sure there must be some drugs available overseas that would be lifesavers to Americans… does anyone know about them?

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  1. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Incandescent light bulbs. Fortunately I’ve stockpiled some.

    Good antique musical instruments are increasingly difficult to acquire and travel with because of US interpretation of foreign laws regarding ivory and rare woods.

    I realize these aren’t exactly delicacies to try, but their bans make me really mad so I will complain about them at every opportunity.

    More to the point of your post, I’ve been known to smuggle kinder eggs into the country for friends.

    • #1
  2. Jamal Rudert Inactive
    Jamal Rudert
    @JasonRudert

    Seconding kinder eggs. I don’t exactly * crave * them, but I miss them.

    • #2
  3. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Papa criolla, and indian corn but for the most part we can’t know unless we already know.

    • #3
  4. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Under the “toothpaste” category, in the UK or Australia, you can buy a tiny tube of the fever blister treatment Zovirax for under $20.  That tube generally lasts a couple of years.  In the US, not only do you have to have a prescription, but dermatologists tend to write it for a 30 gram tube (which would last 15 years, but expires in 2 years ) and costs $700.

    • #4
  5. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Redfish.  Effectively banned in Colorado.

    Or maybe I just miss being 12 and fishing for them 12 hours each Saturday with grandfather on Boca Ciega Bay.

    At least it’s still legal for 12 year olds and granddads to catch them.

    Great post.

    • #5
  6. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Great post!

    I’ll go with Son of Spengler on the lightbulbs.

    • #6
  7. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    There are groups devoted to fast-tracking potentially life-saving drugs for terminally ill patients. This is as close as a no-brainer as one can get – the FDA defense is that the side-effects might be worse than the potential cure, and that patients need to be protected from their own choices.

    Abigail Alliance. Fight to Live.

    The problem is the Food and Drug Administration has not released many drugs for compassionate use and in the case of one drug, MTP (Mifamurtide, the trade name Mepact for osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that mainly affects children and teens).

    The drug was approved in Europe in March 2009, but not in the United States. In Kopple’s documentary, there is heart-wrenching testimony by a physician whose life was saved as a teenager by MTP, but there were others who lost their lives because MTP was not available to them. He survived; they didn’t. …

    Another drug that “Fight to Live” discusses is Iplex, which has several uses, including to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease, medically known Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS (also known by its generic name, Mecasermin Rinfabate). The data has been less than conclusive, but why not give the drug to people who have the fatal disease? The drug is available elsewhere in the world, but not in the U.S.

    Read more here.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Not exactly banned, but somewhat difficult is frequency medicine. It is legal for some uses with FDA approval for the machine, but claims are very, very limited. One that I know of is classified as a TENS stimulator to treat pain. (A standard TENS unit costs much less than this machine and uses electricity rather than sound.) However, if they wanted to say that it kills a certain bacteria or virus, they would have to go through the process for each bacteria, virus, fungus, etc. to prove that the machine can be used for that. The FDA process is very expensive. So, the company only says it treats pain, which makes it difficult for distributors to explain why if someone could get a standard TENS unit for a 30th the price they should buy this unit.

    Meanwhile, there are labs all over Europe researching frequency medicine for everything under the sun.

    • #8
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Saint Augustine:Great post!

    I’ll go with Son of Spengler on the lightbulbs.

    Yet I’m the only person who recommended it for the main feed.

    • #9
  10. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Saint Augustine:Great post!

    I’ll go with Son of Spengler on the lightbulbs.

    You can buy incandescent bulbs online, though, even from online Lowe’s, which in my area doesn’t carry them in their stores.  They aren’t banned, just not sold in most stores.

    I’d like to be able to buy raw milk.  When it is properly handled, it is as safe or safer than the pasteurized version and much healthier, but that’s not even the point.  I ought to be able to make that decision myself, and farmers who sell it should stop being harassed.  The real problems in food safety come from industrial farming, not small family farms.

    • #10
  11. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Fresh raw milk cheese.  Maybe you have tasted cheese in France, and wondered why you can’t get that flavor at home.  Thank the Feds, who just made up a totally unscientific rule in 1949, and still adhere to it:

    If you want to purchase raw milk cheese in the United States, it must have been aged for a minimum of 60 days, whether it’s produced domestically or imported from another country. The “60 days rule,” which was designed to allow the acids and salt in cheese enough time to destroy harmful bacteria, was set back in 1949 with an almost total lack of scientific evidence. It is, in fact, an arbitrary number.

    Thanks to Serious Eats for that summary.

    • #11
  12. Biggles Inactive
    Biggles
    @Biggles

    Vegemite!!

    The staple spread for your morning toast that raised millions of Aussie kids. Cheap, highly nutritious & can be stored after opening at room temperature. Its a by-product of spent yeast from the brewing process apparently. The Poms have a poor look-alike called Marmite ( that no right minded Aussie would ever contemplate buying ) .

    The FDA banned it for whatever reason.

    Kraft owns the brand these days.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite

    • #12
  13. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Real gasoline, not this mixture of corn juice that gives my car lousy mileage.

