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Williams and Stone write: "Despite the overwhelming evidence that thalidomide caused miscarriages and birth defects, Chemie Grunenthal for years fought to resist paying the necessary compensation required for a lifetime of care - and still does."

Thalidomide caused birth defects in around 10,000 children. (photo: PA/AP)
Thalidomide caused birth defects in around 10,000 children. (photo: PA/AP)


The Nazis and Thalidomide: The Worst Drug Scandal of All Time

By Roger Williams, Jonathan Stone, The Daily Beast

10 September 12

 

Revelations of their connections with the makers of a deadly drug.

he girl's head is flung back, her mouth open in a cry of pain. She doesn't feel anything. She is a bronze sculpture symbolizing the suffering of 10,000 or more children around the world born in the '50s and '60s who did suffer greatly, and still do, as adults. Because their mothers ingested the notorious drug thalidomide, they were born without legs or arms or with foreshortened limbs like The Sick Child cast in bronze. Some were born deaf and blind; some with curved spines, or with heart and brain damage.

The over-the-counter tranquilizer was hailed as a wonder drug when released in the late 1950s. Its maker, Chemie Grünenthal, a small German company relatively new to pharmacology, marketed it aggressively in 46 countries with the guarantee that it could be "given with complete safety to pregnant women and nursing mothers without any adverse effect on mother and child." During the four years it was on the market, doctors prescribed it as a nontoxic antidote to morning sickness and sleeplessness-and it sold by the millions.

For nearly half a century, the privately owned company was silent and secretive about the epic tragedy it created while earning a vast profit. Even before its release, the wife of an employee gave birth to a baby without ears, but Chemie Grünenthal ignored the warning. Within two years, an estimated million people in West Germany were taking the drug on a daily basis.

But by early 1959, reports started to surface that the drug was toxic, with scores of adults suffering from peripheral neuritis damaging the nervous system. As profits kept rolling in, however, Chemie Grünenthal suppressed that information, bribing doctors and pressuring critics and medical journals for years. Even after an Australian doctor connected thalidomide with deformed births in 1961, it took four months for the company to withdraw the drug. By then, it is estimated to have affected 100,000 pregnant women, causing at least 90,000 miscarriages and thousands of deformities to the babies who survived.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that thalidomide caused miscarriages and birth defects, Chemie Grünenthal for years fought to resist paying the necessary compensation required for a lifetime of care-and still does. Victims say the company's payments have been derisory and far from enough to pay for the expensive care needed by those severely deformed.

In 1970 the company agreed to pay about $28 million into a fund for the victims and was given permanent legal immunity in Germany in return. When money in the fund ran out, the German government made compensation payments, and in 2009 Grünenthal replenished the fund with a one-off endowment of ?50 million-about $63 million. (Elsewhere in the world, there are still pending claims and class-action suits.)

Beyond monetary restitution, victims and their families had to wait more than five decades for an apology. But on Aug. 31 this year, the company's new CEO, Harald Stock, stepped outside its headquarters in Stolberg to unveil the bronze sculpture of the suffering girl and to apologize to all the victims, heartbroken families, and survivors. His sincerity was manifest. "We ask for forgiveness that for nearly 50 years we didn't find a way of reaching out to you from human being to human being," Stock said. "We ask that you regard our long silence as a sign of the shock that your fate caused in us."

With a go-ahead smile and close-shaven head, the Freiburg-born executive had arrived in January 2009, following the retirement of Sebastian Wirtz, the sixth generation to head the family firm. The "we" in his plea for forgiveness referred to the company. But his announcement in Stolberg brought no message from the Wirtz family-or anybody else still living who presided over thalidomide's silent years. And victims were upset because the company's contrition for the severely damaged who need lifelong care is still not matched in the level of compensation.

Adding to the dark shadow over the company, it is increasingly clear that, in the immediate postwar years, a rogues' gallery of wanted and convicted Nazis, mass murderers who had practiced their science in notorious death camps, ended up working at Grünenthal, some of them directly involved in the development of thalidomide. What they had to offer was knowledge and skills developed in experiments that no civilized society would ever condone. It was in this company of men, indifferent to suffering and believers in a wretched philosophy that life is cheap, that thalidomide was developed and produced.

