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Things that HAPPEN, they are the worst kind.

Despite one or two less-than-optimal experiences with the carnivorous plants and the Evolvamat, we are not easily discouraged here at RiddledResearch Laboratory. The triumphant onward marchshamble lurch of Science will continue for as long as replacement lab technicians keep answering our Situations Vacant ads.

Despite a name that is redolent of the homeopathic pharmacopeia, it turns out that “Carnivora” is not a highly-diluted preparation of big cats, rabid mustelids, pinnipeds and hyaenas,* to be taken as a counter-agent to the effects of partial consumption by tigers. It is in fact, as we learned from RI commenter Lighthorse — kindling our interest in this research direction — a cancer nostrum extracted from Venus Flytraps. It is promoted through websites and radio as a cure for Ronald Reagan’s colon polyps.** Or something like that. At last, a cure for people who find themselves turning into a dead presidential colon polyp!

Evidently “Carnivora” was patented by Dr Helmut Keller in 1987,

who based it on his own theory that carnivorous plants, which can break down primitive epithelia, might be able to reduce malignant tissue.

It shows no benefit in clinical trials [other than Dr Keller’s own56% cure rate]. OTOH, high enough concentrations apparently slow tumour-cell proliferation in vitro… as indeed does lye, and spilled Spiced Parsnip Scrumpy (which is why we now encourage Another Kiwi to finish his pint before returning to the Riddled biological-containment facilities after morning tea-break). This is enough to convince the magical-thinking enthusiasts that it must be enhancing the test-tubes’ immune responses, and to step up production, the industry now consuming enough of the protected Dionaea muscipula to spur new methods of cultivation.***

Imagine, then, the curative potential of Fresh-Pressed Triffid Juice, available soon, only from Riddled!

By the way, there is a vacancy for a lab technician. Interested readers with the appropriate skills should contact the Riddled Research Laboratory.

* Not to be confused with some other Big cat / rabid mustelid products which certain staff members are said to smoke, which is only a rumour, and anyway it’s only when the supply of dried leeches runs out.

** The “Reagan-cured-by-clandestine-visit-to-German-cancer-clinic” mythologem is potent and versatile. As first invented by Andrew Scholberg, scuzzbag grifter “medical journalist and health freedom advocate”, the German crank purported to have cured Reagan’s cancer in 1985 was Hans Nieper; the Gentle Healing Alternative Modality he used was hyperthermia: and the proof of the story was the absence of evidence for it, demonstrating the effort invested in the cover-up. But cranks gotta crank, and Nieper had pioneered any number of Gentle Healing Alternative Modalities… so the story quickly metastasised so that in some tellings around the campfire the cure was achieved with cesium chloride, and in others it wasmistletoe, or Laetrile, and now the Carnivora dealers claim the credit (while the list of patients who had bought clandestine cures from Nieper expanded to include every US celebrity and the entire staff of the FDA and AMA).

Then Nieper died, leaving the story just lying there forother dirtbag scammers to dust off, file off the serial number, and replace Nieper’s name with their own. Easier to steal someone else’s bullshit than make up their own. Because if they weren’t lazy easy-option-takers then they wouldn’t be cancer-scam lowlife.

In another development of the mythologem, it is an article of faith within the crank catechism that Reagan was alsocured by Dr Charles Simone [tenured Complementary Medicine crank; an exponent of supplement pills, shark cartilage and self-promotion], who was the double secret probation White House Oncologist, or

was stuffed into a grocery truck and made his entrance into the white house through the backdoor where deliveries are made

Or both.

*** The “Carnivora” website is perhaps the only snake-oil company to provide e-mail addresses for contacting dead staff members.