Caveat Emptor for EVERYTHING we buy?

What do prescription drugs, Toyotas, and certain denture creams have in common?

Give up? The manufacturers all have or had secrets they are not sharing. Now I don’t mean formulas or designs. I mean information that,  if made public, would damage their sales, much like the tobacco industries a couple of decades or so ago.

Now ordinarily I wouldn’t promote a law office in my blog, but that was the first site listed when I googled “prescription drugs non-disclosed side effects” so that  you, my reader, didn’t think I was just making things up. Of course if you’ve ever watched daytime TV, the airwaves are full of lawyers seeking people who have taken particular drugs and suffered side effects, so you must know by now that is a problem that I really don’t have to cite many sources. Something I heard recently on TV, and I can’t tell you when, is that prescription drug companies simply don’t test for some side effects if there is a good probability that the results will be negative. They can honestly say they are not aware of particular side effects for that drug. Scary, isn’t it?

Now with Toyota. There’s already been an abundance of information on the news lately about them. There’s also been the charge that they knew of the defects but chose not to do anything about them. As a result, their trusting customers started dying in crashes to the point where the obvious could no longer be hidden.

That leaves denture cream, in particular, Fixodent and Polygrip and SuperPolygrip. There was an article, “A Medical mystery with odd suspect”  by Jan Jarvis in the Star Telegram yesterday that caught my attention. The information I am telling you today is mostly from that piece. Just so you don’t think I’m plagiarizing or something.

There’s a young woman in Mineral Wells, about 60 miles from FW,  who, because of ill-fitting dentures she has had to wear since she was fifteen, is now suffering from neuropathy so severe that at one time she was bedridden, unable to walk. She now is sometimes able to use a walker.  She, along with other denture wearers, are filing lawsuits against the denture cream companies that sold cream containing zinc to their customers. These customers, by the way, number an estimated 35 million Americans.

The ADA states that if the denture cream is used according to manufacturer’s directions, there should be no problems. However, this particular young woman could not get dentures that fit properly. There were no warnings on the package of possible nerve damage if used excessively. One quote from the article said, “In fact, on the box, it said that if the amount you’re using doesn’t work, use more.” That was from the woman’s Houston lawyer.

As any teenager would, she felt extreme embarrassment over the idea that her dentures would fall out during lunch at school. So she continued to use more.

Our bodies need zinc, but an excessive amount of zinc “interferes with the absorption of copper into the blood stream and can lead to neuropathy”. We are wondrously created with exact ratios of everything we need. We throw those ratios out of whack and all hell can break loose. There are a host of other problems related to low copper levels that these denture wearers also face such as anemia and cardiac problems. So far, those problems have not been as obviously connected.

The point of my ramblings this morning is that it is  probably particularly obvious that CEOs and Boards of Directors have never been on the lookout for the safety of their consumers. Or, if they ever were, they are no longer. They are heartless greedy bitches and bastards who are only existing for one reason: profit. The profit is not only for the stockholders, but also for themselves with their exorbitant salaries and perks.  The profit certainly isn’t to contiue to pay their workers higher salaries.

There are supposed to be implied good faith warranties that come with commonly used products. At one time if you wanted to buy something “as is”, the term caveat emptor applied. In case you’ve forgotten the meaning, it is “buyer beware”. I can see the use of something like that on E Bay, but to have to beware of every product one buys every day is very taxing. Watching for possible side effects, some of which can accumulate over many years of use, would be an impossibility. There would be no time to do anything else.

When did we, as human beings, begin to lose our lives and our souls to corporate greed? Richard Wolff, PhD from UMass, says it has gradually increased over the past three decades. He is an interesting man with interesting economic ideas. He thinks the practices of the past 30 years are pretty much over. The boom and bust cycle are done. There’s no more out there to bust. If he’s right, maybe some of these gigantic corporations will break apart into small companies that once more can have a compassionate heart running them. The idea of “too big to fail” is over. Now we have to count the casualties and pick up the pieces of our greed and heartlessness and start over. Our existence depends on our ability to do just that.


1 Comment

Filed under Casual conversation, diary, economics, general topics, life, musings

One response to “Caveat Emptor for EVERYTHING we buy?

  1. I agree, although I would go further and say that if we are to avoid a very long, miserable, grey existence under corporatism, we must find new ways to make and sell things without any corporate participation, or at the most, a facilitating one, like in the lateralized internet economies of EBay and craigslist, and all their even smaller imitators.