Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

 

5-4 Winter 1981

December 1981
 

EDITORIAL - 5.4

Recently we have altered the format, length, and approach of the Newsletter. We would welcome any comments our readers might offer concerning these changes.

THE SALE OF INEFFECTIVE DRUGS

Robbins, the US manufacturer of Dalcon Shields, has been plagued by litigation surrounding this contraceptive device. In an attempt to redirect marketing efforts towards another product, Robbins is currently promoting Robitussin, a cough preparation. Today nearly eight percent of Robbin's gross sales come from the sale of Robitussin. Sales are increasing 30 percent per year.

THE DRUG TRADE - INTERNATIONAL ACTION

International attention should focus on the establishment of a single ethical standard that requires companies to give the same information about usage, dosage, and side effects of drugs throughout the world. Thus, each drug would include the information required in the country with the most stringent regulations; in addition, the information should be available in the appropriate language.

SOME DRUGS COMMONLY MISUSED IN THE THIRD WORLD

ADRIAMYCIN - This toxic chemotherapeutic agent was being sold as an antibiotic on a shelf next to such antibiotics as stretomycin by a street vendor in Rangoon, Burma, in 1979. The drugs were sold for the same ailments simply because the names sounded alike.

MEDICINAL DRUGS IN THE THIRD WORLD

The most frequently used remedies for health problems in the Third World are drugs and vaccines. Evans, Hall, and Warford, in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), write, "In looking to the future...[health] problems may [result from the] excessive and irrational use of drugs..." The pharmaceuticals industry is a big foreign exchange earner for developed countries.

VASECTOMY

Vasectomy has become an extremely popular method of contraception. In the US alone, more than 10 percent of men with wives of childbearing age have undergone vasectomy. In India, Japan, and South Korea, more than 13 million vasectomies were performed by 1977; since that time the procedure has increased worldwide.

POPULATION CONTROL

Population control, the catch word of the 1950s and 1960s, is the silent reality of the 1970s and 1980s. Predictably, Third World populations have borne the brunt of new drug experimentation and resulting population control policies. Experimental contraceptives was sponsored by SEATO in Bangladesh. Women in Puerto Rico and Mexico were used to test contraceptives without their consent.

AMUESHA LAND RIGHTS ANNULLED - PERUVIAN GOVERNMENT FAVORS CATHOLIC CHURCH

The Amuesha community of Tsachopen has often been a barometer for Peruvian native communities, indicating what was to befall them. On 20 October 1981, the government of Fernando Belaunde Terry arbitrarily and illegally annulled the land title of Tsachopen in order to return those lands to the local Franciscan Mission.

PESTICIDES AND NATIVE PEOPLE - COLOMBIA

Although chemical eradication of Colombian marijuana is still in the planning stages, the current activities of "Anti-narcotics Police" have made native people easy and frequent targets, as illustrated by the following letter from individuals of the Guajira peninsula to the Colombian Minister of Agriculture, a copy of which was sent to Cultural Survival. Dear Mr. Minister, 1 May 1981