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How 'bout some antifreeze in your kid's cough syrup?
May 7, 2007 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Fake Chinese Gylcerin kills hundreds, possibly thousands. So, if you thought melamine in pet food and food chain animal feed was bad, how do you feel about antifreeze in your medicine? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to drug manufacturers, suppliers and health professionals that counterfeit drug additives have been using diethyline glycol, or DEG (commonly used as antifreeze) as a substitute for glycerin in cough medicine, fever medication and injectable drugs. Hundreds, possibly thousands have been killed.
posted by dejah420 (79 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
HARRY LIME
Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays.
Diluted penicillin, fake glycerin. Another version of the same old terrible story. Dots, greed.
posted by matteo at 12:20 PM on May 7, 2007 [5 favorites]


Well if it works for French wine...
posted by Gungho at 12:20 PM on May 7, 2007


Holy shit! Someone must have known that that stuff wasn't real, and sold it anyway?

I wonder if this was a result of a sort of 'chain of duplicity' where people bought something thinking it was only slightly less good then it should have been. Like the first guy sells the chemical as "non-food grade only" and then a second person sells it as food grade.

I remember reading a story about someone in china using "industrial" (labeled as not for human consumption) salt in restaurants because it was "cheaper."

As an example, imagine someone tried to pass off methanol and benzene as counterfeit pure Ethanol, thinking it would be used in cars or in industrial processes. A second guy thinks "hey this is pure ethanol, I can use it to make counterfeit beer" and poisons end up in people's drinks, even though no one really knew what was going to happen.

Something like that must have happened, I have a hard time believing that people would knowingly poison thousands of people just for profit.
posted by delmoi at 12:23 PM on May 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


counterfeit beer?

While this is clearly an issue I'd be more impressed by an article on it that didn't cite Wikipedia.
posted by fshgrl at 12:25 PM on May 7, 2007


Way scary.

Check out also the lethal microwave popcorn additive and "Chicken McShitlets".
posted by nickyskye at 12:26 PM on May 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


Well if it works for French wine...

I thought it was Italian wine?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:27 PM on May 7, 2007


Regarding the "thousands", I'm afraid its probably much more than that and deaths are underreported since many wont establish a causal link. I received a disturbing email from a friend of mine in China who says that many people around him, including his own mother-in-law, are affected by this.
posted by vacapinta at 12:28 PM on May 7, 2007


What I don't get about this kind of thing is how somebody figures they aren't going to be caught. If you put poison in cough syrup, people are going to die. And when it turns out they all had a simple cough, and all took the same medicine, and it was all the same lot #, and it all came through YOUR factory, someone's going to check it out.
posted by DU at 12:28 PM on May 7, 2007


This also happened in Haiti in the '90s.
posted by 445supermag at 12:31 PM on May 7, 2007


Wang Guiping, 41, realized he could earn extra money by substituting cheaper, industrial-grade syrup — not approved for human consumption — for pharmaceutical grade syrup. To trick pharmaceutical buyers, he forged his licenses and laboratory analysis reports, records show.

Mr. Wang later told investigators that he figured no harm would come from the substitution, because he initially tested a small quantity. He did it with the expertise of a former tailor.

He swallowed some of it. When nothing happened, he shipped it.


DU: I'd answer your questions but you could try reading the linked articles. They go into depth about the regulations and the profit motive involved.
posted by vacapinta at 12:31 PM on May 7, 2007


OH MY GOD, THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ARE RIGHT ABOUT THE SAFETY OF CHEAPER IMPORTED DRUGS!

Interesting timing of the warning given the legislation currently in Congress.
posted by Slothrup at 12:32 PM on May 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


I know the NYT link is pages and pages long, but it answers the questions about who knew what...and why nobody stopped it.

The counterfeit glycerin passed through three trading companies on three continents, yet not one of them tested the syrup to confirm what was on the label. Along the way, a certificate falsely attesting to the purity of the shipment was repeatedly altered, eliminating the name of the manufacturer and previous owner. As a result, traders bought the syrup without knowing where it came from, or who made it. With this information, the traders might have discovered — as The Times did — that the manufacturer was not certified to make pharmaceutical ingredients.

