WikiLeaks Africa

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Elizabeth Dickinson, assistant managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine and former Nigeria correspondent for the Economist, talks about what the WikiLeaks cables have revealed about Nigeria and Sudan.


Elizabeth Dickinson

Comments [13]

Paul is right. He raised problems that the second caller did not address in his putative rebuttal. As the second caller said, the issue of bribery is a different one from that of unethical testing, but Paul's whole point was that the unethical testing issue is not to be dismissed with a discussion that only covers corporate PR problems.

Which seemed to be the only frame that Elizabeth Dickinson was comfortable talking about. Roughly, "Regardless of the facts, the reality on the ground is that people don't trust Pfizer and aren't getting vaccines at all." Elizabeth deferred to Paul's assessment, then to the second caller's contradicting one as well, because both she and the second caller agreed that the real problem here was one of public perception of vaccines. It sounded to me like the real problem here was one of corporate malfeasance; the WikiLeaks cables are a good vehicle to get back to the original story, not to obfuscate.

Also, Brian, it's not illegitimate on its face for people to file a $6b lawsuit. It's just unprecedented because private citizens don't exactly get a fair shake against multinational corporations. The Indian government originally demanded $3b after Bhopal, ended up getting $300 million. Specifics aside, which is more suspect here--the original demand or the amount by which the final payment fell short of that?

What would it cost to clean up the Niger River Delta, and would a demand for those cleanup costs to be paid for by the polluting companies be subject to your suspicion?

Dec. 20 2010 12:27 PM

racism is real
so black people aren't paranoid
when they say they don't trust the medical establishment
if there is there a god, will they burn in hell?

Dec. 15 2010 03:49 PM
Paul I. Adujie from New York, United States

Deadly Medicine

Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year. Will that number go up, now that most clinical trials are conducted overseas—on sick Russians, homeless Poles, and slum-dwelling Chinese—in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent, the F.D.A. doesn’t reach, and “mistakes” can end up in pauper’s graves? The authors investigate the globalization of the pharmaceutical industry, and the U.S. Government’s failure to rein in a lethal profit machine.

Read More

Dec. 15 2010 12:40 PM
Paul I. Adujie from New York, United States

Here are the issues again, featured today on Leonard Lopate... the power of corporate giants, especially, the pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical companies, just like other corporate giants or multinationals, act as though human lives are of less value on the African continent or outside western nations

Deadly Medicine: Overseas Drug Testing

Vanity Fair contributing editors Donald L. Barlett and James Steele talk about the rise of pharmaceutical testing overseas, where it’s cheap and regulation-free. In “Deadly Medicine,” in the January issue of Vanity Fair magazine, they look at the issues this latest step in globalization raises.

Dec. 15 2010 12:35 PM

I wonder if there is anything about W.D Hamilton's expedition into the Congo to study the link between HIV and polio vaccines that lead to his eventual death due to his contraction of a lethal disease...

Dec. 15 2010 11:50 AM
Paul I. Adujie from New York, United States

I am surprised at the caller, who claimed to be medical research/scientist... parsing words, engaging in semantics and polemics.... saying that FDA prevented Pfizer from using Trovan because it was untested, then, the caller went ahead to say, it was okay to use Trovan on children in Kano Nigeria, children who were under 14! What exactly is the difference between children under 14 years old in Kano Nigeria and other children of same age elsewhere?

Pfizer was forbidden or prohibited from using Trovan on children under 14 years old, this is the fact!

We too spoke about Pfizer's shenanigans ... we spoke right here on NVS... and we feel vindicated by all these leaks...

1. Kano-Nigeria Versus Pfizer Pharmaceuticals; An Update. Wednesday, 08 August 2007

2. Kano-Nigeria Versus Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Dec. 15 2010 11:33 AM
john from office

No one cares about africa.

Dec. 15 2010 11:23 AM
I'm wondering

Speaking of drug trafficking, has anyone calculated exactly how much coke, weed and meth we consume in the United States?

Dec. 15 2010 11:22 AM
Lisa Vives from New York, NY

Not to take anything away from your guest speaker, I would urge you to contact the publisher of "Africa's WikiLeaks" - Sowore Omoyele. He produces - the website that exposes corruption in Nigeria through citizen journalism. Westerners are too often the mediators for Africa in the media, in public policy. The African experts are vocal, articulate and should not be overlooked.

Dec. 15 2010 11:18 AM
john from office

Another segment on the subject. This is Brians new, same sex marriage or Abu Garab segements, endless segments on the same subject.

Brian, Wikileaks is not made up of heros, your admiration is misplaced. Anything to bring down the USA and Big business. Your glee in the possiblity of bail being given to this criminal was an embarrassment.

Dec. 15 2010 11:17 AM
sigrid junkermann from NYC

around 2002, there was a major set back in Northern Nigeria regarding the WHO polio elimination campaign, because people refused to get the vaccines. Wonder how much this has to do with the Pfizer situation you are talking about.

Dec. 15 2010 11:16 AM

This is like something out of The Constant Gardener...

Dec. 15 2010 11:15 AM
bernie from bklyn

are you kidding me? how about segments about what big pharma does in THIS country.
they have our politicians bought and sold and their corrupt legislative decisions kill americans EVERYDAY.
what happens in africa is evil and just plain ugly but only because they don't feel the need to try and hide it like they do here. but pfizer and the rest of big pharma do much more damage in this country than anything in africa.

Dec. 15 2010 11:11 AM

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