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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Canada's pharmaceuticals will be coming from China

January 11, 2010

By PETER WORTHINGTON

Toronto Sun - 7th January 2010

I don't know about you, but I found a report mildly alarming that China is
on the verge of exporting prescription drugs to Canada and the U.S.

Production costs are apparently so low in China that our pharmaceutical
industry can't help but be interested in some sort of cooperative
partnership.

A story in the National Post asked: "Drugs made in China: Opportunity or
threat?"

Both, I'd say.

My wife, Yvonne, recently returned from Tibet -- which she laments is
populated by more Chinese than Tibetans -- was warned off using Chinese
toothpaste because it contains anti-freeze. Anti-freeze toothpaste? I know
Tibetan winters are cold, but surely anti-freeze in toothpaste is a bit
much. Surely not smiling would keep teeth warm.

On the other hand, some of our toothpaste is said to contain formaldehyde.
That may preserve them, but isn't formaldehyde what morticians pump into the
veins of dead folk?

Fresh in some (aging) memories is the late Gordon Sinclair's campaign
against fluoride in drinking water to inhibit tooth decay. He was always
reminding us fluoride in large doses was a rat poison.

Perhaps we shouldn't be apprehensive about Chinese prescription drugs being
sold here. Then again, considering China's record of corruption, deceit and
penchant for stealing technology, perhaps we should be more uneasy than
Health Canada appears to be.

NOT REASSURING

We are told China's pharmaceutical industry is the world's fastest-growing,
and is on course to surpass the U.S. as the greatest producer of
prescription drugs. Given that 5% of North American prescription drugs on
sale now may be bogus, Chinese-made drugs dominating the market is not
reassuring.

Nor is it reassuring that China already has more than 2,500 drug regulatory
departments with varying powers and controls -- and a record of
circumventing rules.

Even China's stern reputation for dealing harshly with offenders (68
offences carry the death penalty, including tax evasion and embezzlement)
doesn't deter corruption. Recently two officials were sentenced to death for
lacing milk with melamine -- a fake nitrogen-protein that killed six babies.

There have been a lot of scandals regarding Chinese products sold here,
ranging from fish that make people sick, to toys that could be lethal to
kids if they lick the bright, mercury-based coloured paint. That sort of
thing.

And then there's China's horrendous record of selling human organs for
transplants -- garnered from criminals sentenced to death and, worse, from
imprisoned Falun Gong members who preach a gentle, non-political philosophy
of meditation and generosity. China is accused of "harvesting" Falun Gong
hearts, lungs, kidneys, cornea, etc., to be sold to needy foreigners.

The Post tells us some 40,000 natural health products are available in
Canada, a huge number of which are produced in China. It's anyone's guess
what's in them, as regulations are vague.

Per capita, we Canadians are the greatest users of traditional Chinese
medicine, which differs from prescription drugs, but shows the inroads
Chinese initiative is making in Canada.

TRIP OF RECONCILIATION

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent trip of reconciliation to China
improved relations. So forget about that unfortunate kidnapped
Uighur-Canadian, Huseyin Celil, falsely accused by Beijing of terrorism who
rots in a Chinese prison. Our PM also doesn't seem to fret about China's
genocide -- cultural and literal -- in Tibet.

With prescription drugs made in China, a new dawn beckons for North America.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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