Stolberg is Wirtz town, a clutch of attractive buildings that sit snug in a green valley around a medieval castle on the eastern outskirts of Aachen in North Rhine-Westphalia. Its prosperous air is due in large part to the family firm founded by Andreas Augustus Wirtz in the 19th century. Devoutly Catholic, the Wirtz family has for decades been the pillar of Aachen society, and their philanthropy has included a new roof on the city's imperial cathedral, built by Charlemagne in 786. Today the company has a global reach, with affiliates in 26 countries. It employs 4,200 people worldwide and has revenues approaching $1.3 billion, mostly from painkillers. Products from its perfume subsidiary, Mäurer & Wirtz, include brands such as 4711 and Tabac, while the Dalli-Werke subsidiary concentrates on household cleaning products.

Many who live in the town rely on the company for their livelihood; some have been employed there for many years. Men and women who worked as child slave laborers for the company during World War II carried on clocking in well into middle age, reluctant to speak about the company's past.

At the outbreak of war in 1939, the family-owned company was in the hands of Hermann Wirtz, aided by his twin brother, Alfred, an engineer and fellow Nazi party member. The company benefited from Hitler's Aryanization program by reportedly taking over two Jewish-owned companies, one of which made the Tabac range it still sells to this day.

At war's end, the business, which until then had focused mostly on soap, perfumes, and cleaning products, found a new direction. In 1946 the Wirtz family set up Chemie Grünenthal, a small-town company that would become a haven for labor-camp scientists and doctors looking for work as it developed drugs desperately needed in the war's aftermath.

The fact that former Nazi Party members were recruited by Grünenthal was not altogether surprising. Major American companies such as Standard Oil and Du Pont maintained commercial links with the Nazi regime during the war and afterward recruited former Nazi scientists, too.

Among those invited to Stolberg by Hermann Wirtz was Martin Staemmler, a leading proponent of the Nazi "racial hygiene" program. Following Germany's invasion of Poland, he had worked with the SS on its population policy, deciding who should live and who shouldn't. At Grünenthal, he was head of pathology at the time thalidomide was being sold.

Another euthanasia enthusiast was Hans Berger-Prinz, who worked with Hitler's personal physician, the handsome Karl Brandt, the lead defendant at the so-called doctors' trial at the Nuremberg war-crimes tribunal. Brandt, Germany's senior medical official during the war, was executed after he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his involvement in medical experiments and procedures on prisoners and civilians. In 1968, when Grünenthal executives were put on trial and charged with negligent manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm, deformity, and sickness through the selling of Contergan, the German brand name for thalidomide, Berger-Prinz spoke for the defense.

Dr. Ernst-Günther Schenck, portrayed in Downfall, the 2004 film about the last days of Hitler, is the only uniformed Nazi known to have found refuge at Grünenthal, though he was not involved in the thalidomide program. As the inspector of nutrition for the SS, he developed a protein sausage that was tested on 370 prisoners in concentration camps, killing many. He was barred from working as a doctor again in Germany after returning from 10 years as a prisoner of war in the Soviet Union. Grünenthal gave him a job in Aachen.

Grünenthal also offered employment to Heinz Baumkötter, an SS hauptsturm-führer, the chief concentration-camp doctor in Mauthausen and Natzweiler-Struthof, and, most notoriously, from 1942 chief medical officer in Sachsenhausen. Sentenced to life imprisonment by the Soviet Union, in 1956 he was, like Schenck, returned to Germany, where he was employed by the Wirtz family at Chemie Grünenthal.

Perhaps the best known of Grünenthal's murderous employees was Otto Ambros. He had been one of the four inventors of the nerve gas sarin. Clearly a brilliant chemist, described as charismatic, even charming, he was Hitler's adviser on chemical warfare and had direct access to the führer-and committed crimes on a grand scale. As a senior figure in IG Farben, the giant cartel of chemical and pharmaceutical companies involved in numerous war crimes, he set up a forced labor camp at Dyhernfurth to produce nerve gases before creating the monolithic Auschwitz-Monowitz chemical factory to make synthetic rubber and oil.

In 1948 Ambros was found guilty at Nuremberg of mass murder and enslavement and sentenced to eight years in prison. But four years later, he was set free to aid the Cold War research effort, which he did, working for J. Peter Grace, Dow Chemical, and the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. Ambros was the chairman of Grünenthal's advisory committee at the time of the development of thalidomide and was on the board of the company when Contergan was being sold. Having covered up so much of his own past, he could bring his skills to bear in attempts to cover up the trail that led from the production of thalidomide back through its hasty trials to any origins it may have had in the death camps.

