A couple of years ago I came across a book in a garage sale called ‘Circle of Poison’. Published in 1981 it documents a trail of intriguing scandal regarding the export of banned pesticides from industrial countries to the third world. Products banned in the US saw the sellers simply exporting the separate ingredients to be assembled offshore for sale to unsuspecting customers oblivious to the products’ banned status. Many of these products were then duly sprayed on produce that would be returned to the country of the original banning. ‘Banning problem solved’ as it were. One of the authors David Weir describes how he came upon this scheme. Following a ban in the US of cyclamates, he discovered the ingredient in a packet of Kool-Aid he purchased whilst in Afghanistan. This began his trail of inquiries back in the 1970s which eventually led to an article in the US magazine, Mother Jones in 1979 entitled ‘The Corporate Crime of the Century’ and eventually to the book Circle of Poison. It was found that not only were toxic ingredients being exported, but defective medical devices, lethal drugs, known carcinogens, contaminated foods and other products deemed unsafe for American consumption as well. The results of this dumping are horrific.
- “400 Iraqis died in 1972 and 5,000 were hospitalized after consuming the by-products of 8,000 tons of wheat and barley coated with an organic mercury fungicide, whose use had been banned in the U.S.
- No one knows how many children may develop cancer since several million children’s garments treated with a carcinogenic fire retardant called Tris were shipped overseas after being forced off the domestic market by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)”. (from Mother Jones … more examples in the article)
Lomotil, an effective prescription-only anti-diarrhea medicine sold in the U.S., fatal in amounts just slightly over the recommended doses, was sold over the counter in Sudan, advertised as a product that was used by astronauts during the Gemini and Apollo space flights and also recommended for use by children as young as 12 months. Another item was Depo Provera, a birth control injection. This was banned in the United States because it caused malignant tumors in beagles and monkeys, yet is sold by the Upjohn Co. in 70 other countries, where it is widely used in U.S.-sponsored population control programs. It is currently also prescribed by GPs in New Zealand. Watch for an article on this product. I intend to research it soon. And the dumping of unwanted stuff is still going on by all appearances. More on that in another post. It does illustrate perfectly the utter disregard corporations hold for the health of the public. Again their bottom line is profits.
Here is the Mother Jones Article:
The Corporate Crime of the Century
It’s called dumping: When the U.S. government forces a dangerous drug, pesticide or other product off the domestic market, the manufacturer then sells that same product—frequently with the direct support of the State Department—throughout the rest of the world.
Tom Mboya was the hope of the western world. Bright, energetic, popular and inclined to be democratic—he was a born leader who, Washington hoped, would rise to power in Kenya and help keep Africa safe for United States commerce. In 1969 he was shot down in the streets of Nairobi. An emergency rescue squad was by his side in minutes. They plugged him into the latest gadget in resuscitative technology—a brand new U.S. export called the Res-Q-Aire. What the rescue team didn’t know as they watched Tom Mboya’s life slip away was that this marvelous device had been recalled from the American market by the US government because it was found to be totally ineffective. The patient died….Read More Here