What do these three things have in common: Orange Julius, Botox and Dippin' Dots? All three are easily available at your local mall and, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, all three have a secret ingredient that you probably don't want to discover.
OK, so the DOJ didn't really have anything to say (yet) about fruit smoothies and space-age ice cream blobs. But they did charge Ivyl W. Wells, a doctor who sold Botox injections at the Boise Town Square kiosk Skinovative Laser Center, with injecting 200 of his patients with a variety of botulism toxin that was not approved for human use. According to a statement from U.S. Attorney Tom Moss, Wells is accused of ordering a large quantity of TRI Botulinum Toxin Type A, which is approved for research use only, and mixing it into a cheek-tightening cocktail with FDA approved Botox. Through his bacterial mixology, Wells allegedly saved half of what he would have paid for an equivalent amount of Botox. But, you guessed it, he didn't pass the savings on.
If used properly, botulism injections render users temporarily wrinkle-free. They have also been shown to effectively treat migraine headaches (though there's no word yet on its effect on the brain freeze caused by Julius Smoothies and Dippin' Dots). Since the injections contain the bacteria botulinum, however, there is a risk that high doses can cause patients to contract botulism, characterized by tummy aches, hurling, noodle arms and freaky-deaky blurred vision. The U.S. Attorney's Office has not announced whether Wells' patients could face any such long-term medical threats from his strange brew.
If convicted, Wells could face over 20 years in federal prision on the mail fraud counts alone. Add in three years for each of his other 28 felony charges of misbranding and adulterating drugs and ... well, doing that kind of math can give you wrinkles.