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Thread: China Is Using Fentanyl as ‘Chemical Warfare,’ Experts Say

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    China Is Using Fentanyl as ‘Chemical Warfare,’ Experts Say



    Source: Theepochtimes

    Behind the deadly opioid epidemic ravaging communities across the United States lies a carefully planned strategy by a hostile foreign power that experts describe as a “form of chemical warfare.”

    It involves the production and trafficking of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that caused the deaths of more than 32,000 Americans in 2018 alone, and fentanyl-related substances.

    China is the “largest source” of illicit fentanyl in the United States, a November 2018 report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission stated. That same commission said that since its 2017 report, they found no “substantive curtailment” of fentanyl flows from China to the United States. They also noted that in “large part, these flows persist due to weak regulations governing pharmaceutical and chemical production in China.”

    President Donald Trump has continued to increase his crackdown on fentanyl—he recently ordered all U.S. carriers to “search for and refuse” international mail deliveries of the synthetic opioid pain reliever. Trump specifically named FedEx, Amazon, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

    Jeff Nyquist, an author and researcher of Chinese and Russian strategy, said China is using fentanyl as a “very effective tool.”

    “You could call it a form of chemical warfare,” Nyquist told The Epoch Times. “It opens up a number of opportunities for the penetration of the country, both in terms of laundering money and in terms of blackmail against those who participate in the trade and become corrupt like law enforcement, intelligence, and government officials.”

    China also uses the money generated by the importing of fentanyl to effectively “influence political parties,” according to Nyquist.

    “It opens doors for Chinese influence operations, Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and intelligence services, so that they can get control of certain parts of the U.S.,” he said.

    In August, Trump called out Chinese leader Xi Jinping, accusing him of not doing enough to stop the flow of fentanyl, which enters the United States mostly via international mail.

    Liu Yuejin, vice commissioner of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, disputed Trump’s criticism, telling reporters on Sept. 3 that they had started going after illicit fentanyl production, according to state-controlled media. China also denies that most of the illicit fentanyl entering the United States originates in China.

    “President Xi said this would stop—it didn’t,” Trump said on Twitter on Aug. 23.

    Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl surged from around 29,000 in 2017 to more than 32,000 in 2018, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Not all opioid-related deaths in the United States can be blamed on China’s fentanyl export policies, as some come from prescription overdoses, according to Dr. Robert J. Bunker, an adjunct research professor at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute.



    But Bunker told The Epoch Times that China is still “greatly contributing” to America’s opioid epidemic. Bunker described how Beijing is using the trafficking of dangerous drugs to achieve its greater Communist Party goals.

    “Contributing to a major health crisis in the U.S., while simultaneously profiting from it would in my mind give long-term CCP plans to establish an authoritarian Chinese global system as a challenge to Western liberal democracy,” he said via email.

    “[It’s] a win-win situation for the regime,” he continued. “In fact producing and sending fentanyl to the U.S., which could be considered a low-risk policy of ‘drug warfare,’ is very much in line with the means and methods advocated in the 1999 work ‘Unrestricted Warfare.'”

    The book mentioned by Bunker is authored by two of China’s air force colonels, Qiao Liang, and Wang Xiangsui, and published by the People’s Liberation Army.

    Recent cases of fentanyl-related overdose and deaths are linked to “illegally made fentanyl,” the CDC has said. Fentanyl has been approved for treating severe pain for conditions such as late-stage cancer. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed by doctors through transdermal patches or lozenges.

    A USPS spokesman told The Epoch Times they are “aggressively working” to add in provisions from the STOP Act. The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention legislation, signed in 2018 by Trump, aims to curb the flow of opioids sent through the mail while increasing coordination between USPS and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

    USPS has notified China’s postal operations that if any of their shipments don’t contain Advance Electronic Data (AED), they “may be returned at any time,” the spokesman said via email. CBP is also notifying air and ocean carriers to confirm that 100 percent of their postal shipment containers have AED before loading them onto their conveyance.

    Recent Seizures

    In August, law enforcement seized 30 kilograms (around 66 pounds) of fentanyl, among other narcotics as part of a major arrest operation over the course of three days. As a result, officers arrested 35 suspects for “conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute large amounts of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and cocaine base.”

    G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement that the amount of fentanyl seized was enough to “kill over 14 million people.” One of the suspects in Virginia had ordered the fentanyl from a vendor in Shanghai and was receiving it at his residence through USPS, according to the indictment.

