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  1. 01 Jun '16 20:32 / 2 edits
    In December 2015, Tu Youyou (an 85 year old Chinese woman) received
    a Nobel Prize in medicine, in belated recognition of her leading a team
    of Chinese scientists in developing artemisinin, the most effective drug
    against malaria. Sometimes acclaimed as a 'miracle drug' or 'the drug
    of last resort' in apparently hopeless cases, artemisinin already has
    been credited with saving millions of lives.

    I already have written several posts on this subject, and, as I expected,
    received some racist responses from some of the usual suspects.
    Now I have something significant to add about how artemisinin (whose
    development was completed by the early 1970s) was long ignored or
    rejected by most of the Western medical and public health establishments.
    My primary source is _The Fever: How Malaria has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years_ by Sonia Shah.

    Artemisinin was developed by the early 1970s. The first scientific article
    about it in English was not published until 1979. It was met with great
    skepticism in the West. Put simply, Western doctors, scientists, and
    public health officials (perhaps with a few exceptions) refused to believe
    that the 'backward' (if not also 'racially inferior' ) Chinese could possibly
    have developed a drug that was much more effective than the standard
    drug of the time, chloroquine (toward which malaria already had developed
    widespread resistance). And this skepticism and prejudice persisted for decades.
    So, for a long time, artemisinin was available only in China or Vietnam (which received Chinese aid).

    During the 1980s, artemisinin was proven highly successful in reducing
    the incidence of malaria in China. The clinical evidence was there.
    In the meantime, some Western editors of academic journals (according
    to Sonia Shah) deliberately omitted citing references to Chinese scientific
    articles about it. Given it had not been invented in the West, it was as
    like Westerners preferred to believe that artemisinin could not exist.

    The World Health Organization stated it would consider approving artemisinin
    only if China agreed to transfer (for free) its production facilities to the USA.
    Given that the USA had long (since 1949) been imposing a strict embargo
    on technology (including some medical technology) to China, the Chinese
    rejected this demand. Instead, the Chinese attempted to interest a major
    Western pharmaceutical firm into getting a license to produce the drug.
    But no one was interested until 1994, when Novartis obtained the rights,
    leading to Novartis launching the drug (at a high price) in 1999 in the West.

    In the meantime, it was well-known that chloroquine had become largely
    ineffective in treating malaria. But (Western-dominated) international
    public health agencies kept insisting that chloroquine, not artemisinin,
    should be about the only treatment for malaria in the developing world.

    "In a 2003 malaria epidemic n Ethiopia, (UNICEF) expressly refused to
    pay for artemisinin combination drugs. ... On the Myanmar-Thai border,
    the agency supplied nearly useless chloroquine instead."
    --Sonia Shah

    "Between 1999 and 2004, 95 percent of children in Africa got treated with
    the old standby chloroquine. At least half the time, the drug failed to work."
    --Sonia Shah

    By that time, even Western doctors in Africa began to recognize that
    the obstinate determination of Western public health officials to ignore
    artemisinin was resulting in the deaths of many more Africans.
    Some Western doctors regarded it as amounting to criminal negligence.
    Why were so many Westerners so reluctant or unwilling to concede
    that a Chinese drug could be much better than a Western drug?

    It's only been within the last several years that the Western medical
    and public health communities have finally been converted to believing
    in the superior merits of artemisinin (though, before the 2015 Nobel Prize,
    the Western media seldom gave the Chinese credit for developing it).

    To sum up:
    1) A 'miracle drug' against malaria was developed in China.
    2) For many years, Westerners (ranging from scientists to public health
    officials to pharmaceutical firms) refused to take it seriously.
    3) Until about a decade ago, Western-dominated international public health
    agencies insisted on prescribing chloroquine (a drug long known to have
    become widely ineffective) instead of artemisinin in the developing world.
    Therefore, many more people (particularly African children) died of malaria.

    So it seems to me that Western arrogance and racism significantly
    contributed to the extremely slow adoption of a Chinese drug, which
    resulted in the unnecessary deaths of many more non-Westerners.

