Toxic chemicals are linked to some cancers, birth defects and low birth weight, autism, and learning and behavioural disabilities. Many parts of the world today are seeing escalating health problems and more and more countries are linking this to the chemical legacy.
Take swine flu — now renamed. We know it started in La Gloria, a little town in Mexico. We know a young boy suffering from fever in March became the first confirmed victim of the current outbreak, which, even as I write, has claimed some 42 people and affected 2,371 in 24 countries.
What is not said is this ill-fated town is right next to one of Mexico’s biggest hog factories, owned by the world’s largest pig processor, Smithfield Foods. What is also not said is people in this town have repeatedly protested about water pollution, terrible stench and waste against the food giant.
Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) views with concern the recent outbreak of leptospirosis at a detention camp for illegal immigrants in Bukit Mertajam.
Cod-liver oil, the fishy liquid some of us were forced to swallow as children to help ward off colds, may be making a comeback. These days it’s sold in capsules and shares shelf space in the supplements aisle with other omega-3 and fish-oil pills. And an August 2007 study of some 22,000 people from Norway suggests it may help ward off depression.
Giving a voice to the little people - that is the objective of the Consumers’ Association of Penang. And that’s what we have been doing since our establishment in 1970.