Health: Imported From France: Wine, Truffles And Now--Leeches

Leeches, those ancient, creepy medical devices, have just been given a U.S. seal of approval. Though doctors have long used the little bloodsuckers to clear pooled blood in skin grafts and blocked veins, the French company Ricarimpex SAS is the first to have sought and received FDA clearance, under a 1976 law, to market the invertebrates for medicinal purposes. If that makes you squeamish, consider this: the FDA this year also allowed the marketing of medicinal maggots to eat away dead tissue from wounds.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!