Page 7 of the article is how everyone passed the buck on testing and stopping the fakes. Pretty much it all came down to "Sorry dude, this isn't my section."
posted by dejah420 at 12:34 PM on May 7, 2007


(This is bad)
posted by Joe Invisible at 12:35 PM on May 7, 2007


Slothrup...interesting point. I hadn't considered that, and I'm usually leading the pack of conspiracy thought. Nice catch. It is indeed interesting that this story is breaking in the U.S now, when it's been an ongoing thing in the other countries mentioned for over 5 years.

(Sorry, not trying to moderate the thread, I just didn't preview in time to see Sloth's comment. I'll shut up now.)
posted by dejah420 at 12:37 PM on May 7, 2007


From the FDA link:

"No evidence indicates that glycerin used in the US has been tainted with the poisonous industrial solvent, the FDA says. But caution needs to be excised [sic] to ensure glycerin used in the country is free of DEG."

I guess they mean the same abundant "caution" that was used to ensure that the US pet food supply was free of rat poison and/or plastic.

And I guess "excised" (versus "exercised") was a nice FDA Freudian slip. Heckuva job, fellas!
posted by blucevalo at 12:40 PM on May 7, 2007


Fortunately, we have impartial regulators in this country...
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:45 PM on May 7, 2007


Worry not, the free market will take care of this. Wall Street is already selling antifreeze short.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:50 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


matteo: point of information, Graham Greene hated that monologue - Welles came up with it and put it in there. Not a bad line, but an interesting sidenote nonetheless.
posted by chlorus at 12:53 PM on May 7, 2007


OH MY GOD, THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ARE RIGHT ABOUT THE SAFETY OF CHEAPER IMPORTED DRUGS!

Interesting timing of the warning given the legislation currently in Congress.


American media, right and left, has been on a wave of reporting highly critical of China lately, from bad medicine to energy to finance. I wonder what's afoot in the halls of power.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 PM on May 7, 2007


OH MY GOD, THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ARE RIGHT ABOUT THE SAFETY OF CHEAPER IMPORTED DRUGS!

Even so, consumers ought to make their own evaluations of the countries they import from, and be allowed to take whatever risk they feel is nessisary, or non-existant. It's not like Canada dosn't have an equivilant of an FDA.
posted by delmoi at 12:58 PM on May 7, 2007


Slothrup...interesting point. I hadn't considered that, and I'm usually leading the pack of conspiracy thought. Nice catch. It is indeed interesting that this story is breaking in the U.S now

Now that you mention it, dejah, did you or anyone else get a wierd "rah, rah FDA!" vibe from that NYTimes article? Especially where they were praising the FDA's efforts around the world.
posted by vacapinta at 1:01 PM on May 7, 2007


The lesson to draw from these incidents isn't that foreign trade is bad, or that market economics is bad, but that both require effective regulatory structures to work. I've lived long enough to have watched consumer scares with every burgeoning new heavy trading partner the US has traded with in the last thirty years. In each case, there was truth to the scare/complaint—initial quality was lower than consumers were use to and regulatory agencies in both countries lagged behind the trade. But they eventually catch up (I'm not claiming it's good that they lag or making excuses for this) and, in the end, American consumers get more goods at better prices. This will be the case with China. Our trade with China benefits both nations and, even if we didn't trade as much with them, the 21st century will undoubtedly belong to the Chinese. They're going to dominate the world one way or another, we're better off if we link our fortunes to each other.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:02 PM on May 7, 2007


What's sort of ironic is that the FDA was established in 1938 following the death of 137 people from diethylene glycol in a sulfanilamide syrup. Same shit, different day ...
posted by Quietgal at 1:03 PM on May 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


I wonder what's afoot in the halls of power.

The Chinese won't like it if we bomb Iran. Sets the stage nicely if the nasty ol' Chinese are pre-vilified. Like France.
posted by tkchrist at 1:04 PM on May 7, 2007


Oops, the FDA was established in 1930, but the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 actually gave it some teeth.
posted by Quietgal at 1:05 PM on May 7, 2007


Page 7 of the article is how everyone passed the buck on testing and stopping the fakes. Pretty much it all came down to "Sorry dude, this isn't my section."

Usually it boils down to CYA. If I test the material for quality, what are my outcomes?

A) the material fails, and now that I've conducted the test legal responsibility rests with me. I have to get rid of the noncomplying material at my cost, because suing a company in China is an exercise in futility.

B) the material passes, and now I have to pass along the cost of testing to the end user, who will probably just save the 7 cents and buy from someone else.

...or I could just not test at all and rely on the manufacturer certification. If that cert turns out to be faked, I can disclaim any responsibility because hey, the manufacturer lied to me! I'm a victim too!

Take a wild guess which option is more popular with CEOs.

The only way this is going to change is for the Chinese authorities to start caring about the matter. Right now, they don't, and why should they? It's not costing them a dime. US companies didn't care about toxic products until it hit them in the pocketbook either.

Once China starts behaving like a mature economy with the appropriate legal structures, some other country will come along to fill the low end gap. Every time we say China today, just paste in Sudan tomorrow. Or whomever else rises to the occasion.
posted by aramaic at 1:11 PM on May 7, 2007


Guipang, his family, and everyone he ever cared about should be publicly executed. What a fucking monster.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:18 PM on May 7, 2007


I wonder what's afoot in the halls of power.

It's a complete derail, but for what it's worth: I feel that the wave of "negative reporting" about China is a function of its recent prosperity. Now that it's increasingly being perceived as a wealthy industrialized nation, our expectations are higher: we expect the sort of regulatory bodies and oversight that we have here, and those don't crop up overnight, prosperity or no.
posted by phooky at 1:19 PM on May 7, 2007


I agree with EB and aramaic and suggest that since continued trade is pretty much a given, concerned people outside China should support whatever initiatives in your polity help with governance reform here.
As it stands in China at the moment, there's already legislation in place making this kind of thing illegal, and protecting worker's rights, the environment, and so on. The next step is to get it properly enforced.
posted by Abiezer at 1:21 PM on May 7, 2007


So, I'm not sure - will this _new_ cough syrup get me high like the _ old_ cough syrup?
posted by From Bklyn at 1:26 PM on May 7, 2007


China, when it does act, tends to act very harshly. If some chinese do die as a result of this, and someone cuts through the BS and actually charges someone, it is not at all out of the question that they will be put to death. It bothers me that I feel satisfied at that outcome, even though I am pretty vehemently against the death penalty. There is something about being utterly reckless with people lives to save a penny that really gets under my skin; very few crimes bug me as much. I guess it is easy to pass off many as mental deficiency, or perhaps rage, or poor upbringing, but the likes of this strikes me as being much more evil then your average murderer (or even exceptional one).
posted by Bovine Love at 1:27 PM on May 7, 2007


Optimus Chyme writes "Guipang, his family, and everyone he ever cared about should be publicly executed. What a fucking monster."

Nice troll.
posted by Bugbread at 1:30 PM on May 7, 2007


we expect the sort of regulatory bodies and oversight that we have here, and those don't crop up overnight, prosperity or no.

Good point, Phooky. Actually, those kinds of things absolutely don't just crop up over night: the people struggle and struggle to get them in place for 75 years or so, until one day a "conservative" movement sweeps through the political landscape bringing with it a sustained, systematic campaign to dismantle the entire system as quickly as possible.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:31 PM on May 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


To trick pharmaceutical buyers, he forged his licenses and laboratory analysis reports, records show.

Mr. Wang later told investigators that he figured no harm would come from the substitution, because he initially tested a small quantity. He did it with the expertise of a former tailor.