    Given that Western arrogance and racism have not lessened much, if
    at all, in the past decade or so, one wonders when they will contribute
    to the next unnecessary human tragedy.
  2. 01 Jun '16 21:38
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In December 2015, Tu Youyou (an 85 year old Chinese woman) received
    a Nobel Prize in medicine, in belated recognition of her leading a team
    of Chinese scientists in developing artemisinin, the most effective drug
    against malaria. Sometimes acclaimed as a 'miracle drug' or 'the drug
    of last resort' in apparently hopeless cases, artemisinin already has ...[text shortened]... past decade or so, one wonders when they will contribute
    to the next unnecessary human tragedy.
    Location: Guiyu, China
    Probably the largest site in the world for "e-waste" (un-recycled electronic components) is located in Guiyu. The accumulation of these materials has become such a devastating problem that the entire area has been transformed into a wasteland of dismantled circuitboards and bricked iPhones. Over 80% of the world's discarded electronics end up in Guiyu. Residents suffer from an increased rate of miscarriages, and over 88% of children in the region suffer from lead poisoning.

    Location: Tianjin, China
    Insufficient safety procedures and oversight have been blamed for a chemical warehouse explosion in Tianjin in August of 2015. At least 114 people were killed in the massive blast and ensuing fires, with another 700 injured and thousands more homeless. Toxic fumes unleashed by the explosion also posed a potentially even greater threat to the surrounding area. Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged that the accident reminded Chinese industry of the need for increased workplace safety, describing this and similar disasters as "lessons paid for with blood."

    Location: Dehui, China
    At least 120 workers were killed and roughly 54 others were injured when an explosion went off inside the Baoyuanfeng Poultry Plant in the summer of 2013. Poor safety training and flagrantly unsafe working conditions inside the factory worsened the situation, with many workers collapsing in front of exits that had been locked from the outside to keep them from leaving during the workday. An inadequate number of fire escapes was also cited as a contributing factor.

    Location: Chongqing, China
    On September 7, 2012, residents of Chongqing awoke to discover that the city's Yangtze River had turned vibrantly red overnight. Turns out this wasn't the first time such a thing had occurred in the region: the Jian River in Luoyang had changed color similarly a few months earlier, thanks to a nearby chemical plant illegally dumping toxic dyes into the water. The Yangtze has become one of China's most corrupted rivers, with nearly a 75% increase in pollution over the past 50 years. These dramatic rises in water pollution have resulted in rampant E. Coli infections and up to 50% higher rates of infectious diseases like hepatitis and dysentery.

    Location: Shanxi, China
    Over 40,000 gallons of diesel oil leaked into the Wei river starting in December 2009. Attempts to contain the spill were unsuccessful, and it eventually reached a tributary of Shanxi's Yellow River, which supplies drinking water for millions of people. Initially, reports denied the incident had occurred at all. A deputy director of the Yellow River Water Resources Commission called for an investigation, contradicting claims that the accident was caused by worker negligence.
  3. 01 Jun '16 21:40
    Location: Linfen, Shanxi Province, China
    Due to sloppy enforcement of government safety regulations, an unlicensed landfill mine in Shanxi Province collapsed in 2008, killing at least 250 people and injuring 33, with as many as 500 individuals officially listed as missing or unidentified. In addition to on-site workers, the mudslide affected the adjacent village of Yunhe - its crowded outdoor marketplace was completely destroyed. The Shanxi mudslide also resulted in the displacement of over 1,000 citizens.

    Location: Zouping County, Shandong Province, China
    A total of 14 workers were killed and 59 more were injured when a molten aluminum container exploded at the Weiqiao aluminum plant in Shandong in 2007. Local safety representatives claimed this was the result of a faulty heat liner that should have been replaced, blaming the workers for the accident. National safety officials, however, blamed lax safety regulations, as well as fundamental flaws in the container's design and construction.

    Location: Xintai, Shandong, China
    Just two days prior to the Weiqiao explosion, two mine shafts in Xintai were flooded after heavy rains caused a levee to burst. Following a long rescue effort, between 172 and 181 miners were declared lost or drowned. Though there were many dissenting opinions, some officials were vocal in suggesting that the accident was not merely a natural disaster. One official described the tragedy as "completely avoidable."

    Location: Tieling, Liaoning Province, China
    In 2007, an industrial ladle transporting molten steel from one part of the Qinghe Special Steel factory to another separated from an overhead rail and crashed to the ground. 32 workers were killed and six were injured. An investigation determined that substandard equipment, virtually nonexistent safety regulations, and various other violations were behind the accident. The report went on to criticize the lack of attention to safety considerations throughout the entire Chinese steel industry, describing the accident as the worst industry disaster since 1949.

