I started thinking this morning about the speed of change. I was reading yesterday about the plastic microbeads that are in toothpaste and how Crest has said that it will remove them from its toothpaste and that this process will be complete by Spring 2016. The article I was reading was from September 2014. When did it all start? Funnily enough I haven’t yet been able to unearth this particular nugget of information. How did they sneak it in and who the fuck thought that was a good idea? Tiny plastic beads in a product which is used in the mouth? Oh, but it’s OK, the FDA approved it so it must be safe. Never mind the fact that the waste clogs up the waterways and kills our marine life. I’m sure the lobbying to have it declared safe had a nice fat bankroll behind it. Aside from all that – seriously – nearly two years to get it out of the production process?
When e-cigarettes started to gain increasing acceptance, it didn’t take long for most places to jump on the “we don’t know that it’s not potentially harmful so we’ll ban it” bandwagon and within a very short space of time, it was banned from lots of establishments. Most workplaces don’t allow vaping other than in the same places that smokers have to go. Lots of reasons have been touted, none of which hold more water than a leaky sieve. You can bet your arse if the cigarette companies or the drug companies had come up with the idea for ecigarettes, they’d be welcomed all over the world with open arms thanks to a very heavy marketing budget. This started me on my current train of thought.
Is it just when large corporations (with their super large wallets) are involved that the speed of change slows down to minimise the impact to their bottom line? Or speeds up when their interests (financial or otherwise) are threatened? Do you need a big fat wad of cash in order to be able to effect change in a reasonable space of time?
The more that I read about the problems caused by misdiagnosis of simple vitamin deficiencies and the somnolent pace of change within the medical establishment (which seems to be governed/dictated by the big drug companies in the main) the more things I find that seem to support this theory. Although I’ve mentioned it before, the fact that H.Pylori was discovered in 1982 yet its knowledge was seemingly suppressed (or kept quiet, whichever way you want to look at it) until well into the noughties also seems to support the notion that the drug companies are very good at protecting their patents and profits.
I say “simple vitamin deficiencies” but the fact is that, for a lot of people, there’s nothing simple or minor about the symptoms that this can cause and people have died because of the lack of care in this particular sphere of medicine. I mean – why worry about advocating buying and taking a few simple over the counter remedies with which the chances are pretty high that your symptoms will be addressed or even disappear in short order when you can be prescribed horribly expensive drugs which make more and more money for a faceless corporation? Then you may have side effects from said drugs and be prescribed yet more drugs to counteract them. It’s an ever-increasing customer base that just keeps bolstering the profits isn’t it? Drug companies want customers, not cures after all and they can’t patent vitamins or make money out of them.
Sigh. I suppose they say that money makes the world go round for a reason. I seem to be going around the same circle as in The Altar of Money …