Here's the cultural problem - on some level he sees even valid licenses and reports as meaningless pieces of paper, i.e. something you can get if you pay someone for them. They are unrelated to facts about the underlying products. So he substitutes his own test - he drinks it, doesn't feel sick, therefore it's ok.

China will be undone by greed - the same thing that's ruined everyone else.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Nice troll.

It's not a troll. You just don't agree with his point of view.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:37 PM on May 7, 2007


Blazecock Pileon writes "It's not a troll. You just don't agree with his point of view."

I'm pretty sure it's a troll, in the old-school sense of "saying something just to get a rise", not the new-school "saying something controversial" sense. You can't really say "People shouldn't kill innocents. It's terrible. I therefore advocate killing this guilty person, plus a bunch of innocents." It's a self-negating statement. I'd normally ascribe it to hypocrisy, but it was so succinct, and the hypocrisy so bare, that I can't really imagine it could have been made without OC noticing and intending that hypocrisy. The only possible reason I can think of is that he's trying to get a rise out of people by saying something he doesn't actually believe.
posted by Bugbread at 1:44 PM on May 7, 2007


You can't really say "People shouldn't kill innocents. It's terrible. I therefore advocate killing this guilty person, plus a bunch of innocents."

Of course you can. People have made that moral calculation as a deterrant method for millenia. Someone else might not agree with you, but the concept of bloody vengeance, rational or not, is older than civilizations.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:51 PM on May 7, 2007


Ok. Fair 'nuff. The juxtaposition of the two parts was so sharp that I thought it was intentional.
posted by Bugbread at 1:58 PM on May 7, 2007


bugbreadYou can't really say "People shouldn't kill innocents. It's terrible. I therefore advocate killing this guilty person, plus a bunch of innocents."

I believe the term is Administrative Massacre
posted by Bovine Love at 2:05 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


In other news: North Korea fails nuclear bomb test. Sources say the cause was excess butter in their plutonium.
posted by Anything at 2:09 PM on May 7, 2007


I think the Chinese might secretly be at war with all of us.
posted by dopamine at 2:12 PM on May 7, 2007


Guipang, his family, and everyone he ever cared about should be publicly executed. What a fucking monster.

Probably he is going to be executed, once the Chinese find someone who will pay for his heart for a transplant.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:14 PM on May 7, 2007


This has really been a bad few weeks for importing shit from China.
posted by graventy at 2:16 PM on May 7, 2007


Last year I had a bad cold and went out and bought some cough medicine. The CF variety seemed to cover my symptoms and I usually buy generic as it's exactly the same stuff (usually), it was either Duane Reade (NY only) or CVS, I'm not sure anymore as I threw away the bottle with extreme prejudice. Both times I used it, I felt like I had broken glass in my stomach with weird shooting jolts of pain. I asked the pharmacist about it, and she said, it shouldn't do that at (even if one is on other medication). And I'm ready to think that this article explains the reason why...

The Chinese have learned the lessons of capitalism extremely well. Who oversees this shit anyway, and has it been gutted by the Bush Administration?
posted by Skygazer at 2:23 PM on May 7, 2007


Guipang, his family, and everyone he ever cared about should be publicly executed. What a fucking monster.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:18 PM on May 7


Well, at least prosecuted for homicide.
posted by caddis at 2:27 PM on May 7, 2007


Skygazer writes "Who oversees this shit anyway, and has it been gutted by the Bush Administration?"

No. As the Exile link from nickyskye noted:

"In 1996, the Clinton Administration introduced new guidelines, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program, which took federal inspectors out of the line and handed responsibility of oversight, including inspecting the amount of feces in the chicken... to the industry producers themselves!

What is the result? Drum roll please...

The incidence of salmonella-infected US chicken has risen from 29% in 1969 to up to 60% of chicken sold today.

Who woulda thunk that appointing an industry to monitor itself for health violations would, like, put profits over people's health. Isn't the magical free market supposed to take care of that?

