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Originally published July 15 2010

Call for Accountability of Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries

by M.Thornley

(NaturalNews) In "The Greening of Medicine, Part 1" published in The Epoch Times, June 24-30, 2010, MD Ronald D. Whitmont demands that the "medical and pharmaceutical industries be held accountable for their role in the current environmental crisis." He points to mounting evidence that growing levels of pharmaceutical waste is accumulating in water supplies all over the world. Whitmont also points to growing evidence that allopathic medicines hurt patients more than help them.

Whitmont's is one of many vociferous voices raised in protest against environmental degradation and assault by pharmaceuticals, and the ineffectiveness of drugs in medical intervention.

These ineffective drugs are consumed routinely and then excreted into the environment, invading areas once held to be "pristine and remote." Whitmont charges, "The medical industry, long known to over-prescribe and over-utilize medications in most conditions, has sown the seeds of a disturbing environmental crisis."

Because the pharmaceutical industry does not accept the premise that its products can cause harm, it has not attempted to monitor the effects of these products on the environment. However, studies show that anti-inflammatory medicines and derivatives of estrogen affect other living systems in ways that are not yet understood but are beginning to manifest in changes in mating behavior and sexual development in fish and mammals.

Whitmont`s contentions about the gradual saturation of global water supplies are supported by many studies. Two recent studies of the effect of effluent water on adult fish in the UK and Canada found intersexual changes due to estrogen derivatives. Other effects were altered DNA integrity and immune cell numbers and the loss of ability to breakdown pollutants.

Concern about the effects of pharmaceuticals on water supplies began in Europe approximately ten years ago when German environmental scientists found contaminants in groundwater. Other European researchers also found chemotherapy and other drugs in groundwater.

In the mid 1990s a chemist in Wiesbaden, Germany investigated what happens to prescribed medicines. Expecting to find only a few excreted medicinal compounds, he found many: lipid-lowering drugs, antibiotics, analgesics, antiseptics, beta-blocker heart drugs and others.

The Human Genome Project will result in many more drugs, researchers fear, as this project aims to find drug targets for common diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer`s. Drug companies are investing substantial amounts of money into mapping the human genome in the hope that new drug targets will be developed, leading to substantial profits for drug companies. Christian G. Daughton and Thomas A. Ternes wrote, "This explosion in new drugs will severely exacerbate our limited knowledge of drugs in the environment and possibly increase the exposure/effects risks to nontarget organisms."

Finally, the overprescribing of medication is staggering. In 2003 3.4 billion prescriptions were filled in the US, or 11.7 prescriptions for each of the 290 million people in the country. Many of those patients are given inappropriate drugs. More than 1.5 million people are hospitalized and more than 100,000 die each year from adverse reactions to drugs.

Drugs of questionable effect, that result in death or injury to humans at one end of the scale, later enter the environment where they proceed to contaminate effluent and groundwater throughout the world at the other end. They are then ingested by wildlife for whom they were never intended, and so continue to spread destruction in an ever-widening swath like water ripples on a pond.

Pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession should be held accountable for what they have done.

1.Filby, A. T. (2007, September 5). Health impacts of estrogens in the enviroment, considering complex mixture effects. Retrieved June 27, 2010, from Enviromental Health News: http://http://www.environmentalhealthnews.or...
2.Nyakuma, B. (2009, 4 8). The Environmental Effects of (Excreted) Phamaceuticals. Retrieved June 27, 2010, from Nigerians in America:
3.Pharmaceuticals in Our Water Supply. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2010, from Water Resources Research Center:
4.Ronald D. Whitmont, M. (2010, June 24-30). The Greening of Medicine, Part 1. The Epoch Times , p. B3.

About the author

M. Thornley enjoys walking, writing and pursuing a raw vegan diet and lifestyle.

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