    “The last thing we want is for the U.S. Postal Service to become the nation’s largest drug dealer, and there are people way above my pay grade working on that, but absolutely, it’s about putting pressure on the Chinese,” Terwilliger said.

    CBP Enforcement Statistics reveal that fiscal year seizures of illicit fentanyl spiked from about one kilogram (2.2 pounds) in 2013 to nearly 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) in 2018. The number of law enforcement fentanyl seizures in the United States also vaulted from about 1,000 in 2013 to more than 59,000 in 2017.

    Also, in August, the Mexican navy found 52,000 pounds of fentanyl powder in a container from a Danish ship that was coming from Shanghai. The navy intercepted the unloaded 40-foot container on Aug. 24, at the Port of Cardenas.

    “There is clear evidence that fentanyl or fentanyl precursors, chemicals used to make fentanyl is coming from China,” Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, told The Epoch Times.

    Two commonly used fentanyl precursors are chemicals called NPP and 4-ANPP. In early 2017, journalist Ben Westhoff started researching the chemicals, finding many advertisements for them all over the internet from different companies. He later determined a majority of those companies were under a Chinese chemical company called Yuancheng, according to an excerpt from his upcoming book “Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic,” an excerpt of which was published in The Atlantic.



    One of the concerns related to the production of illicit opioids is the creation of fentanyl analogs, products that are similar to fentanyl and also simple to make.

    “You can very easily manipulate the molecule and create a new fentanyl-like product that hasn’t been banned, that’s not technically illegal,” Kolodny told The Epoch Times. “Some of the manufacturers, the folks creating the drugs, are aware of that.”

    “We saw this with other synthetic drugs that are abused in the U.S., when law enforcement make the drug illegal or when they ban the molecule,” he said. “In some cases, fentanyl analogs are even stronger than fentanyl. There’s an analog called carfentanil, which is even more potent than fentanyl.”

    Carfentanil has a quantitative potency “approximately 10,000 times that of morphine and 100 times that of fentanyl,” according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

    Just one microgram is needed for carfentanil to affect a human. The drug is “one of the most potent opioids known” and is marketed under the trade name Wildnil “as a general anesthetic agent for large animals.”

    “Sometimes, it’s hard for law enforcement to keep up with the chemist,” Kolodny added.

    A bill dubbed the SOFA Act or the “Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act,” has yet to pass Congress. The act was introduced in May by Republican senators and would give law enforcement “enhanced tools to combat the opioid epidemic and close a loophole in current law that makes it difficult to prosecute crimes involving some synthetic opioids.”

    Kolodny said pharmaceutical industries have been lobbying to stop any legislation meant to restrict fentanyl analogs “because these are products they are trying to bring to market.”

    In August, an Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572.1 million to the state for deceitfully marketing addictive opioids. The sum was less than what investors had expected, according to Reuters, which resulted in shares of the multinational corporation rising in value.

    “We should be doing everything we can to keep fentanyl out of the country,” Kolodny said. “We should be doing everything we can to ban fentanyl analogs.”

    Billion-Dollar Grants

    As part of the Trump administration’s latest efforts to combat the opioid crisis, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Sept. 4 announced nearly $2 billion in funding to states.

    The funding would expand access to treatment and also support near-real-time data on the drug overdose crisis, according to a release.

    In announcing the move, White House counsel Kellyanne Conway told reporters in a conference call that their administration is trying to interject the word “fentanyl” into the “everyday lexicon” as part of their efforts to increase awareness.

    Data suggests that of the approximately 2 million Americans suffering from opioid use disorder, approximately 1.27 million of them are now receiving medication-assisted treatment, according to the HHS.

    “Central to our effort to stop the flood of fentanyl and other illicit drugs is our unprecedented support for law enforcement and their interdiction efforts,” she said.

    Conway then brought up the DHS seizures of fentanyl in 2018, which totaled an equivalent of 1.2 billion lethal doses.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, that is enough to have killed every American four times,” she told reporters.

    Just weeks ago, the White House released a series of private-sector advisories aimed to help businesses protect themselves and their supply chains from inadvertently trafficking fentanyl and synthetic opioids.

    The four advisories aim to stem the production and sale of illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and other synthetic opioids. The advisories focus on the manufacturing, marketing, movement, and monetary aspects of illicit fentanyl.

    In March 2018, the Interior Department created a task force aimed to specifically combat the crisis on tribal lands. Since then, the department has arrested more than 422 individuals and seized 4,000 pounds of illegal drugs worth $12 million on the street, including more than 35,000 fentanyl pills.

