Thalidomide hasn't been mentioned much in recent years. But last month's apology from the German company that developed the drug has brought it back into the news.
Over 50 years ago they created a "cure for morning sickness" that caused at least 10,000 babies to be born deaf or blind, with heart defects, or with underdeveloped or missing limbs. Countless babies were miscarried or still-born.
Babies in England, Germany, Canada, Japan and around the world were affected. But not in the U.S. Why not? Because the FDA stood up to considerable pressure from the Richardson-Merrell Company and never approved the sale of Thalidomide, sparing thousands of families from this tragedy.
We frequently hear from the right about how "stifling, growth-inhibiting regulations" make everything so expensive for the so-called "job creators." But if we remove the safety and protective standards, who will watch out for us? Is increasing a billionaire's profit margin by 1 percent worth risking your life over?
Thalidomide is a strong example of how regulations protect us from harm. Next time you read about big corporations saying we need less regulation, think about Thalidomide.
Think about seatbelts and airbags. Think about the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the water you drink. All are regulated to protect you and your loved ones.
Corporations can make a profit without endangering the rest of us.
When elected, I will support and enact legislation that protects you and your loved ones and stops efforts to deregulate workplace safety and environmental standards.
I will work for YOU, not reckless mega-corporations looking to cut corners and lower their standards to line their owners' pockets.