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Surprising Science

F.D.A. Warms of Fake Radiation Drugs

Amidst the nuclear crisis in Japan, the F.D.A. is alerting consumers to be wary of internet sites and other retail outlets promoting products making false claims to prevent or treat effects of radiation.

Benign amounts of radiation have reached the west coast of the U.S. but many are looking to protect themselves—and scam artists could take advantage. “As the crisis worsens at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, many Americans—particularly on the West Coast—have begun buying anti-radiation potassium iodide tablets over fears that a radioactive cloud could reach our shores. But the Food and Drug Administration warns that some of them could be getting scammed. The agency warned that unprecedented demand for the pills could lead scammers to take advantage of panicked West Coasters.”


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