The central figure at the Grünenthal trial in Aachen was Heinrich Mückter. During the war, his expertise had been anti-typhus work. Outbreaks of the disease in the Army made finding a vaccination a high priority. Because typhus culture cannot live outside a body, it was kept alive by injecting it into prisoners. Once injected with the disease, the prisoners could then be used to try out the vaccines to see if they worked, and Mückter's experiments were reportedly carried out in Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Grodno as well as at Kraków. Responsible for the deaths of hundreds of prisoners, Mückter was wanted at the end of the war by the Polish authorities, but he was lucky: caught by the Americans, he had the Iron Curtain drawn across his past. And Grünenthal offered him an opportunity to continue his work.

As the company's chief scientist and head of research, Mückter was credited with the development of thalidomide, and given that he earned hefty bonuses on the drug, its initial popularity made him very rich.

The "chemical brains" behind thalidomide may have been Mückter's mentor, Prof. Werner Schulemann of Bonn University, according to Martin Johnson, a longtime campaigner at Britain's Thalidomide Trust. Schulemann had developed the first synthetic antimalarial drug and carried out human experiments in field hospitals and in the camps. But it was Mückter's work on anti-typhus vaccines trialed in the camps that Johnson believes may provide the link to thalidomide, a line he is pursuing for the book he is writing on the thalidomide story, provisionally titled The Last Nazi War Crime. "I thought I would be ready for publication a long while back," he says, "but new information keeps arriving."

Information keeps arriving, but time may be running out in the hunt to find the hard evidence to establish that thalidomide was developed or trialed in the death camps-a hard link that would surely embarrass Grünenthal into finally giving full compensation to its victims around the world.

What is clear, though, is that the recent apology is not enough.

Trapped for eternity in her bronze confinement, the statue of the sick child is haunting, her silent scream reminding us of the pain of the thalidomide babies.


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+88 # freeportguy 2012-09-10 14:16
Conservatives would argue that the marketplace will take care of such a case, this no regulations are needed...
 
 
+21 # Interested Observer 2012-09-11 09:27
But they will also add "tort reform" just to make sure.
 
 
+11 # Interested Observer 2012-09-11 09:40
Until the marketplace can grow fully functional limbs and provide them at no cost to the victims, they are full of fertilizer as usual.
 
 
+70 # cordleycoit 2012-09-10 16:11
I grew up arounf survivorsof Matthausen and the other camps. That any firm would hire those beasts in human form is beyond me. Why does the US use such dangerous derivatives as Malathion to poison the people? Our chemical industry is not Nazi free, is it?
 
 
+7 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-09-10 19:35
The Germans also used fluoride in the water in the prison camps for the Jewish people. They did this because the fluoride made them complacent and unable to think clearly to fight back. This hazardous waste product is now put in our water supply. "They" say it reduces cavities in the teeth of our children. Not true. Fluoride may help the enamel of a tooth if it is put on the tooth but taking it internally has no effect other than making brown spots on the teeth. There are warnings on tubes of fluoride tooth paste warning you not to swallow the hazardous waste product.

Does 'our' government want us to be compliment and dumb? What do you think? "Oh, our government is not THAT BAD!" Oh? And how about the terrorist attack on the world trade center in New York? Could that have been done by 'our' government?

Face it people. It is NOT our government. Our government is corrupt. Is this news? If so, you must be REALLY addicted to that flickering box in your home---you know, the boob tube, the lie machine, the propaganda machine. Turn the damn thing off and try to wake up.
 
 
+7 # LML 2012-09-10 22:16
And speaking of fluoridation, this very month the City Council of Portland. Oregon - still one of the few major cities in the US that does NOT fluoridate its water - is trying to ram fluoridation down our throats via a fast track process so as to get it in place before we can have a referendum on the issue. (For the record, the voters of Portland have voted down fluoridation 3 timesalready).. .
 
 
+3 # Activista 2012-09-10 22:50
"The Germans also used fluoride in the water in the prison camps for the Jewish people." - so there were two water circuits? One for Germans and another for Jewish? And what Czechs, Russians, Polish - my relative died in NAZI Concentration Camp -
Fluoride makes them "complacent and unable to think clearly to fight back"?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_fluoridation_controversy
Germany (and other civilized states) stopped water fluoridation in 1971 - USA Money Culture is using water fluoridation because there is a $PROFIT in it (not much of benefits).
 