Nope. Here's proof. In a recent report by the USDA s Office of Inspector General, 210 inspectors (out of 327 responding) indicated that since HACCP began at their plant, there have been instances when they have not taken direct action against contamination (feces, vomit, metal shards, etc.) that they observed and would have taken action under the old system. Of those, 206 said this occurs daily or weekly.

Inspectors now derisively call the HACCP "Have A Cup of Coffee and Pray.""

posted by krinklyfig at 2:29 PM on May 7, 2007


You know, I read all the jokey comments and it's-a-conspiracy comments...and think about my kid, who is sick, and who is about to need a new bottle of children's medicine if he doesn't improve tomorrow. What do I do..watch his fever rise, or take a chance the children's Tylenol will kill him because no one gave a fuck about checking the ingredients?

And you know, this isn't a joke, people. This is your food and medicine, this is the food your kids eat, and it can kill you.

I read bloggingbaby.com every day...and almost every day there's a recall on Chinese-made children's toys and jewelry containing high levels of good old-fashioned lead. How many kids ingested some before it was found...how many are ingesting some right now?

And why doesn't this get more attention? Do we really not give a shit if our kids keel over or get brain damage because oh well, that's the cost of doing business? Does it not matter till it's your kid? Or you?
posted by emjaybee at 2:53 PM on May 7, 2007


It's the China Price.
posted by the Real Dan at 3:12 PM on May 7, 2007


Greene hated that monologue

he hated the ending, too. he later realized it was a masterpiece.


once the Chinese find someone who will pay for his heart for a transplant.

maybe it'll even be an American who gets it -- you're sure adopting their kids at record rates, one does not see why you shouldn't be buying their still-pumping hearts, too.
posted by matteo at 3:20 PM on May 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


what the fuck is going on with china right now?! how is it that all of this is coming out in a scant period of months after decades of us getting virtually every manufactured product from there? (not claiming china has a flawless history, just saying that we've never seen anything like this string of problems before despite heavy importing and overseas manufacturing) i mean, is there some trend or change in the political or social climate over there that's causing this or are we, for some reason, cracking down on a persistent and long-known-about problem. am i the only one who's starting to feel a little like a conspiracy theorist about this?
posted by shmegegge at 3:23 PM on May 7, 2007


matteo writes "you're sure adopting their kids at record rates, one does not see why you shouldn't be buying their still-pumping hearts, too."

"You gave your wife flowers for her anniversary, one does not see why you shouldn't give her polio,too."
posted by Bugbread at 3:25 PM on May 7, 2007


shmegegge writes "i mean, is there some trend or change in the political or social climate over there that's causing this or are we, for some reason, cracking down on a persistent and long-known-about problem."

It could just be as simple as the "news comes in waves" thing. Some high profile case makes a topic more interesting to the average viewer, which makes papers/stations give other stories about that topic higher priority, increasing interest, in a big feedback loop.

Not saying that's definitely the case, but it's a common enough occurrence in news that it's not an unreasonable possibility.
posted by Bugbread at 3:27 PM on May 7, 2007


As I always sayed, Health is a too big thing to let it in the hands of private sector.
posted by zouhair at 3:30 PM on May 7, 2007


This is all "proof of concept" stuff, kids.

Get ready for when the Chinese REALLY want to f with us.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 3:30 PM on May 7, 2007


*cough*..........*cough cough*............ohs nos teh meds!
posted by Wonderwoman at 3:38 PM on May 7, 2007



And why doesn't this get more attention? Do we really not give a shit if our kids keel over or get brain damage because oh well, that's the cost of doing business? Does it not matter till it's your kid? Or you?

This is what "cutting taxes" looks like.
posted by dilettante at 3:53 PM on May 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


> matteo writes "you're sure adopting their kids at record rates, one does not see why you
> shouldn't be buying their still-pumping hearts, too."

