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38 people found this helpful
on August 22, 2010
Corrupt to the Core is a shocking book. Even for cynics that understand the huge buying power of big pharma and its corrupting influence, it is really sobering to read how the bureaucrats within Health Canada (Canada's FDA) do the bidding of the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Shiv Chopra comes across as hugely old fashioned - a brutally honest, incorruptible scientist - the kind of scientist that many Canadians expect all scientists to act like. For over 30 years, he toiled within the bowels of Health Canada's agricultural division. His job was to assess products for animals and decide whether they were suitable. That's what he thought his job was, anyway. His bosses, who were mostly appointed Managers, not scientists, believed that his job was to quickly approve and rubber stamp agricultural products that the big companies like Monsanto wanted approved.
He also spent some time in the division of Health Canada that looks after humans, where he did things like questioning the anthrax scare and the myth of safe and effective vaccines. This behaviour alone probably explains why he had to work in the other division and was not politically suitable for approving drugs designed for people.
His attitude created a long lasting conflict that did nothing for Dr. Chopra's career prospects. Not that he would have been any good as a Manager anyway, he would have had to sell his soul for that. And besides, Health Canada clearly did not want real scientists in Managerial positions. They had to be apparatchiks that did exactly what their political masters instructed them to do.
So Dr. Chopra was a huge pain in the ass to these Managers whose performance was probably related to how many chemical products their department approved. They even accepted phone calls from Monsanto executives complaining about the long approval process and shared with them the names of researchers working on their application! Then they would chew out the scientists that were "holding up the approval". Never mind if the chemicals, like bovine growth hormone, caused weird abnormalities in cows and their calves. The beef would still taste the same, right?
So he had to go. They finally arranged for a trumped up failure (a job that he could not do ethically) and let him go, after 34 years in Health Canada.
What would be really interesting now is another book by a similar minded scientist in the people division of Health Canada where they approve all the drugs that kill so many Canadians. According to Doctor Carolyn Dean, in her book Death by Modern Medicine, this is one of the chief causes of death of Canadians. (although it goes unrecorded)
That probably won't happen. People like Dr. Chopra come along very rarely. We owe him a debt of thanks for revealing the ugly truth. Health Canada is not in the business of protecting Canadians, but protecting large company's profits. If Canadians die because of that, so be it.