New Internationalist


Issue 169

new internationalist
issue 169 - March 1987



Spread on toast
Consider this for a moment imprisoning the heads of geese and force feeding each of them six and a half pounds of maize a day. Not surprisingly the creatures become diseased, suffering from chronic heart disorders, lesions in the gizzard, necrosis and cirrhosis. This is how pâté de foie gras is produced in France.

Set to destroy the British market for foie gras and bring about an import ban is Compassion in World Farming. They argue that:

· The barbaric methods of production offend public morality

· Such force feeding of geese or ducks in Britain is illegal

· The method of producing such pate is in breach of the European Convention for Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes.

Refusing such a ban on the import of the pate, the British Minister of Agriculture believes it would be against EEC rules. The Minister states that only the French could stop the trade by declaring that the production of foie gras offends public morality there. And that is another matter.

Further information from
Compassion in World Farming
20 La cant Street, Petersfield,
Hampshire, GU32 3E W. UK


Arsenic with a straight face
Tonics or nutritional supplements are prescribed far too often to impoverished patients in the Third World, where decent food would have been a cheaper substitute. A survey in NI 165 reported that 67 per cent of all Indian doctors' prescriptions included such unnecessary medications. Now there is evidence that some tonics can be positively harmful. In Pakistan Bayer's tonic advertisements claims include: Bayer's Tonic fights stress, improves appetite and serves as a nerve food and nerve stimulant. Bayer's Tonic fights against Stress with STRYCHNINE NITRATE.

... Indicated in all conditions of weakness, exhaustion ... in anaemia, loss of appetite, poor memory.

The tonic also contains arsenic, although there are no therapeutic indications for it. The World Health Organization's tentative maximum acceptable daily intake of arsenic is 0.05 mg. Yet the recommended daily dose of Bayer's tonic provides 2.6 mg. of arsenic. Drinking two small bottles may be lifethreatening, while smaller doses can cause cancer, convulsions, muscle cramping, diarrhoea etc. Strychnine also has no known therapeutic value. The tonic is neither licensed nor marketed in West Germany, the country of origin. Arsenic would not be registered under German law because of its toxic effects.

Australia's Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing has taken up this issue, writing an open letter to the pharmaceutical corporation asking for the withdrawal of the tonic.

From Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing Inc. Newsletter November 1986.
22 Renaissance Arcade, Adelaide, S.A. 5000 Australia


Ovaltine no no
Devotees of the Briefly section may remember the occasional competition on those most in need of development education; the last entry being a belligerent piece from the US Armed Forces Publication Stars and Stripes (NI 162). Now Knightsbridge Advertising agency copywriters have come through with this stiff challenge. It is an outline for an Ovaltine (bedtime malt drink) TV commercial now being shown on British TV entitled Ovaltina and the hot pot.

From West Africa, No. 3614, 8 December 1986

Outline of script



Through the jungle swings Ovaltina on a vine, Tarzan fashion.

In a clearing, a missionary chappie in a pith helmet is in a spot of hot water.

In fact, he's immersed in a huge cauldron. Surrounding him is a rather cute bunch of singing/dancing 'gooney-type' creatures.

(Some are tucking napkins under their chins. Another studies a recipe book while stirring the pot.) Ovaltina glides overhead and, unseen, neatly empties a sachet of Instant Ovaltine into the cauldron.

The missionary drinks the reviving potion and an escape plan immediately dawns on him.

Secretly, he opens his shirt and quickly scribbles something on his body.

Now he faces the goonies and bares his chest. They peer at the words written there: 'BEST BEFORE MARCH 78'.

The would-be diners groan and disperse sulkily, most disappointed.

Ovaltina (missionary complete) swings from her vine and mixes into her usual position on a pack of Instant Ovaltine.



Ovaltina Theme


Swinging here

To the rescue of this Missionary-a

[image, unknown]

To avoid a catastrophe-a

She adds Instant Ovaltine

The goodness revives him

So he can save his skin

He puts them off


Now he's scott free-a

In an instant, have no fear

She'll pick you up will


[image, unknown]


With blood on their hands
Everyone remembers the first advert: 'It takes up to 40 dumb animals to make a fur coat. But only one to wear it.' Above is the follow-up. Unfortunately our reproduction without colour doesn't show the blood on the salesman's hands. Experts from the advertising industry have panned the latest effort describing it as 'over the top' and counterproductive', because 'it simply says you are an idiot for liking fur coats'

'We are here, not because we are law-breakers;
we are here in our efforts to become lawmakers.'

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 - 1928), English Suffragette,
speech from the dock London
21 October 1908

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