 
+11 # Mamazon 2012-09-11 09:47
Fluoride is a by-product of the aluminum industry -- Alcoa Aluminum was a major investor/benefi tor in WWII and they needed to get rid of their fluoride or pay to have it "processed". They really did use fluoride as crowd control in the death camps and then brought it to every tap in America. Prescott Bush over at Browns Bank was also a major Hitler supporter and had a hand in all of this crap...
The way in which the US embraced these Nazi torture researchers is appalling. Makes me wonder what we'll be reading about Monsanto 20 years down the line when all the GMO side effects come home to roost.
 
 
+5 # J.B. 2012-09-12 16:01
Makes me wonder what we'll be reading about Monsanto 20 years down the line when all the GMO side effects come home to roost.
It isn't going to take 20 more yrs for the Monsanto damages to come home to roost. They already are. Why else are not only a large percent of our population experiencing increased obesity, and not only us but our cats and dogs, and the lab animals (who are fed the same controlled diet as they were 20-30 yrs ago or more, and even the feral rat and mouse population that feeds on the refuse we leave behind, are suffering an increased obesity problem. The really scary thing is that while all of the above is happening, the females of the mammalian species seem to be suffering an increased amount of damage. Endocrine disruptors at work here, anyone?
 
 
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-10 20:02
Nor our government
 
 
+7 # Buddha 2012-09-11 08:57
Don't fool yourself, political expediency is universal. The US was more than happy to get its own hands on Nazi scientists to boost our rocket and aerospace and nuclear research efforts, just as was Russia.
 
 
-6 # brux 2012-09-10 16:22
Hmmm, I wonder how many of the victims were in the fabled 1% ... more or far less than 1% ??
 
 
+6 # Independentgal 2012-09-10 19:34
It's time for new meds.
 
 
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-10 20:04
Time for no meds Herbalogy is still best
 
 
+54 # lorenbliss 2012-09-10 17:03
In Thalidomide -- in its origins as well as in its victims -- we have the perfect metaphor for capitalism: Thalidomide malice, Thalidomide governance by Thalidomide politicians, above all else the Nazi/Ayn Rand Thalidomide credo of infinite greed as maximum virtue, its inescapable consequence the Thalidomide effect whether at Bhopal, Prince William Sound, Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima, in countless other atrocities hidden or underway, our planet reduced to the barons' barren, the new realm of death, its last lamentation an unheard threnody of dead winds, echoed shrieks of women and children.
 
 
+14 # TurboKitty 2012-09-10 17:06
I hope Anonymous takes down the FDA next!
 
 
+22 # ganymede 2012-09-10 17:15
(Part 1)I thought I knew a lot about the German killing machines that the nazis perfected during WW11. Now I see the connections not only between the American aerospace industry and the hundreds of nazis like Werner von Braun who were brought to the US after the war and feted for their great contributions to our space program, but also the direct connection to the international pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
 
 
+24 # ganymede 2012-09-10 17:19
(Part 2)This corruption of science that has led to the devastating chemicals used in warfare such as agent orange, sarin and many others, has also caused incalcuable damage to people in all western countries by the virtually unregulated use of toxic prescription drugs. While some of these pharmaceutical drugs have been life savers, many more have made people sicker and shortened lives. The way the drug industry works is that they develop products that are improperly tested and marketed to millions of people, quite often causing serious damage and deaths. These products are then taken off the market and the drug companies pay millions and sometimes billions in restitution to their victims. But they walk smiling to their bank because they've made much more than they've had to pay in fines. It's a common practice.
Back when the US had a FDA with teeth, some bright scientist picked up on the damage being done by Thalidimide and it was taken off the market causing much less damage in the US than elsewhere.

Unless we change the way we do medicine, these crimes will continue. Obama has done precious little to rectify this situation and Romney, of course, doesn't have a clue and would further continue to deregulate everything for the sake of unfettered profits.
 
 
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-10 20:06
Are you sure that mittens has not clue If this were brought up to the Mormons and evangelicals what would there answers be
 
 
+5 # Mamazon 2012-09-11 09:49
Which is why legalized medical marijuana scares the hell out of the pharmaceutical corps... Medicine we can grow and use for free...
 
 
+6 # newport44 2012-09-10 17:54
As horrendous as this is! Where has the world been? And WHERE are we now?
The first large chemical company which used forced labor to build the largest producer of chemicals for the gas chambers is still "in business". Who is a "hangover" from those days..BAYER and of course it "trickles down" to the Germany of today due to the fact that there are remnants there ie; "Who formed the E.U.? AND without 1 voting country.
It was pushed onto the European countries thru ignorance of the gov'ts and the "fine print"..EU not doing so well...who will and is doing the "rescue" of the countries they duped into joining the EU...Germany.
Take a look at the formation of the EU ane read how the above article of Thalidomide and see where it actually began....used in camps long before the above was published...US Bayer has a few
questionable representations on board. check archives..publi c invited..Someti mes we must praise the "time limits" on secret documents.
 