    Location: Jilin Province, China
    Supposedly due to inadequate response from workers who had been instructed to clear a dangerous blockage in the plant's processing tower, a string of chemical explosions erupted in Jilin City's Jilin Chemical plant in November of 2005. Tens of thousands of nearby citizens were evacuated, dozens of chemical plant workers were injured, and 6 of them were killed. As a byproduct of the explosions, over 100 tons of deadly pollutants were introduced into the nearby Songhua River, polluting nearby groundwater. Officially, the explosions were blamed on workers who inadequately cleared a dangerous blockage in the plant's processing tower.
  4. 01 Jun '16 21:43 / 2 edits
    Location: Kuiyong, Shenzhen, China
    In November of 1993, a fire broke out in of Kuiyong's Zhili Handicraft Factory just outside of Hong Kong. With doors and windows sealed from the outside (supposedly for "security), factory workers were trapped inside the building and unable to escape. At last 80 people - mostly female migrant workers - were killed, and dozens more suffered painful, disfiguring burns. The fire led to such an uproar that, over 20 years latter, it remains a rallying point for organizers in China demanding improved safety regulations.

    Location: Zhumadian City, Henan Province, China
    Thanks partially to faulty construction, the Banquiao Dam in Henan Province failed to contain flooding from massive rainfall in August of 1975. This led to massive damages throughout the region, including approximately 26,000 deaths. The dam's architect had been critical of China's safety regulations, and had originally proposed a far more comprehensive version of the dam, but his initial proposals were rejected. China's government took pains to emphasize the unexpected amount of rainfall that led to the flooding, while also downplaying the lack of foresight in the dam's construction.

    Location: All provinces
    The Great Famine is often cited as one of the worst natural disasters of all time, not only in China, but anywhere in the world. China has a history of alternating droughts and flooding, and the Chinese government has previously tried to attribute the famine to climatic forces. In reality, however, government officials colluded to exaggerate crop yields in order to seize large percentages of rice, grain, and other staple crops from farmers. This left very little food for provincial Chinese citizens to live on, and the result was widespread starvation, disease, and several documented instances of cannibalism. The final death toll is uncertain, but it easily ranks in the tens of millions.

    Location: Laobaidong, Shanxi, China
    China's first runner-up for the dubious honor of "worst coal mining disaster in history" is the Laobaidong Colliery explosion, which was caused by underground methane gas. The Chinese government suppressed all public records of the disaster for over 30 years before finally making some details public in 1992.

    Location: Benxi, Liaoning, China
    Over a third of annual deaths related to coal mining accidents occur in China. One of the most famous incidents occurred in 1942, when an amalgamation of gas and coal dust ignited inside a mine shaft. Hundreds of workers were trapped inside, and the situation was worsened by Japanese guards who sealed off the pit head and ventilators without fully evacuating the shaft first. The final death toll was well over 1,500, making it the most deadly disaster in the history of coal mining.

    Location: Huayuankou, Zhengzhou, China
    There are two different notable Yellow River Floods in China's history, both of which were devastating. The first, which took place in 1887, was an unavoidable result of torrential rains, ultimately killing over 900,000 people. The Yellow River Flood of 1938, however, was no accident - it was strategically planned by the Chinese Nationalist Party as a deterrent to encroaching Japanese forces during the second Sino-Japanese War. As planned, surrounding villages were flooded and destroyed as part of the military strategy. Over 800,000 people died, and millions more were driven from their homes and indefinitely displaced.

    http://www.ranker.com/list/disasters-in-china/devon-ashby
  5. 01 Jun '16 21:54 / 1 edit
    One finds Duchess64's use of a single instance as a vehicle for her hatred and anti western sentiments to be contemptible especially when the system she is advocating could have benefited from western standards of excellence. As an exercise in trolling, its a FAIL!
  6. 01 Jun '16 22:02 / 8 edits
    If a German had won a 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine, then would Robbie Carrobie
    (one of RHP's worst trolls) start cutting-and-pasting details about the Nazi Holocaust?

    The Chinese already know that China has many problems, and many Chinese have
    been doing their utmost--with or without their government's aid--to solve these problems.

    Does Robbie Carrobie believe that Tu Youyou, a Chinese woman, does not deserve a Nobel Prize in medicine?
    Does Robbie Carrobie believe that artemisinin is worthless and should not be used by Westerners?

    If he's ever stricken with life-threatening malaria, would Robbie Carrobie be willing to die
    for his racist 'principles' (we already know that he has none) and refuse to take artemisinin?

    Will Robbie Carrobie urge his fellow Jehovah's Witnesses to refuse to take aremisinin
    if they are stricken with life-threatening malaria resistant to the Western drug chloroquine?

    Evidently, Robbie Carrobie could not care less about the many people (particularly African
    children) whose lives could have been saved if they had been given artemisinin (developed
    by the 'Yellow Peril' in Robbie Carrobie's apparent racist perceptions) rather than chloroquine.