Well, Chicago won't let us make foie gras out of geese any more. Gotta outsource!
posted by jfuller at 3:53 PM on May 7, 2007


Wonderwoman,
Heh, that's real funny. It'll be extra funny when someone's kid or parent is given tainted cough syrup and dies!
posted by Sangermaine at 3:54 PM on May 7, 2007


Diethylene glycol was illegally added to some Austrian wines back 20 years ago or so. Big scandal at the time.
posted by gimonca at 3:58 PM on May 7, 2007


This all follows the Georgia Guidestones.

World leaders are working in collaboration to start on phase one of the plan, maintain humanity under 500,000,000 population. First they have to find the chosen 500,000,000, which will be weeded out by chance, breeding, and wealth accumulation. Then they will begin the breeding program which they tested in China with the limit of 2 children per couple. This initial experiment failed due to lack of control of outcome, but now that science has mapped the human genome, they are confident they can selectively choose the sex of the children instead of leaving it to chance.

The Illuminati, they are watching.
posted by daq at 4:52 PM on May 7, 2007


"The fact that most Americans have never heard of the Georgia Guidestones or their message to humanity reflects the degree of control that exists today over what the American people think."

Nice.
posted by Bugbread at 5:04 PM on May 7, 2007


Everybody Wang hung tonite!
posted by telstar at 5:16 PM on May 7, 2007


nickyskye provided some amazing links....thanks a lot !
The incidence of salmonella-infected US chicken has risen from 29% in 1969 to up to 60% of chicken sold today.Who woulda thunk that appointing an industry to monitor itself for health violations would, like, put profits over people's health. Isn't the magical free market supposed to take care of that? Nope.
Ahhh the invisible hand, so invisible ! You know who has got an invisible hand too ? YEAH, you got it in the sky. Still, the invisible hand makes a quite tangible fist, and I spare you where the fist is being rammed into.
Clinton Administration introduced new guidelines, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program, which took federal inspectors out of the line and handed responsibility of oversight, including inspecting the amount of feces in the chicken... to the industry producers themselves!
Way to go ! Something you'd expect from a free market at all cost think-tank. Actually it sucks will to live, but it quite much shows that industry isn't able to self regulate in the interest of consumer and workers. Must be all the money shoveled toward Congress.
The lesson to draw from these incidents isn't that foreign trade is bad, or that market economics is bad, but that both require effective regulatory structures to work.
Any regulation having a profit reducing effect (or risk increase without a proportional increase in returns) will be eluded one way or another, sooner or later and probably by means of corruption of the regulatory mechanisms and participants. The return from evasion is immediate, as opposed to return in credibility and goodwill which isn't as nearly as predictable nor easily measured or monetized.
until one day a "conservative" movement sweeps through the political landscape bringing with it a sustained, systematic campaign to dismantle the entire system as quickly as possible.
Or an allegedly "progressive" one. I am starting to believe that the problem is always a set of same olds : ignorance, short memory, short sighted greed, obsession with accumulation. Still I exibit all of these defects myself, and others do and are maybe a lot more in denial then me.
posted by elpapacito at 5:21 PM on May 7, 2007



Maybe it'll even be an American who gets it -- you're sure adopting their kids at record rates, one does not see why you shouldn't be buying their still-pumping hearts, too.

Actually, that's all changing now. Lot fewer adoptions because the Chinese have finally realized that exporting all those girls is adding to their population imbalance.

And there is a fierce amount of anti-Chinese stuff being published now, so something is going on. Part may be related to the Olympics, I don't know.

And on another barely related note, when I was in China in 1996, I had occasion to visit a hospital in a rather large city. There were next to zero medicines in the locked medicine cabinets.
posted by etaoin at 6:33 PM on May 7, 2007


You want bugbread troll? I bring bugbread troll.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:26 PM on May 7, 2007


Nice troll.
posted by bugbread at 1:30 PM on May 7


It's way less of a troll than it seems on first glance. While I honestly cannot justify executing innocent people who had nothing to do with Guipang's (or Wang's, however they do it) actions, even putting a bullet in his head is not severe enough punishment for this kind of hideous, horrifying, inhuman atrocity.

