U.S. Department of Defense has a new deadly weapon–and they got it straight out of your medicine cabinet

I was flipping through the March issue of my American Legion magazine the other day when I came across a story that stopped me in my tracks.

As I’ve always said, Tylenol is a deadly drug. And you shouldn’t take it for anything. Period. And now, according to the article I read, it’s a bona-fide weapon used by the U.S. Defense Department!

You see, the U.S. Department of Defense has a big snake problem in Guam. And it has decided to tackle this problem using the only over-the-counter (OTC) drug deadly enough to poison a lethal, 6-foot long snake.

Yes, Tylenol.

The United States acquired Guam after winning the Spanish-American War in 1898. And somewhere along the way, during the 1950s, a non-native species of deadly brown tree snake was introduced by cargo ships. The deadly snakes proliferated throughout the island, making it almost uninhabitable. The snakes hide in trees, dropping down on unsuspecting people and animals.

When I served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, military transports landed on Guam en route to Vietnam. I remember the Air Force personnel were often more concerned about dealing with the snakes on Anderson Air Force Base in Guam than with the enemy once we got to Vietnam. (Sort of like an early version of the movie Snakes on a Plane…but without Samuel L. Jackson.)

The U.S. Department of Defense tried almost everything over the years to rid the island of snakes, without success. (And they had quite a few weapons at their disposal.)

Now, military planners have come up with a new strategy…to poison these poisonous snakes with Tylenol. Yes, America’s most popular OTC painkiller. It’s not a biological weapon or a chemical weapon of mass destruction. But it’s certainly deadly…to snakes and humans!

The new plan is to airdrop thousands of mice pumped full of Tylenol. When the snakes eat the mice, they will get a fatal dose of Tylenol. Just 80 mg is enough to kill one of the deadliest snakes in the world. These snakes are impervious to their own deadly venom but they can’t stand just 80 mg of Tylenol.

Maybe they have found the right use for this poisonous drug…as a poison.

I’ve warned you before about the toxic effects of Tylenol on your liver. I also warned you just last month about the danger Tylenol poses to pregnant women and their unborn children in a Daily Dispatch called How many strikes does Tylenol get? Women who take Tylenol while pregnant have children with an increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

I received a lot of reader questions recently about the alternatives to Tylenol. And I’ll try to answer all of them next week in a special Daily Dispatch about safe, alternative painkillers. So stay tuned.


1. American Legion Magazine, March 2014, page 76