Thursday, August 24, 2006

Old News is Still News

This is not a new item; but the issue is one of great importance. This is an issue of the ultimate greed – where a company puts the desire for profits before anything, including the safety of the public. As a result, thousands of haemophiliacs around the world contracted HIV from tainted blood products; tainted blood products knowingly sold by an international corporation with a name that we have been told is trustworthy.

If this had been an accident, as the understanding of the mechanism of transmission of HIV was not clear in the early 1980’s, and people became infected as the result of ignorance that could possible be forgivable – assuming that the products were destroyed as soon as the flaws were discovered. Unfortunately that was not the case. Documents that were examined by the New York Times indicate that the Bayer Company not only knew about the tainted blood, but that the FDA was also aware of the fact that Bayer was selling these tainted products to people overseas (Americans and Canadians were provided with safer products).

Of course, once infecting these people, Bayer developed a whole new pool of customers to purchase their anti-retrovirals (what is a retrovirus), living up to the idea that once you poison someone you then provide the antidote … for a price (Bayer was not the exclusive evil in this event – there were three other pharmaceutical companies involved: Armour Pharmaceutical, Baxter International and Alpha Therapeutic, each selling tainted blood products when there were safer alternatives available).

This is one of those cases where profits were put way before people. Why? Once it was discovered that the blood factors were tainted they were pulled from the North American markets, but in an attempt to recoup their profits, the Bayer company decided that it would be alright to sell the liquid death to a lesser populace.

The scandal also had its spin in Japan, but it is the response of the FDA that truly leaves me speechless. Not only do they accept that they were lax in reacting to the tainted blood supply, more than half of the 16,000 haemophiliacs in the United States contracted HIV from the blood clotting factors that they took between 1982-1986.

Quite simply, this is state sponsored murder, on an international level. The Utube video is even more damning … and worth another several thousand words. The complicity of the government is undeniable, and the outrage is heinous.

Bayer sells HIV-Tainted Products

Special thanks to Lady CelticFire for posting this video and bringing this to my attention.

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