    Here are some comments from a recent thread created by Robbie Carrobie (Clan Forum):

    "I can see why you (Robbie Carrobie) feel no shame, you have no conscience."
    --Very Rusty (to Robbie Carrobie, 30 May 2016)

    "You (Robbie Carrobie) are beneath contempt and you know it."
    --Shortcircuit (to Robbie Carrobie, 31 May 2016)

    In the Spirituality forum, the troll Robbie Carrobie has been condemned by many diverse writers.
    Indeed, as Suzianne wrote, nearly everyone believes that Robbie Carrobie's 'abhorrent'.
    In the long thread (40 pages so far) "Dasa and the Thought Police" (created by Robbie Carrobie),
    many diverse writers condemned Robbie Carrobie for his pathological lying, extreme
    hypocrisy, and many other abuses. No one attempted to defend Robbie Carrobie.
    In that thread, Robbie Carrobie has been condemned by (in alphabetical order):
    DeepThought, Divegeester, Finnegan, FMF, Ghost of a Duke, Googlefudge, Rank Outsider,
    Suzianne, ThinkofOne, Twhitehead, and me.
  7. 02 Jun '16 06:27
    Your love affair with Tu Youyou is getting a little creepy.
  8. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    02 Jun '16 06:53
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Location: Zouping County, Shandong Province, China
    A total of 14 workers were killed and 59 more were injured when a molten aluminum container exploded at the Weiqiao aluminum plant in Shandong in 2007. Local safety representatives claimed this was the result of a faulty heat liner that should have been replaced, blaming the workers for the accident ...[text shortened]... afety regulations, as well as fundamental flaws in the container's design and construction.

    .
    These "National safety advisors" who were critical of the plant ... where were they from?
  9. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    02 Jun '16 06:54
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Location: Tieling, Liaoning Province, China
    In 2007, an industrial ladle transporting molten steel from one part of the Qinghe Special Steel factory to another separated from an overhead rail and crashed to the ground. 32 workers were killed and six were injured. An investigation determined that substandard equipment, virtually nonexistent safety re ...[text shortened]... e Chinese steel industry, describing the accident as the worst industry disaster since 1949.

    This "report" criticising the factory ... who wrote it?
  10. 02 Jun '16 08:11 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    If a German had won a 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine, then would Robbie Carrobie
    (one of RHP's worst trolls) start cutting-and-pasting details about the Nazi Holocaust?

    The Chinese already know that China has many problems, and many Chinese have
    been doing their utmost--with or without their government's aid--to solve these problems.

    Does Robbie Ca ...[text shortened]... n, FMF, Ghost of a Duke, Googlefudge, Rank Outsider,
    Suzianne, ThinkofOne, Twhitehead, and me.
    Tee hee, like any great warrior I chose to be judged by the quality of my enemies, they are in descending order of merit, FMF, divegeester, . . . . Duchess64
  11. 02 Jun '16 08:34
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    These "National safety advisors" who were critical of the plant ... where were they from?
    I would have thought the term 'national safety advisor's', would have been self explanatory never the less, let us consider the attitudes towards workers from Duchess64's beloved China, Eastern sun shining from its posterior and juxtapose them to attitudes towards workers in the loathed West, that bastion of institutional racism and fierce opponent to all kinds of progress.

    Shandong safety authorities : Workers’ negligence has been blamed for the molten aluminium spill that killed 14 and injured 59 at a factory in East China’s Shandong Province on Sunday, the provincial work safety watchdog said on Tuesday.

    National Safety authority : the plant suffered from design and construction flaws

    Alas, the Weiqiao explosion suggests that – in spite of consolidation, government support, and better technology – some of China’s modern aluminum plants are being designed and built with the same cost-cutting disregard for worker safety as the old wild-cat plants.

