There have been mistakes in the past throughout history. The question is how can we learn from these events and not repeat those mistakes? A few examples:

Thalidomide scandal

The drug Thalidomide was approved by the Medical Board in 1959. It caused birth defects. In total, 10,000 children were born with physical defects, predominantly consisting of deformed limbs, in 46 countries, many of whom died shortly after birth. It took 4 years for the Medical Board to withdraw this drug to be withdrawn from the market.

Swine flu vaccine

The swine flu vaccine gave many children narcolepsy. In 2009, 60% of the Swedish population was vaccinated against the swine flu. Professor Hans Rosling called the pandemic a media hysteria, and immunologist Ann-Cathrin Engwall warned that mass vaccination could do more harm than good. At least 350 Swedish children and adolescents developed narcolepsy from the vaccine. In Europe, at least 800 children (probably thousands according to the study) have suffered from narcolepsy after vaccination against swine flu. Expressen (a Swedish evening paper) interviewed 64 people who were affected, and they talked about their experiences (see source below).

Smoking was considered by doctors to be harmless

This example may be seen cause obvious danger nowadays, but until at least the 1950s there were advertisements for smoking that doctors confirmed was harmless and this would apply even to the larger medical organizations.

DDT against polio disease

In 1946, a polio epidemic arose in the United States, and in connection with it, mass hysteria arose too. At that time, it was believed that DDT could prevent the spread of the polio epidemic. Thus, the agent was sprayed throughout resorts, directly on children and adults. Nowadays, we know the risks of exposure to DDT (including hormone disorders, cancer, etc.), as well as, above all, the environmental risks of the agent.

DDT spraying on children and adults alike

Heroin was given to alleviate coughing

In the late 1800s, heroin was used to cure morphine addiction. It was a bad idea. Heroin turned out to be a better painkiller and a better cough medicine than morphine, but also created a greater addiction.

Cocaine put, among other things, in beverages to become alert

In the late 1800s, Coca-Cola was created, which originally contained cocaine to make people alert. It took almost 20 years before it was removed. Cocaine was also given to port workers to make them more productive.

Inhaling booths

In the early 1900s, when the Spanish flu was rampant in Australia and New Zealand, the population was told to go to special inhalation booths where they could inhale air with zinc sulphate. It didn’t help with the flu, though. The agent is used as an herbicide and if you inhale it, you can get nausea, vomiting and many other unpleasant side effects.

Inhaling booths

Asbestos still causes 100,000 deaths worldwide every year

Asbestos was in common use for a long time, but the warning signs were ignored despite numerous indications and deaths. Documents have emerged in which it turns out that the industry knew about the risks for 40 years before it came to light at a court hearing in 1970.

Usually, one might consider that most of the knowledge base accumulated publicly is reasonably accurate, but mistakes can happen, and once it does, it can lead to major consequences. To have an open mind, and constantly listen to and examine critical viewpoints, is usually the best way to facilitate development in society.

Source: Dagens Nyheter – Staten gör aldrig fel –

Source: Jönköpingsposten –

Source: Expressen – 64 svenskar: Sprutan förstörde våra liv.

Source: Läkaruppropet.

Source: Intervju med  immunologen Ann-Cathrin Engwall, som var en av få experter som varnade för den förra massvaccinationskampanjen i Sverige. Avsnitt “Barnen. sprutan och den påstådda nyttan”.

Source: British Medical Journal.

Source: Doctor Says Trust Me Cigarettes Are Healthy
En läkares sammanställning över hur läkare marknadsförde rökning.

Source: “The Doctors’ Choice Is America’s Choice”
The Physician in US Cigarette Advertisements, 1930–1953 by Martha N. Gardner, PhD and Allan M. Brandt, PhD.

Source: Spraying DDT to Eradicate Polio
En läkares sammanställning över hur DDT sprayades på befolkningen.

Source: The human health effects of DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and PCBS (polychlorinated biphenyls) and an overview of organochlorines in public health.

Source: DDT, TIFA, and the polio epidemic at San Antonio, Texas.
Korrespondens med myndigheter under 1946 om hur “effektivt” DDT-spray var mot befolkningen.

Source: Heroin som hostmedicin,

Source: Cocaine as a stimulant,

Source: Inhaleringsbås mot influensa,

Source: Asbestos

Print Friendly, PDF & Email