A quote from The Guardian about implications of the global food crisis, caused by deforestation, bio-fuels and climate chaos and, of course, general greed, in the remote corners of Afghanistan:
“Haji Dawood, a farmer who used to cultivate poppy but now farms wheat in the Daman district, near Kandahar in the south, said his family had benefited from the wheat boom. “It’s the first time since I planted wheat that I can afford to feed my family … it’s going well because the price of opium has come down, and the price for my wheat has gone up. Each new season we get more money from the crop than from the previous one,” he said.”
Why do hospitals world wide and addiction treatment facilities not procure fairly traded opium as a development model? Even the Econofascist editor Frances Cairncross thought the idea merited some attention, when she was asked just that in a forum some years ago. See also this position.
“In any case“, commented Luther Blisset in the usual fashion, “this puts the exploitation of opium farmers into perspective, since last time I checked toast bread was significantly cheaper than heroin..”
Given that Bayer et al are laughing all the way to the bank in the middle of the end of the world, or whatever the recent events (from Katrina to Myanmar, from Tsunami to the Amazon Desert) signify, it could be said that we’ve come full circle:
“From 1898 through to 1910 heroin was marketed as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough medicine for children. Bayer marketed heroin as a cure for morphine addiction before it was discovered that heroin is converted to morphine when metabolized in the liver, and as such, “heroin” was basically only a quicker acting form of morphine. The company was somewhat embarrassed by this new finding and it became a historical blunder for Bayer.”
See also: http://www.grain.org/articles/?id=39