Health and Safety

Fifty years of “silent shock”?

In 2010 Frances Oldham Kelsey, the meddlesome government bureaucrat who in 1960 resisted corporate pressure and blocked widespread distribution of thalidomide in the US to pregnant women– thus likely preventing tens of thousands of horrible birth deformities– was justly honored by the Food and Drug Administration.

Now, a little more than 50 years later the German company that manufactured thalidomide has finally apologized to the thousands of victims.

“[W]e have been silent and we are very sorry for that,” [Grunenthal CEO Harald F.] Stock said Friday, according to a translated copy of his planned remarks. “We ask that you regard our long silence as a sign of the silent shock that your fate has caused us.”

Alec adds:

I ask you you regard my vocal admiration for Bettina Eistel, thalidomide baby and now Paralympian dressage performer as a sign of silent contempt for Grunenthal’s public statement.

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