    • #13
  14. Macsen Inactive
    Macsen
    @Macsen

    PHCheese:Real gasoline, not this mixture of corn juice that gives my car lousy mileage.

    Hell, yeah!

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I have to agree with your comments on the FDA and drugs. It’s criminal! People are being protected to death.

    • #15
  16. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Biggles:Vegemite!!

    The staple spread for your morning toast that raised millions of Aussie kids. Cheap, highly nutritious & can be stored after opening at room temperature. Its a by-product of spent yeast from the brewing process apparently. The Poms have a poor look-alike called Marmite ( that no right minded Aussie would ever contemplate buying ) .

    The FDA banned it for whatever reason.

    Kraft owns the brand these days.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite

    Nope, we’re not missing it at all. Of all the crazy things about Australia — the everything trying to kill you, the hats with corks, the pie floaters — the affection for Vegemite is the proof they’re all nuts.

    I mean, of course Americans should have the right to find out for themselves how nasty it is, but it’s still something we’re not exactly “missing.”

    • #16
  17. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Technically, most sea shells are legal to import if cleaned thoroughly (as if aquatic residue is a threat but the dirt on your clothes is not). But travelers I’ve known have lost shells, feathers, and even small rocks to customs officers.

    • #17
  18. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    I recently came down with a cold while traveling. Went into a drugstore for some Sudafed. But it was 6:15pm so the pharmacy counter was closed and no one there could take my signature.

    Can you buy Sudafed abroad?

    Fortunately there are recipes on the Internet to synthesize hard-to-obtain Sudafed from readily available crystal meth.

    • #18
  19. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Red dye no. 2.

    • #19
  20. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Son of Spengler: Fortunately there are recipes on the Internet to synthesize hard-to-obtain Sudafed from readily available crystal meth.

    Sheer Genius.

    • #20
  21. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Amy Schley:

    Biggles:Vegemite!!

    The staple spread for your morning toast that raised millions of Aussie kids. Cheap, highly nutritious & can be stored after opening at room temperature. Its a by-product of spent yeast from the brewing process apparently. The Poms have a poor look-alike called Marmite ( that no right minded Aussie would ever contemplate buying ) .

    The FDA banned it for whatever reason.

    Kraft owns the brand these days.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite

    Nope, we’re not missing it at all. Of all the crazy things about Australia — the everything trying to kill you, the hats with corks, the pie floaters — the affection for Vegemite is the proof they’re all nuts.

    I mean, of course Americans should have the right to find out for themselves how nasty it is, but it’s still something we’re not exactly “missing.”

    I spread some on toast thnking it was just old  fruit Jam.   Retched stuff, barely recovered, but why on earth  ban it?   It is not a competitive threat to anything, anywhere.  Well the Chinese could add garlic, ginger hot peppers, spread it on a rotten eggs and charge delicacy prices.

    • #21
  22. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Cyclamate.

    And I love the story of how this was discovered

    Cyclamate was discovered in 1937 at the University of Illinois by graduate student Michael Sveda. Sveda was working in the lab on the synthesis of anti-fever medication. He put his cigarette down on the lab bench, and, when he put it back in his mouth, he discovered the sweet taste of cyclamate.[3][4]

    • #22
  23. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Freedom

    • #23
  24. Caroline Inactive
    Caroline
    @Caroline

    As others have said, I would like to buy Kinder eggs. The chocolate is mediocre, but I don’t care. I want to buy them.

    Advil Cold & Sinus Liquigels are locked up because of Sudafed.

    • #24
  25. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Steve C.: Cyclamate

    I had to Wiki it. It is approved in 130 countries.

    I could not believe the study…

    a 24 year long experiment in which 16 monkeys were fed a normal diet and twenty-one monkeys were fed either 100 or 500 mg/kg cyclamate per day; the higher dose corresponds to about 30 cans of a diet beverage. wiki

    24 years. 30 cans/day. Ewww.

    Conclusion: not carcinogenic.

    • #25
  26. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Toilets that work with one flush and do not clog easily.  We had them once.  Bring them back.

    • #26
  27. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Fake John/Jane Galt: Toilets that work with one flush and do not clog easily. We had them once. Bring them back.

    Amen, brother! Preach it!

    • #27
  28. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    phosphates, since the new regulations restricting their use we can no longer get our clothes and dishes clean.

    • #28
  29. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Water, seriously the stuff covers 2/3 of the planet.  We are not going to run out of it next week.  Stop writing laws like we are.

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I would like to go camping in Indiana and buy firewood.  That stuff that has the official blessing of bureaucrats is not firewood, because firewood doesn’t have bureaucrats.  Yes, I realize they are trying to stop the spread of Emerald Ash Borer. I’m willing to help. But I want my campfire wood to be certified bureaucrat-free, and it should be certified that no government body has licensed or approved of it or the operation that produced it.

    I also want to buy home-cooked food from the Indiana Amish, which I think I still can, but the Food Security Nazis have already painted a target on them.

    • #30
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