Headline: "Medical Waste" Exported to Brazil

So I read the headline (thanks to Raymond Communications) and thought, export of hazardous, infected, red-bag waste...  Now here's an example of truly bad exports of truly hazardous material.  I'll have the story translated (from Portuguese) and write about how we should not be distracting legitimate enforcement...

Oh.  Translated document.   "Medical Waste" means used uniforms and beds.  Stuff we used to call "reuse" back before the witches-brew-hunting, non-tariff-barrier, exaggerated harm, anti-reuse lobby took control of waste policy.  The container hasn't even arrived at  port or been opened yet.

A war on reuse is a war on the poor.  Frightening rich USA hospitals from donating clean uniforms and bedding to emerging markets... Is that the key to "leapfrog" economics?  Take the used equipment away, and new stuff appears?

Missing Michele Raymond, who passed away in April 2005.  She used to invite me as a presenter to a conference she held on electronics recycling.  I was trying back in 2005 to balance between BAN.org, who I was friends with, and the contract manufacturers, who I had gotten to know and was excited by the potential for.  Michele said she invited me to speak because I was saying something important, and not "selling" something for money.

Environmentalists need to be reminded that malaria kills 2414 people per day, and that death from bloodloss during childbirth is the number one killer of women in Lagos and Cairo.  These nations aspire to worry about things like toxics and cancer, but for now, need jobs so they can create the market for malaria vaccines, which will create investment in people like Joe Cohen.

Treating the sale of hospital beds as a "hazardous waste" story is sick.  We need countries like Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, etc. to be able to afford new malaria vaccines which we invent.  Their hospitals need more people to export to them, so they have more choice of people to buy from, and quality goes up.  Creating yet another "liability" for hospitals to worry about, forcing them to shred surplus hospital equipment, is murder.  Conversely, letting geeks and doctors trade and work together, to repair and recycle, creates value, creates hospitals like the Five Star hospitals today in Singapore and Malaysia and Japan.  Allowing the tinkerer economy to grow is win-win.  Our USA health care gets more money from sale of used equipment, which in turn creates the means for hospitals in emerging markets to "leapfrog" from malaria death to malaria vaccinations.  

Good people need to stand up and show pride in trade.   Trading with people in Brazil is no more shameful than hiring a woman truck driver or marrying an Asian man.  This episode of environmental ayatollah-ism will not be remembered any more fondly than making Rosa Parks go to the back of the bus.

What gives me the authority to question these "reports" of "waste" in "unopened containers?"    Remember, I had 3 containerloads of Pentium 4 computers seized by Egyptian customs in 2008 as "e-waste".  I'm a criminal too.   My partners in Egypt were doctors who sold the computers and monitors to med school students in Cairo and Alexandria.   One of their clients was a blood bank.  

I don't know for sure whether this export sale of surplus hospital equipment to Brazil was legitimate or not, but seeing the press automatically report every incident as if it's proven leads to shameful racist profiling.   Automatically reporting Gordon Chiu for selling computers to Indonesia... it could have happened to me.  Shaming ERI into a "no intact unit" model will cause death and poverty.   Accusing Intercon of shipping three containers, without taking the time to report what's in the containers... Reporting a story from Europol that geeks like Wahab and my partners in Cairo are "organized crime" because they pay for working equipment.   This is slander.  This is journalistic laziness.  This is planned obsolescence, in hindsight.   This is profiling.   This is wrong.   Who else is going to speak up?  Has the recycling community no goddamn shame?

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