Saturday, June 02, 2007

Losing faith in humanity

You know, sometimes I wonder why people are so greedy. I admit that I'm as guilty as the next person. I would love to have heaps of money to spend, to fly everywhere first class and spend the rest of my life in 6-star hotels. There are lots of things that I want - 5 carat diamond rings, heated Olympic size swimming pools in my back yard, the ability to buy whole Dior collections with one sweep of my well-manicured hand ....

I think in life, we all make compromises in order to pay the bills and to provide security for loved ones. Most people don't love their jobs, we just grit our teeth and get on with it.

But there are things that I wouldn't do though. For example, I don't think I would intentionally hurt anyone or cheat them of their life savings.

Sometimes when I read about stuff like the baby-formula scandal in China, it makes me think; how low can people go to make money? Summary: In 2004, fake baby milk formula with no nutritional value was manufactured and sold by some truly unscrupulous people. Babies who were fed this formula suffered from terrible malnutrition and many died. To make things worse, the local authorites were slow to react, which makes me think that there was corruption and dirty money at the highest levels. How awful is that?

Today there was a feature on the Radio 4 about counterfeit anti-malarial drugs which are being produced in South East Asia. So be careful if you are travelling and purchase anti-malarial drugs locally. These drugs which don't contain any of the active ingredient, artesunate, are also being exported to other parts of the world, Africa in particular.

It gets worse. As people become more aware of this, the counterfeiters have started to add a small amount of artesunate to the fakes so that it shows up in tests and fools the labs. This means that there is a risk that the malaria parasites will develop a resistance to artesunate.

I was also dismayed to read about counterfeit anti-cancer drugs which have surfaced in the UK. These suppliers have really sold their soul for cash. Selling brick dust coated in paint as life-saving medicine. Bastards.

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