 
+4 # Mamazon 2012-09-11 09:50
And BAYER is killing the bees...
 
 
+2 # Mannstein 2012-09-13 10:51
The EU was formed not by Germany but France and other European countries to tie Germany to the West. If Germany were to act in its own self interst it would align itself with Russia. Russia has the natural resources which Germany needs and Germany has the technology which Russia needs. It would be a win win situation for both countires. I.G. Farben which was supposed to have created the gas for the alleged gas chambers was broken up after WWII. Incidentally, if it hadn't been for the Communist threat from the East the Morgenthau Plan would have been implemented in its entirety. I suppose that you would heartily approve.
 
 
+17 # frankscott 2012-09-10 17:55
if these nazi-capitalist s were monsters, what do we call the freaks and zombies who created the atomic bomb and other wonderful humanitarian, civilized, democracy produced murder weapons that don't bother with "death camps" and simply transform cities, villages and family dinner tables into one stop shopping malls for murder?
 
 
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-10 20:11
Fusion was never to become a bomb but clean energy...the man repented ever designing the process. We all know if not him, another would have, perhaps a worse nation.
But it happened, that we used it on Japan is the all time disgust to me. We had no conscience then and still have none today.
This Fresk mode didn't just happen. It was festering since creation. Only the end of the Universe as 'We' know it will end our patchwork of good and evil.
We have been brainwashed since the fifties, sixties actually started changing things until the Yuppie Money Grubs changed the good, earth life. Now they have cloned themselves into what we see before us today... We allowed it to happen
 
 
+14 # cliffgie 2012-09-10 18:01
Thalidomide still has a use. I take a 100 mg capsule every other night as part of my treatment for multiple myeloma cancer One problem I have with it is that a box costs $22,000 in the U.S. I order it through Canada, however, paying a few hundred dollars. It's made in India and shipped from Europe. I've heard that Congress may pass a law prohibiting its import. I don't know what I'll do if that happens. I will get another prescription from my oncologist next month and order more as a precaution. ... An added benefit is that it helps me to sleep. Every other night I sleep much better
 
 
+15 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-10 20:13
You cannot have this but we can be bombed with Monsanto, Dow and Dupont chemicals on our food....Nazis are alive and well
 
 
-6 # corals33 2012-09-10 18:29
A very fitting name for the country GERM-any.Disgra ceful but seems par for the course in all these civilized and sophisticated countries.
 
 
+6 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-10 20:15
What civilized country Give me a definition of civilized....ma kes Africa civilized in the Jungles compared to any other Country I know of.
Civilized, a white man's joke to get everyone to westernize.
 
 
+1 # Mannstein 2012-09-13 10:54
The name is Deutschland you idiot!
 
 
+16 # wwway 2012-09-10 18:34
The market place will not take care of this before many lives have been lost and consequences have been rendered. A Free Market has 4 basic principles. No discrimination. No Barriers to Entry. Access to perfect information, and protection of property rights. On the perfect infomration issue, we have the FDA. On the no barriers to entry, anyone can start of pharmacutical company but they have to make good products. Regarding no discrimination, $22,000 for an American to get a medication vs. $200 for a Canadian is discrimination, not an example of "free market".
Anyone suggesting that the market will take care of this us nuts. the principles of the free market requires a policeman.
 
 
+11 # Walther 2012-09-10 19:07
Interesting article - but not a surprise.
Almost every German firm of note had ties
to the German War Machine including Opel, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Audi etc. and hired Nazi Party officials
after the War, including many of note. Hitler took many of his racial ideas from the proponents of euthanasia in the United States during the eary part of the 20th Century. Hitler was reputed to have held Henry Ford in high esteem and modeled the "final solution" after his ideas. The defendants at the Nuremburg Trials were shocked to find themselves accused of crimes against humanity since they had modeled their policies after theories conceived in the United States. Standard Register Corporation and IBM are reputed to have suggested ideas to enable the Nazis to complete detailed registeries of the minorities who ultimately became the targest of the 'Final Solution". Are any of us innocent?
 
