HIGHTOWER: Mad Cows and Full Lips

Time for another peek into the "Lifestyles of the Rich...and Cranky."

Today's feature:  Buying beauty.  The rich really are different from you and me-they don't seem to have wrinkles as they ebb over the 30-year mark.  This is because wealthy folks spend hundreds-of-millions of dollars a year on such cosmetic work as surgery, liposuction, laser treatments, spa visits, and...cow stuff.

Yes, cow stuff-or, more precisely, bovine collagen.  Collagen is a gelatinous protein contained in the connective tissues of cows, and there are big bucks to be made from injecting this stuff directly into rich lips and faces, smoothing out dreaded eye lines and poofing up lips for that much desired pouty look.  But here comes the cranky part.  New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reports that there's some panic among the socialites using the cow collagen because of:   Mad Cow Disease.  Not to mention hoof-and-mouth disease.

What if the collagen was from a diseased bovine-can your pouty lips kill you?  It's enough of a worry that some doctors are assuring patients that their collagen comes from a "closed herd"-a sort of elite cow club that doesn't mix with the cow masses and is protected from all that low-class cow unpleasantness.  Dowd reports that one skeptical lady told her doctor that she "wanted to visit the herd."

Not to worry, though, for alternatives are available.  For example, a rooster's comb contains a hyaluronic acid that can be injected into your face to smooth those wrinkles.  If you worry that this could cause you to crow every morning at dawn, you'll be relieved to know that a bioengineered human collagen derived form the foreskin of an infant boy can also do the job.  Dowd tells us that one foreskin is enough, for it's collagen can then be replicated endlessly in the lab "and provide lips, etc. for women all over the world, ad infinitum."

This is Jim Hightower saying...And science marches on!  And on...And on...

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