Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Cape Town, South Africa - Nov 24, 2016 - Protesters marched on the Cape Town International Convention Center November 19 to protest at the World Psychiatric Association International Congress and condemn psychiatric labeling and drugging of South Africa’s children with potentially lethal drugs.
South African children are prescribed Ritalin and other highly dangerous psychotropic drugs at a rate that exceeds even those in America. Yet Ritalin, a Schedule II drug (a classification for the most addictive substances in medical use, including morphine, opium, cocaine and codeine), has been found to be even more potent than cocaine. And despite a 2005 “Drug Alert” from the South Africa Medicines Control Council about antidepressants putting adolescents at increased risk of suicide, children and adolescents are still prescribed the drugs.
Leading the protest were members of Citizens Commission of Human Rights; Rev. Fred Shaw, Jr., past president of the Compton, California, branch of the NAACP; and King Thomas Edgar Brown, leader of South Africa’s indigenous Khoisan people. They marched with traditional healers, concerned doctors, nurses, teachers, parents and children.
CCHR is demanding the WPA put an end to the destructive practice of labeling and drugging children that has resulted in some 20 million children and infants worldwide, being prescribed psychotropic drugs.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, the Eastern Cape province comprising Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Despatch and Colchester, a local pharmacist reported an increase of nearly 50 percent in Ritalin prescriptions over the previous year.
The WPA’s Congress is sponsored by Pfizer and Janssen, pharmaceutical giants that rake in billions from marketing psychotropic drugs. These companies benefit directly from psychiatry’s labeling and prescribing their drugs to this “market,” now also consisting of toddlers, preschoolers and babies. These same drug companies are embroiled in litigation stemming from these practices:
- In July 2016, a massive $70 million judgment was awarded—one of some 13,000 lawsuits in the U.S. against Janssen or its parent group, Johnson and Johnson, over their antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone) causing gynecomastia (female breast growth) in boys. Jansen has already paid out more than $2.2 billion to settle criminal and civil charges of illegal marketing of Risperdal.
- In 2009, Pfizer agreed to pay $300 million over allegations that it illegally marketed the antipsychotic Geodon (ziprasidone), targeting children and adolescents to expand unapproved use of the drug and maintained on its payroll an army of more than 250 child psychiatrists across the U.S.
- South Africa allows antipsychotics to be used on children with mental retardation despite these drugs having black box warnings of the risk of suicide, diabetes, toxicity, nerve damage, weight gain, and death.
The Children’s Rights march and rally culminated with the opening of CCHR’s Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Traveling Exhibit at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. By raising awareness and educating hundreds of thousands on the harsh realities of psychiatric abuse, CCHR’s traveling exhibits spearhead a global movement to clean up the entire field of mental health and bring psychiatry under the law.
Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a mental health watchdog founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, a renowned professor of psychiatry. With its worldwide corps of activists, CCHR is responsible for the enactment of laws outlawing involuntary commitment, brutal shock treatment and widespread enforced drugging. CCHR has also contributed to protecting and saving the lives of millions of people by exposing and jailing thousands of criminal psychiatrists and blowing the whistle on psychiatric crime.
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