Exploiting Poor Nations for Their Bio Information

David Trammel's picture

Not sure why I didn't realize that Big companies were doing this, but then they have been exploiting the resources of poor countries for centuries.

Colonialists Are Coming for Blood -Literally

"During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, medical workers collected hundreds of thousands of samples of blood from victims and those presumed to be infected, in an effort to stem an epidemic that eventually took more than 11,000 lives.

After that outbreak subsided, most of the samples were believed to have been destroyed. But recent reporting by The Telegraph in London revealed that thousands of samples were not destroyed but, rather, shipped out of West Africa. The samples’ location isn’t clear—The Telegraph’s freedom of information request was turned back by the UK government—but they are believed to be in the custody of national health agencies, and possibly pharmaceutical companies, in Western Europe and the United States.

That those samples passed out of the countries where they originated is a scandal in the making, because if they provide the raw material for diagnostics or remedies made by Western companies, those products may be unaffordable to the countries where the samples originated."

ClareBroommaker's picture

In the 1980's I heard about the "vampire caves of Nicaragua," where, during the Somoza regime, the poor sold their blood for the equivalent of $1.25https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Company-of-US-backed-Somoza-Sucked-N... I was very touched by this because I could picture the times my mother had sold her own blood, or more profitably, platelets and other blood solids, and returned home lugging a 10 pound bag of potatoes with which to feed her kids. This is one of my symbols for my mother. It is a Christian symbol, but it fits very well for my mother.

There is also the fact that many women in Asia have sold their hair for the making of wigs and hair extensions for people in other parts of the world.

I remember my Anatomy and Physiology professor solemnly asking students to show respect for the human bones we would use in his lab. He did not say so, but I knew that the bones were mostly purchased in his own home country and that it would have been the desperately poor families, or perhaps jailers, who sold these remains for the education of students in the US.

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