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Double-speak and Deception

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"Drug Discovery Technology 2001" takes place in Boston from August 12th to the 17th. Attendee participation has increased from 500 to 4,000 in six years, and drug discoveries have multiplied like mushrooms.

"Drug Discovery Technology 2001" takes place in Boston from August 12th to the 17th. Attendee participation has increased from 500 to 4,000 in six years, and drug discoveries have multiplied like mushrooms. At least 66 companies are expected to launch totally new biotech products: some familiar names are Bayer Corporation, Packard Bioscience, Axiom Biotechnologies and Aptus Genomics.
This so-called "scientific" event lists such seminar titles as "Negotiating and Valuing Drug Discovery Technology Deals"; "Creative Partnering" and "Deal-Making in Drug Discovery." It's about the "expanding importance" of strategic alliances and licensing agreements in an industry that depends on partnering for its stated goal: "to revolutionize the practice of medicine."

The senior vice president of Pfizer promises "news levels of drug discovery . . . in our post-genomic era." Innovative is the buzz-word. Drug Discovery will teach would-be players how to get FDA approval and slide the done deals past the opposition of "we, the people," who are, of course, the end market! And the guinea pigs.

Last month there was a similar, though scaled-down, conference in San Diego: "Nutracon 2001 for Nutraceuticals, Services and Sources." It addressed the growing need for strategic partnerships for marketing, investment and international corporate interests in the nutraceutical industry, as well as learning how to capitalize on "the virtually unexplored realm of the international marketplace." (Nutraceuticals is a code word for food biotechnology.)

In a first-of-its-kind forum, "distinguished" academics and medical doctors were brought together with the buyers and sellers of proprietary technology and top-level executives from food pharmaceuticals--biotech, natural and organic products industries and university researchers.

Patents and Partners
The conference was about patents, partnerships and corporate mergers. Seminars featured leading-edge "novel" foods, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements and the development of "natural bio-activities with large-scale market potential."

All double-speak.

Back here at home our ailing Health Canada tries to give the appearance that it's doing its job of informing and protecting us against the exploitation of such international drug racketeers. Bumbling officers keep up the barrage of press releases in an attempt to relieve the national anxiety regarding the future of our food and yet accommodate global corporate greed.

Last June, for instance, Health Canada offered a four-and-a-half hour workshop in Ottawa on the globalization of health. The subject was, ostensibly, the control of communicable disease and improving the health of poor populations. The presenters were predictable: mainstream bureaucrats, public health officers and global propagandists from the United Nations and World Bank. Mass vaccination of Third World populations was probably first on the list of "public good." I didn't attend.

Another token Health Canada press advisory was the withdrawal of drug products containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA), a drug ingredient widely used for years as a nasal decongestant. (Health Canada finally "completed an assessment of the safety of PPA and as a result, drug products containing it are withdrawn"!)

Health Canada bureaucrats don't test drugs before approving them, hence officers have become experienced at mopping up operations after disaster strikes. In the face of the genetic engineering of our foods and pharmaceuticals, they seem to
be setting themselves up for long-term employment!

Yet with all this strategizing, rest assured that the drug lords are not confident that they can move ahead with their global agenda. They're nervous, which is why the subterfuge. Biotech companies need both investor funds and the biotechnicians who will carry out their bidding. They need the media on their side. And they need to cast a cloak of deception over the eyes of consumers, 'cause we've stepped in their way before.

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