    Whenever I read something like this, I cannot help but think that if China’s legal system allowed its injured to recover real damages, incidents like this would start decreasing rapidly. Now before you assail me with wanting to bring U.S. style tort litigation to China, at least ponder why it is that worker safety has improved so greatly in the United States in the last 50 years.

    http://shanghaiscrap.com/2007/08/xinhua-design-flaws-responsible-for-shandong-aluminum-explosion/
  12. 02 Jun '16 08:44 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    This "report" criticising the factory ... who wrote it?
    The Chinese authorities immediately launched a full investigation into the disaster,[3] which concluded a week later on April 23.[6] The factory itself was sealed off for the course of the investigation, a common practice in China, but work continued in the site office.[2]

    The investigation concluded that the direct cause of the disaster was Qinghe using a standard hoist instead of one specifically designed for dangerous smelting work. Other contributing factors identified were lax safety measures and "chaotic" management. The official report also stated that "Equipment and materials inside the workshop were messy, the work space was narrow, and safety passages did not meet requirements."[6]

    The report goes on to say that the accident highlights poor working conditions and safety measures in the Chinese steel industry, "Some firms cannot adapt to the demands of rapid expansion and ignore safety... Safety inspection is not in place, leading to multiple accidents." and concluding "Work safety conditions in the metallurgy sector are extremely grim,".[6]

    Aftermath[edit]
    The bodies of the deceased were too badly burned to be recognizable, so DNA testing was used for identification.[3] Within 24 hours of the disaster, officials had arrested the plant's owner and three employees who were in charge of work safety issues, and had promised the families of the victims a minimum of 200,000 yuan (US$26,000) each in compensation.[3] According to Xinhua, the positions of those arrested were the manager of the mill, an operator, a technician and a workshop supervisor.[1] The same statement from the work safety administration as had issued the conflicting injury count stated that those responsible were "under control" but did not elaborate further

    http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Qinghe_Special_Steel_Corporation_disaster

    It is clear that the Qinghe disaster would have been prevented by adopting Western standards of excellence at almost every level.
  13. 02 Jun '16 19:41
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    The Chinese authorities immediately launched a full investigation into the disaster,[3] which concluded a week later on April 23.[6] The factory itself was sealed off for the course of the investigation, a common practice in China, but work continued in the site office.[2]

    The investigation concluded that the direct cause of the disaster was Qingh ...[text shortened]... ter would have been prevented by adopting Western standards of excellence at almost every level.
    The pathological liar Robbie Carrobie (and many diverse writers, including some who loathe
    me, agree that Robbie Carrobie's a pathological liar) again has put his words into my mouth.
    I never have claimed that everything in China or about the Chinese is perfect, wonderful, or the best.
    My Chinese friends are aware of my criticisms, sometimes agreeing and sometimes not.

    Tu Youyou and the Chinese scientists who developed artemisinin have nothing to do with
    various problems that Robbie Carrobie claims exist in China. It seems to upset a racist and
    misogynist like Robbie Carrobie that a Chinese woman could win a Nobel Prize in medicine.

    "...Western standards of excellence at every level..."
    --Robbie Carrobie

    Would these be the same 'Western standards of excellence at every level' that motivated
    Western public health officials to long insist on treating African children dying from malaria with
    chloroquine, a generally ineffective Western drug, rather than with a probably life-saving Chinese drug?

    Robbie Carrobie has long shown that he's a misogynist (condemned as such by at least
    several diverse writers including Finnegan, Googlefudge, and Suzianne). Now Robbie
    Carrobie is showing that he's very racist too. Given how much racism thrives in this
    forum, however, Robbie Carrobie's racism might be widely perceived as 'normal'.

    So, to live up to his Sinophobic ideals, I would suggest that Robbie Carrobie attempt to
    boycott everything ever invented or made in China. That would mean that Robbie Carrobie
    could not use paper (a Chinese invention) or any of the many other Chinese inventions.
    So Robbie Carrobie would have to make many sacrifices, but it could be worth it for him
    to live as a smugly self-satisfied racist.
  14. 02 Jun '16 19:44
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Your love affair with Tu Youyou is getting a little creepy.
    Tu Youyou has contributed much more to humankind than KazetNagorra ever has or presumably will.
    I am pleased to see her achievements receive belated recognition, even from Westerners.
    I had believed that it was likely that she (age 85) would die before receiving a Nobel Prize.
  15. 02 Jun '16 20:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    The pathological liar Robbie Carrobie (and many diverse writers, including some who loathe
    me, agree that Robbie Carrobie's a pathological liar) again has put his words into my mouth.
    I never have claimed that everything in China or about the Chinese is perfect, wonderful, or the best.
    My Chinese friends are aware of my criticisms, sometimes agreeing an ...[text shortened]... ke many sacrifices, but it could be worth it for him
    to live as a smugly self-satisfied racist.
    Tee hee I actually enjoyed reading that although to be honest it was rather predictable. Have you no more imagination than these stock phrases that you use for people who challenge your perspective? pathological liar, racist, misogynist etc etc I mean come on, its hardly what one would term creative, is it? What about Robbie Carrobie is an impuissant, atesticular, spineless gelding? you know something like that?