Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

FDA Tracked Tainted Drugs Sold in Haiti

F.D.A. Tracked Tainted Drugs, but Lost Trail in China By WALT BOGDANICH After a drug ingredient from China killed dozens of Haitian children a decade ago, a senior American health official sent a cable to her investigators: find out who made the poisonous ingredient and why a state-owned company in China exported it as safe, pharmaceutical-grade glycerin. The Chinese were of little help. Requests to find the manufacturer were ignored. Business records were withheld or destroyed. The Americans had reason for alarm. �The U.S. imports a lot of Chinese glycerin and it is used in ingested products such as toothpaste,� Mary K. Pendergast, then deputy commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, wrote on Oct. 27, 1997. Learning how diethylene glycol, a syrupy poison used in some antifreeze, ended up in Haitian fever medicine might �prevent this tragedy from happening […]

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