 
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-10 20:17
Nope and the thoughts of killing, poisons were further back than Nazis. Hatred of others also. We are nor ever were civilized...we are Heathens I would not even disgrace the beasts as they have heart
We are nothing, and continue to prove it.
 
 
-11 # Activista 2012-09-10 19:11
Remember that making the world totalitarian begins with censorship.
My previous contribution on this article was "moderated".
.. behind thalidomide may have been .. there is NO hard evidence in the article above - just Anti-German and anti-catholic propaganda - monetary restitution? - aka another lawyers scheme to pump more money from Germany?
 
 
-4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-10 20:27
It matters not what Chemicals are called...they have skull and crossbones..the y all warn of the fact they can and will indeed kill, maim or modify.
We are greedy, want immediate cures or quick kills.
Thalidomide Agent Orange Saccharin Round Up I see no difference in them or the scripts to postpone dying. At least the Poison tells you it is poison.

I do not eat hemlock, wild mushrooms (I cannot id them) nor do i use Monsanto Products. I have a bottle of Round Up I refuse to allow it opened, I am taking it this year to a recycling center but I am in fear it will be used.

Man needs to kill, maim, torture....we are Heathens that is the secret from the Garden. In each of us there is a monster within....

Does it matter which Chemical was used it they continue to use it and cause innocent children to die. I wonder if these People, this Family, the Church, the Townspeople, Nazis were also ProLifers? One man's poison is another man's gold!

We are all to blame, no matter how deep they dig, the people anywhere who allow us to destroy life are no better than the ones who created, sold the product. These excuses we use to look the other way is why we are in the position we are today. This is just another proof of what hypocrites we are.
 
 
-2 # Activista 2012-09-10 22:23
I eat wild mushrooms - many have medicinal properties (anti-cancer). As I remember my grandfather, mother thought me - collected them at age four.
Hemlock poison is herb - nothing to do with the tree.
Look at abortion rate per country (your pro-lifers) - abortionratebyc ountry.com/ US 22.9 abortions per 100 known pregnancies, Germany 7.6.
The Nazis and Thalidomide is VERY sick HATEFUL title .. use Chomsky example and play with it - whole article is litigation populism - no scientific facts
 
 
+4 # Celeste 2012-09-11 11:57
The article specifies that SOME Nazi scientists, those with sadistic inclinations, tested faulty products on live Concentration Camp subjects. Then, out of sheer greed, they went on to market these dangerous products under the guise that they were safe. Years later the "testimony" came in in the form of thousands of damaged human bodies.

It is a perfect karmic circle: and it teaches that those who focus on evil, hatred, and destruction will see those items bear fruit in their other enterprises.

The teaching pertains to a small subset, those willing to do harm; and it unfortunately impacts those who were its unwitting victims.

The facts do NOT suggest that the all-encompassin g "WE" is reflected in these horrific scenarios. Not all of the population is given to sociopathic inclinations. And when a person uses the broad-band concept of WE it protects the guilty by generalizing the behavior of a relative few, and attempting ot pass it off as some damning indictment of the entirety of human "Nature."

Bah humbug. If you have a guilty conscience, do some altruistic acts to work it off. Don't place me or other decent, humanitarian folks under your umbrella. It's dishonest, and that's being kind.
 
 
+2 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-09-10 21:28
The evidence of the Thalidomide disaster is in History, if you care to survey it.
 
 
-10 # corals33 2012-09-10 19:47
Science as it is called today can be described as a process by which one group of predators uses the most able minds trained by their institutions to advance their power and control over a deluded and fearful prey.The rubbish it produces underlines the stupidity of this method but will only be realised when they can no longer sweep the dirt under the carpet.That moment is not far away.
 
 
+9 # Regina 2012-09-10 20:30
corals33 -- you need to learn the difference between science and politics. Obviously it's a difficult lesson, judging from the complete confusion in your statement. Of course there are politicians who distort or disclaim science -- we must be on the alert for them and not allow their deliberate misrepresentati ons to control perceptions and discussions.
 
 
+2 # Celeste 2012-09-11 12:05
I think it's more like money. Remember, money is not the root of all evil; it's the love of money that wins that title. So, too, it goes for science. When science is used by a dark entity like the Military Industrial Complex to figure out ways to turn massive weapons into dainty miniature toy-like machines, or when science (in service to corporations like Monsanto) decides to commandeer nature's genetic seed banks, then it becomes evil incarnate. However, there are also many instances where science is used for positive purposes. Like so many things in life, it goes to (and issues from the nature of) motive, your honor. The jury is standing by...
 