Adulterating medication to save like fucking two yuan per bottle and not giving a shit about the consequences to possibly hundreds of thousands of people is literally the worst thing I have ever heard. Even the world record holders in evil, Hitler and Stalin, had some excuse for their crimes - however sick and twisted and bizarre those justifications were - other than "it was a little cheaper." Hell, they probably thought they were making the world a better place. Bin Laden probably did too. But this guy wanted to increase his profit margin by five percent. What the fuck? That's all the lives of thousands upon thousands of innocents meant to this guy? No grand plan? No world-changing scheme? Nope. Saving fucking money on production costs.

What they do to Wang Guiping should be a horror show, a black legend, punishment that even the most cold-hearted of executioners would find inhuman and twisted and unjust. And it will still be better than he deserves.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:07 PM on May 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ooh, the R.C. Christian pseudonym of the guy who put up those guidestones has got to be a reference to Christian Rosenkreutz and the Rosicrucians/Rosy Cross. Doesn't look like the article's author even realizes.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:23 PM on May 7, 2007


Adulterating medication to save like fucking two yuan per bottle and not giving a shit about the consequences to possibly hundreds of thousands of people is literally the worst thing I have ever heard.

How about producing an item you *think* is safe because you don't have the education to know that antifreeze is poisonous? This is what happens when uneducated people go into any kind of health-related business - they think the regulations were made up solely to steal money out of their pockets. They think the guvvmint is out to get them. They will do anything - ANYTHING - to avoid having to follow regulations.

He took a mouthful of it - didn't hurt him, so it won't hurt anyone, ever. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar and probably after his money.
posted by watsondog at 8:47 PM on May 7, 2007


In other China news: China orders resettlement of thousands of Tibetans
posted by homunculus at 9:00 PM on May 7, 2007


You used to be cool, China.
posted by stavrogin at 9:10 PM on May 7, 2007


Have him drink a barrel of that shit. See how much damn money he saves then.
posted by Talanvor at 11:28 PM on May 7, 2007


China: a Great Leap Forward, from Communism straight to Libertarian Deregulation!
posted by orthogonality at 2:39 AM on May 8, 2007


Good job the FDA is here to tell us exactly how bad the situation is.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 3:17 AM on May 8, 2007


China: a Great Leap Forward, from Communism straight to Libertarian Deregulation!
I was going to say something about China embracing free-market capitalism, but this comment will do just fine.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:41 AM on May 8, 2007


If you read the article a little more closely, Wang DID NOT test the diethylene glycol but another syrup which was his first substitution attempt. The anti-freeze was his next attempt to wring even larger profit from fake glycerin.
posted by jadepearl at 6:55 AM on May 8, 2007


Here's another clue as to the timing of this news release. We are all puppets of the pharmaceutical industry:

'Poison pill' kills drug import plan
Safety provision blocks reform push in Senate


By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Tribune Newspapers: Los Angeles Times; Tribune staff reporter Ray Long in Springfield and The Associated Press contributed to this report Published May 8, 2007

WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Monday effectively killed a measure that would have let Americans buy prescription medicines from foreign suppliers, which sponsors said could have saved consumers billions of dollars.

By a 49-40 vote, senators approved a provision requiring the government to certify that imports are safe -- a step the Bush administration is unlikely to take. The amendment, offered by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), was seen as a major victory for the pharmaceutical industry.


More
posted by mecran01 at 11:03 AM on May 8, 2007


mecran01: yep. this particular spin (poisoned cough syrup in China=dangerous medicine from Canada, good thing that drug import legislation went the way it did...) was being forcefully advanced by an 'expert' guest on the Diane Reams' show on NPR today (over Diane's own protestations, in fact)...
posted by saulgoodman at 11:37 AM on May 8, 2007


FDA: The Faith-Based Dining Administration
posted by homunculus at 8:08 PM on May 8, 2007


Minor update: diethylene glycol is now turning up in toothpaste that was made in China and exported to Central America, too.
posted by dilettante at 11:12 AM on May 23, 2007


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