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The company behind a drug that disfigured thousands of newborn babies worldwide ignored and covered up warnings about its damaging effects, a report says.
Hundreds of Australian babies were among those harmed by the German-made sedative and morning sickness treatment thalidomide.
Never-before-published excerpts of files from thalidomide maker Grunenthal obtained by Fairfax explicitly warn about the drug's potential to harm foetuses, Fairfax says.
The company has always maintained the thalidomide tragedy was unforeseeable and it had acted in accordance with the scientific knowledge and prevailing standards of the 1950s.
Fairfax says the Grunenthal files expose a 50-year cover-up.
Thalidomide, launched by Grünenthal on 1 October 1957, was found to act as an effective tranquilizer and painkiller, and was proclaimed a "wonder drug" for insomnia, coughs, colds and headaches.
Grünenthal GmbH is a German researching pharmaceutical company in Aachen (Rhineland). It was founded in 1946 and has been in family ownership since then.
Grünenthal was founded 1946 by Hermann Wirtz, Sr. as Chemie Grünenthal GmbH in Stolberg (Rhineland), later it was renamed in Grünenthal GmbH and the headquarter was moved to Aachen. A lot of old Nazis got positions in the company, as Otto Ambros, who was one of the responsibles for the KZ Auschwitz III.
Beginning in 1926, Ambros worked at BASF in Ludwigshafen. In 1930 he spent a year studying in the Far East.
From 1934 he worked at IG Farben, becoming head of their Schkopau plant in 1935. His division of IG Farben developed chemical weapons, including the nerve agents sarin (in 1938) and soman (in 1944). In this capacity, he was an advisor to Carl Krauch, a company executive.
Ambros then managed the IG Farben factories at Dyhernfurth, which produced sarin and soman, and at Gendorf, which produced mustard gas, a skin irritant. In 1944 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of War Merit Cross. He was an expert on tabun, an extremely lethal chemical.
Originally posted by usernamehere
This is not the first nor the last time we will see these individuals exposed. the question is how many more people have to be assaulted maimed or murdered before we act.