Security Pie

The ramblings of three security curmudgeons

Pediatric medicine recall – or why should you commit to Fruit of the Loom or Gillete but not Tylenol or Tyson

without comments

So it happend yet again. A pharmaceutical is under attack for having provided children with some over-the-counter medication that is adulterated. See recall note http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm210443.htm and committee response http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20100528/hl_hsn/johnsonampjohnsoncriticizedoverdrugrecall.

This is not new. Disfunctional safety practices in manufacturing have had a long history of sickening, and in some cases, killing, people.

What is left out of food, might be as dangerous, as what is put in. In 2003, babies died as a result of missing B1 vitamin in a lot of baby formula marketed by Remedia. See http://www.haaretz.com/news/remedia-execs-to-be-tried-for-allegedly-causing-infants-death-1.196950.

From my perspective, being even slightly partial to a brand of edible or pharmaceutical products is just plain ignorance. Drugs and food are routinely adulterated, expired, or simply mislabelled. If we are to reduce the risk due to contamination, or due to the lack of proper formulation, our sources of drugs, as well as food, must be religiously varied.

For bacteria to cause a disease, a certain exposure is required (varies among individuals). Varying the source of a particular food item – as in eating a salad where only two spinach leaves from a salmonella infected bunch – just might get you under that threshold.

For babies to die of a lack of nutrient in babyfood, the baby must be solely raised on that food source. Having 2 products used alternately will result in better nutrition (not perfect: In the remedia case the baby will get 50% of the daily amount of B1 needed, but that is dramatically better than getting 0% of the daily value).

In security, we are taught (or experience tells us) that we need to vary our AV vendors. We need the same for ourselves and our families.

As for partiality to other products – e.g. computer vendors (like Apple), or cosmetics (like Gillette or ROC) – the worst outcome there is NOT death, but disappointment; so have fun in becoming a follower (Steve Jobs and the reign of Apples)!

Written by assafl

May 28th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized