Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fines have little effectiveness as deterrent against criminal activity

Has anyone ever given consideration as to how safe the foods, drugs, and well, everything in your life really is?  The safety of the things within your existence depend on, humans.  We all know that, and let's face it, for the most part I believe that most people truly think that those things in our lives that are produced for us, things like our food, drugs, clothing etc, are made with the utmost care and attention to making quality wholesome and safe products.  And they are all done under the watchful eye of governmental organizations that are charged with protecting us, the citizens of this country, from any person, persons or companies that might attempt to cause us harm by adulterating, or processing foods, drugs, life products in unsanitary conditions.  Or in the case of big Pharma, selling specific drugs and marketing them as cures for diseases for which they are not shown to have any viable benefits.  In fact the FDA has gone ahead and sought out a few drug companies and has prosecuted them to the fullest extent of the law.  Well sort of.  In the past six years, the FDA has assessed fines against some of the big Pharma companies, to the tune of billions of dollars.  Like the top ten fines assessed against:
1.  2012  GlaxoSmithKline,    3 billion dollars
2.  2009  Pfizer                      2.3 billion dollars
3.  pending, but Johnson & Johnson   between 1.5 and 2 billion dollars
4.  2012   Abbott                  1.5 billion dollars
5.  2009   Eli Lily                   1.4 billion dollars
6.  2011   Merck                   950 million dollars
7.  pending,  Amgen,     estimated at 750 million dollars
8.  2007  Perdue                   624 million dollars
9.  2010  Astra Zeneca         520 million dollars
10  2007  Bristol Meyers      515 million dollars

Those are just the top ten fines assessed.  If you search out any of these companies, there are lots of other fines for doing that exact thing.  Yet for big Pharma, the fines never quite exceed the profits made selling drugs that harm people.  And I don't understand that.  In 1975 the Supreme Court in a decision now called the Park Doctrine, the FDA affirmed their right to bring CRIMINAL charges against corporate executives that violate the regs of the FDA.  And some very stiff monetary and jail time if people are killed.  Yet even though the FDA fought to have the Park Doctrine, they don't exactly use it much. 

(FDA fines Red Cross for mishandling BLOOD)  16.8 million for adulterating America's blood supply.  Wonder about that donation to the Cross now.  But then this is just one of many things about the Red Cross and its management, and well, mismanagement.  Big Pharma, and the Red Cross, yeah, they should be jailed.

Anyway, back to food.  Back in 2008 and 2009 over 3000 people died from eating Salmonella tainted peanut butter.  The PCA corporation processed peanuts in plants that the FDA eventually closed because of horrific unsanitary conditions, even to the point where the roof leaked into vats of peanuts waiting to be processed.  In February of this year, the FDA used the Park Doctrine to indict executives of PCA on criminal charges.  So far, nothing has happened, five years after the fact. 

The thing is, how do we know that our food is safe?  If making more money than you could possibly ever have to pay out as fines means you get rich, then why not just go ahead and do it?  Insurance to pay out death benefits to those killed by corporate malfeasance is actually pretty cheap.  And if the possibility of jail is pretty remote, than the incentive make money by selling drugs that are approved for one purpose to doctors for a myriad of other diseases simply because the drug has a huge number of side effects; then why not sell billions of dollars of the stuff.  If fixing the roof and spending a week cleaning up a factory will make your product safe, but cost money, why do it, money flows whether people get sick or not.  And the thing is, it took the FDA 8 months to track down all those deaths to peanut butter. 

I've talked about this before here, the concept of making millions or even billions is a huge factor in divesting people of their morality; however it also happens to people for just hundreds.  After my divorce, my ex still wanted to sell pasta and so she started to buy pasta from Rossi Pasta in Ohio and she bagged it in her apartment with her 3 cats and labeled it with her label.  I have no idea why, but she labeled it as Vegan Friendly and left eggs out of the ingredients.  (When I made pasta, it did not contain eggs)  How much extra money did she bring in by selling "HER" pasta as vegan?  And what was the risk to her customers for someone buying the stuff that was allergic to eggs?  She did it for a few hundred bucks, not billions.  Greed is a serious problem in the world today, and morality seems to take a back seat to greed in the food industry. 

Be aware, be careful, and read my blog to find out stuff about modern meat, additives, and your health.

1 comment:

  1. Yes yes yes, I screwed up. 3000 people got sick from peanut butter. Sorry