 
+8 # DaveM 2012-09-10 21:31
As noted above, thalidomide is a useful medicine. It is beneficial in the treatment of certain cancers and is also almost a specific treatment for Hansen's Disease (AKA leprosy). As a sedative, it is non-addictive and it is impossible to take a lethal overdose. As long as it is not given to pregnant women, it is an extremely safe drug.

We have over the counter drugs in America today which, if improperly used, could lead to problems at least as serious as those caused by thalidomide. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a fine example--seriou s health consequences can occur if a woman is exposed to it. Yet that is an over the counter drug--and a "vanity drug" at that. The prescription drug Propecia, another baldness drug, can cause birth defects if pregnant women are exposed to it. It remains on the market, unquestioned.

Thalidomide was never approved for general use in the United States. DES was. I am a DES baby. I was born with lower abdominal deformities and am effectively married to cancer. There is a trust fund to pay for the medical expenses of women whose mothers used DES while pregnant. There is none for men.
 
 
-6 # Activista 2012-09-10 22:34
Thank you DaveM - there are so many NEW drugs introduced to the $market$ today without knowing LONG TERM side-effects.
Some effects (especially carcinogenic) will not show after generation.
"The Nazis and Thalidomide" article does not have any merit - except to attack Germany and Catholicism - wish USA had 10% of German/EU regulations/con sumer protection - and social medicine as Germany does.
 
 
+9 # video4315 2012-09-11 06:47
I read this article because Thalidomide was the agent used to extend my sister's life. She was diagnosed with a Grade 4 glioblastoma brain tumor, which surgery could not completely remove. This type of cancer was a death sentence at the time of her diagnosis. Her oncologist, radiologist, and surgeon all recommended that she not seek experimental treatment and estimated that she had less than six months to live. She was accepted, however, into an experimental protocol using Thalidomide as an angiogenesis inhibitor to prevent the formation of new blood vessels, something the cancer needed if it were to grow. She went back to work in less than six months and then had three good and productive years before the cancer came back. In our family the Thalidomide was a good thing. I appreciate the complexity of the situation and the continuing story of this drug.
 
 
-1 # Activista 2012-09-11 12:22
"Thalidomide was a good thing .." but this complexity is too much for these hackers .. it is NAZI, Germany, and Catholics .. demagogy is easy, gain knowledge/infor mation takes time and effort.
 
 
+7 # Interested Observer 2012-09-11 09:37
It seems we have a new basic Big Pharma business cycle today:

1. Develop drug, appliance or procedure.
2. Test product with methods designed not to find real problems.
3. Suppress all adverse results.
4. Co-opt FDA procedures.
5. Bring product to market (even with a list of risks that make the illness look good).
6. Deny adverse results.
7. Pull product off market after adverse results are no longer deniable.
8. Enter lawsuit phase replete with cable TV ads from full time product liability law firms. (Another new creature of the "self-correctin g free market", at least until "tort reform" fully insulates Big Pharma at a later time which may not happen because there is a money lobby with an interest in preserving this status quo as well. One big happy free market family, the circle of corporate life.)

9. repeat from step 1.
 
 
+2 # Celeste 2012-09-11 12:15
These protocols are true in some cases, perhaps too many. I'd like to add another item to your list: that PR firms are employed to make sure there are bloggers to do to the Internet Chat rooms what the sycophants deliver across the mainstream media. They place up for show allusions to the contrary, those that either present "evidence" of the positive value of said drugs, or else they work through straw-men arguments... as we see in this thread in the allegation that this researched article is designed to attack Germany.

There is a war on truth. It's directly related to the war on terror and a favored tactic used by the Lords of Disaster Capitalism and their vassals. it's apparent in every direction one turns.
 
 
+5 # Doggone 2012-09-11 13:58
Illuminati inspired: Catholic church, Nazi
scientists, making most of their money on pain killers (addiction). Yes, a darkness exists here, an ugly face behind respectability - watch out! Big Pharma is NOT our friend.
 
 
+5 # karenvista 2012-09-11 16:04
(Part 1)Interested Observer may already be aware of this but I would suggest that anyone interested or fighting cancer should research this and watch Burzynski The Movie.

A few highlights from the film are:

• The proper response to cancer is not to blast the body with toxic chemicals and radiation, but rather to feed it various nutrients and compounds that communicate naturally with genes how to effectively destroy cancer cells on their own which Dr. Burzynski patented as antineoplastons.

