Snake oil salesmen lying to us accidentally paved the way for a safer world.

The fascinating reason product labels are so boring.

When someone is selling a product that doesn't do what they say, they're often called snake oil salesmen.

The phrase brings to mind the old Wild West with shouty men waving little bottles of magical medicines that promise everything short of immortality but do absolutely nothing.

But snake oil's real history — and its legacy — is much more interesting.

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