Monday, September 10, 2018

I've started two new Baker City blogs

After having pretty much abandoned this blog almost 5 years ago, I've started two almost identical new blogs about Baker City, Oregon.

They will cover some of the problems people, especially poor people, face while trying to live in Baker City. 

On the odd chance anyone visits this page, you can find the blogs at these links:



Baker City Blog

I may use this blog for blurbs like the following, which may also be found on the other blogs:



I was listening to The Ralph Nader Radio Hour this last weekend and one of Ralph's guests was Rosemary Gibson, "Senior Advisor at The Hastings Center, which is the world’s first bioethics research institute, and she is an editor for the Journal of the American Medical Association." She was on to discuss her recent book, “China RX: Exposing the Risks for America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” about the unsettling fact that the manufacture of the vast majority of the prescription drugs taken by Americans has been taken over by China.

You may recall that this is similar to China now having almost cornered the market on rare earth elements that are used in electronics for everything from cell phones to renewable energy to military applications. After helping to drive it into bankruptcy, a Chinese consortium purchased Americas largest rare earths mine, the Mountain Pass Mine near Las Vegas, Nevada in 2017, leaving us more dependent on China for these elements.

I'm not beating a drum against China though. Government intervention could have saved both the rare earths mine and the American drug manufacturing industry, but money was apparently more important than national security.

From the Ralph Nader Radio Hour web site :

“There was country of origin labeling legislation put forward about ten years ago, but it was immediately killed. And when I asked an industry person to describe why that happened, this person said, “Well, the industry probably thought it wouldn’t be good for their customers to know where their medicines are being made.” And that’s because in a poll from the Pew Trust, only 6% of Americans trust medicines made in China. So, companies have good reason to hide it.” Rosemary Gibson, author of “China Rx: Exposing the Risk of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine.”
You can listen to or download download the Nader China Rx podcast by clicking this link and scrolling down the page.

Publisher's description:
About China Rx

Millions of Americans are taking prescription drugs made in China and don’t know it–and pharmaceutical companies are not eager to tell them. This is a disturbing, well-researched wake-up call for improving the current system of drug supply and manufacturing.

 Several decades ago, penicillin, vitamin C, and many other prescription and over-the-counter products were manufactured in the United States. But with the rise of globalization, antibiotics, antidepressants, birth control pills, blood pressure medicines, cancer drugs, among many others are made in China and sold in the United States. 

China’s biggest impact on the US drug supply is making essential ingredients for thousands of medicines found in American homes and used in hospital intensive care units and operating rooms. 

The authors convincingly argue that there are at least two major problems with this scenario. First, it is inherently risky for the United States to become dependent on any one country as a source for vital medicines, especially given the uncertainties of geopolitics. For example, if an altercation in the South China Sea causes military personnel to be wounded, doctors may rely upon medicines with essential ingredients made by the adversary. Second, lapses in safety standards and quality control in Chinese manufacturing are a risk. Citing the concerns of FDA officials and insiders within the pharmaceutical industry, the authors document incidents of illness and death caused by contaminated medications that prompted reform. 

This probing book examines the implications of our reliance on China on the quality and availability of vital medicines.

You can watch the C-SPAN presentation here.