By Miguel Jara
On occasion I have been asked about the relationships of the industry that produces toxic chemicals and the pharmaceutical industry. With the promise of ending hunger in the world, we have been practicing industrialized agriculture for more than sixty years based on huge amounts of toxic chemical inputs that make the land, water and living beings sick.
On occasion I have been asked about the relationships of the industry that produces toxic chemicals and the pharmaceutical industry. With the promise of ending hunger in the world, we have been practicing industrialized agriculture for more than sixty years based on huge amounts of toxic chemical inputs that make the land, water and living beings sick . The big winners? Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, Syngenta, Novartis, Aventis and many more companies. The same ones, by the way, that now promote biotechnology to sell transgenic foods with the same excuse of hunger. Bayer, Novartis and Aventis are also among the pharmaceutical multinationals that bill the most for their drugs. Monsanto became the owner of the Pharmacia company, which later acquired the Pfizer laboratory. This comes in conjunction with the presentation of a book S.Q.M. The daily toxic risk. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and other diseases that chemistry produces in hundreds of thousands of Spaniards. It is written by my good friend and colleague of fatigue in the investigation of environmental subjects Carlos de Prada and published by the Alborada Foundation.
Carlos's text is the first monograph on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome to be published in Spanish. De Prada, as I also do, associates MCS with fibromyalgia (FM) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and all three with toxic chemicals. It is a very documented book and in the rigorous style that Carlos uses. The author introduces us raw to people who suffer MCS, usually accompanied by FM and / or CFS. It explains very well the entire process of the disease, it has the voices of the most prominent professionals on the subject and insists that these diseases are not psychological but organic or physical. In short, an essential text for those who suffer or have the suspicion that their symptoms may be those of MCS or any of the other ailments related to it.
But the most important thing is that Carlos de Prada explains, rightly, that these people are the alarm bells about a problem with enormous consequences: we use so many chemicals in our daily lives that the planet Earth is no longer capable of absorbing them and Neither do people, which is why many of our neighbors have shown signs, health disorders, that warn others about what may happen to them for a few years. All citizens should be concerned about the existence of these so-called environmental diseases.
Returning to the relationship of the chemical industry with the pharmaceutical industry, which is what I wanted to write you about, De Prada indicates that both "are often only one and the same thing." Keep going:
It is a fact that some of the main multinationals that manufacture drugs are also the main manufacturers of poisons such as pesticides that, in addition to many other health problems, "are the chemicals most involved in causing MCS and triggering its symptoms," as he says. McCampbell (Dr. Ann McCambell, of the MCS (SQM) Task Force os New Mexico). And he goes on to cite concrete examples, such as that of the multinational Novartis (formerly Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz) manufacturer of the atrazine herbicide and whose pressure group would have "sent information in 1996 to the New Mexico legislative committee opposing all legislation related to SQM. and stating that the symptoms of people with MCS did not have a physical origin. "
But not only Novartis, manufacturer of other controversial pesticides such as the organophosphate insecticide diazinon, is cited by the author of the article.
He also cites the pharmaceutical company Elli Lilly and its links with Dow Elanco (now Dow Agroscience), maker of the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos. Aventis (formerly Hoeschst and Rhone-Poulenc) and the carbamate insecticide Sevin. Monsanto, maker of Roundup and other herbicides. Zeneca, which, as so often happens, not only manufactures drugs (AstraZeneca), against ailments such as breast or prostate cancer, but also pesticides that, in some cases, McCampbell says, have been associated with the origin or exacerbation of some of the the ailments treated. And the list continues with Pfizer and Abbot Laboratories, Basf, Bayer, ... which combine the manufacture of drugs and pesticides. Novartis, Ciba, Dow, Elli Lilly, BASF, Aventis, Bayer,… and other companies (Dupont, Merck, Roche, Procter & Gamble,…) would be members of the American Chemical Council, of which we previously spoke (a lobby of the chemical industry ) ".
This relationship is therefore clear and as Carlos expresses:
It does not take too keen to realize that the possible repercussions of what we are saying here can go far beyond what is being reported about MCS and extend, in general, to many other diseases that a growing scientific literature is associating to certain chemicals. The health effects of the denounced situation would thus simply be devastating. The journalist continues, citing McCampbell again according to which the pharmaceutical industry is' spreading disinformation about MCS and limiting the amount of correct information received by doctors and other health professionals through its financial influence on medical journals, conferences and research ', as well as through its influence in entities such as the American Medical Association.
For all these reasons, I think it is especially important to disseminate information on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity because it offers us the true dimension of the pollution that surrounds us, of the mistake that our lifestyle implies and because it is a disease that will continue to go unnoticed precisely because Since these people cannot tolerate toxic chemicals, no drug can "cure" them, so they are not interesting for pharmaceutical companies.
It is clear that this industry is also the sister of chemistry, so there is a strategic commercial interest in hiding environmental diseases. Let's not forget that thanks to the people who suffer MCS, we can know which are the sources of chemical contamination that make us sick and which diseases are related to toxins. It is urgent to apply measures to avoid this pollution. The existence of people with chemical hypersensitivity evidences the paradox that those who sell toxic chemicals that make the public sick are in many cases the same as those who sell drugs to treat the diseases caused.
Miguel Jara - May 20, 2009 - http://migueljara.wordpress.com
 Vicente Boix, The hammock park: The chemist who hit the poor, Icaria, 2007.