• The Burzynski treatment is the only cure for "incurable" brainstem gliomas that has been tested in FDA-approved trials -- and it successfully cures (permanently) up to 50 percent of them, while conventional treatments cure absolutely zero.

• Congressional passage of the "Prescription Drug User Fee Act" in 1992 is the reason why the FDA has become Big Pharma's lapdog. The law basically allows drug companies to purchase approval for drugs from the FDA through drug application user fees, which has stunted any real mainstream progress in discovering a cure for cancer.

• Drug companies spent more than half a billion dollars in 2010 alone purchasing drug approvals from the FDA -- and the average amount spent per conventional cancer drug was nearly $1.5 million (can you see now why there is a huge vested interest in stifling Dr. Burzynski's work?)
 
 
+4 # karenvista 2012-09-11 16:07
(Part 2)

• The FDA has already approved more than 25 different cancer drugs that mimic Dr. Burzynski's treatment protocol by targeting the genes responsible for cancer growth -- but none of these drugs are effective because they are synthetic copycats that target only one or two genes, rather than the nearly 100 genes that Dr. Burzynski's treatment targets.

• Most or all of the chemotherapy drugs that doctors prescribe actually cause cancer -- and this "side effect" sits alongside other devastating ones like heart failure, infertility, nerve damage, and kidney damage.


• Many of the FDA's drug approval advisers and committee members also hold positions at major drug companies, which means they are anything but objective in the decisions they make concerning cancer drugs.

The personal healing stories, the extensive background, and the thorough details surrounding the entire Dr. Burzynski saga are truly fascinating. This is definitely a documentary I highly recommend, and one that you won't want to miss. The good news is that the film's creators have graciously posted the movie in its entirety for FREE at NaturalNews.TV:
http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=F5B32D25BDC2E1977584DF9A1DF9CC0D

Learn more about the movie at:
http://www.burzynskimovie.com/


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032998_Burzynski_cancer_cures.html#ixzz26CY5S0lx
 
 
+3 # Activista 2012-09-11 21:02
Agree - normal person gets attacked by cancer frequently during the lifetime. But people with healthy/strong IMMUNE system do not develop cancer.
 
 
+1 # Martintfre 2012-09-12 13:30
My sister In Law got an extra 18 months going to Burzynski after Kettering and Sloan (Premiere Cancer treatment east coast) gave her 3 to 6 weeks.

It is no accident Burzinsky has been raided by government agencies multiple times and they have seized his records (probably killing patients in the process)
 
 
+2 # Martintfre 2012-09-12 13:23
Does the FDA actually protect us like the case of thalidomide or is there a hidden and greater cost?

"The Thalidomide tragedy wasn’t due to lack of testing, but ignorance of what testing should have been done. At that time, scientists didn’t know how sensitive the fetus could be to drugs that were safe for adults, so they didn’t test for it.

The FDA simply dragged their feet and became heroes. As a result of this positive feedback, they delayed more and more.

The Thalidomide tragedy was the worst drug disaster in modern history, yet it pales in comparison to the damage done by the delays of life-saving drugs. The FDA’s three year delay in introducing propranolol after it was sold in Europe, cost (conservatively ) 30,000 U.S. lives. In comparison, 10,000 children were affected by thalidomide. Every time the FDA delays a life-saving drug, we have the equivalent of three thalidomide tragedies." Bio Chemist Dr Ruwart

how many years were drugs delayed to dying Aids patients in this 'free' country?
 
 
+3 # Mannstein 2012-09-12 19:03
The CIA contracted doctors from McGill University in Montreal Canada to administer LSD without the consent or knowledge on the part of patients under their care. Under the contract the doctors were required to provide medical reports on the results of their criminal activity. When are these patients going to receive reparations from the USA? Don't hold your breath!
 
 
+2 # DaveM 2012-09-13 10:10
The worst drug scandal of all time has been going on for generations and continues at this writing. It is the administration of neuroleptic drugs (aka "major tranquilizers" or "antipsychotics "), particularly the older drugs in this class (newer ones cause the same problems, though manufacturers deny it). Use of these drugs especially in higher dosages causes brain damage in up to 50% of those who take them. This most commonly manifests itself as tardive dyskinesia, or symptoms resembling Parkinson's Disease. If you see someone with twitching hands, a tongue that keeps darting in and out of their mouth, or constant jaw movements which somewhat resemble constantly chewing gum, chances are you are looking at a walking, talking indictment of 20th century pharmacology.
 

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