    Conway, on the conference call, described the epidemic of pain relievers as an “opioid and fentanyl crisis.”
    “Remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no-one is too poor to buy.” - C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle

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    China’s chemical war on America



    By Betsy McCaughey

    Source: NYpost

    President Trump got slammed by all sides for suddenly escalating his economic war with China on Friday. But for Americans who have lost a family member or friend to the Chinese-made street drug fentanyl, Trump’s harsh pivot is the right move.

    He hiked tariffs on Chinese goods, labeled President Xi an “enemy” and told US companies manufacturing in China to pull out. Wall Street went into a tailspin, and partisans called Trump “unhinged.”

    By Monday, Trump changed his tone, in response to friendly overtures from Beijing. But the reality is that harsh words and economic threats are what’s needed. China has been waging chemical narcotic war against Americans for several years, flooding our neighborhoods with poison.

    In the last three years alone, fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids manufactured in Chinese labs have killed some 79,000 Americans. That’s more than the American combatants killed in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined. And like those combatants, most fentanyl victims are young.

    Chinese-made narcotics started showing up on our streets in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, overdose deaths soared, but the Obama administration never confronted China to stop its deadly assault.

    Trump is fighting back. Instead of soldiers and bullets, he is using tariffs and other economic sanctions. How civilized of him. “We’re losing thousands of people to fentanyl,” Trump tweeted. “This is more important than anything else that we’re working on.”

    Trump explained on Friday that China’s refusal to curb the flood of fentanyl is a major reason for the tariff hikes. Outraged by the tens of thousands of deaths caused by Chinese-made fentanyl, Trump tweeted “President Xi said this would stop — it didn’t.”

    In fact, China is refusing to *cooperate with US law enforcement. Federal authorities have *indicted three Chinese drug kingpins who manufacture fentanyl and fentanyl ingredients and market the lethal drugs over the internet to Americans. China won’t *extradite the accused to America and instead is allowing them to continue to operate freely.

    Trump’s critics, like Bryce Pardo of RAND Corporation, claim getting tough with China is futile, because China doesn’t have the *inspectors and law enforcement to shut the poison factories. That’s nonsense. A country with the brutal totalitarian apparatus to enforce a one-child policy — which China did for years, dictating what went on in the bedroom — can control what gets sold on the internet and put in the mail. China’s synthetic opioid factories typically employ hundreds of people seated at internet terminals, openly selling their lethal wares.

    The Obama administration, and many Democrats even now, insist the right strategy is to fund drug-treatment programs and expand Medicaid, curbing the demand for killer street drugs instead of cutting off the supply.

    Actually, we need to do both — attack the supplier and treat the addicts. In war, you don’t stop fighting the enemy while you are bandaging the wounded.

    For years, the United States Postal Service has been the Chinese drug dealers’ shipping method of choice. The feds did nothing until Congress passed a law in 2018 requiring that every package from China be labeled with the content and origin. Still, only about 100 of the 1.3 million *international packages coming in every day actually get inspected by Customs and Border Protection. Friday, Trump tweeted: “Ordering all carriers to SEARCH FOR AND REFUSE all deliveries of fentanyl from China.” A daunting task.

    Some of the Chinese fentanyl supplies are actually shipped to Mexico, then smuggled across the southern border to the United States. Inspecting packages at that border for fentanyl, a congressional report concluded, is like “finding a needle in a haystack.”

    Trump knows that stopping the drugs on our border is less likely to succeed than stopping China from sending them.

    Meanwhile, Monday morning Trump announced that Chinese officials had called their US counterparts Sunday night and said, “Let’s get back to the table.”

    Will Trump’s hard-line stance on trade stop the drug massacre on America’s streets? It’s possible. Trump said Monday morning, *reflecting on China’s change of tone, that the Chinese “understand how life works.”
    “Remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no-one is too poor to buy.” - C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle

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    Every drug dealer caught and convicted should be executed with an overdose of the street poison they were pushing... God! I hate street drugs and the scumbags who sell it, especially to children.

    Once again, I find myself applauding President Trump; this time for his vehement stance against this vicious chemical plot to poison American citizens.
    Aside from an ever increasing number of mortals who have willfully chosen to worship Satan and his minions, our battle has always been against the powers and principalities operating surreptitiously throughout this twisted world.

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    The state of Ohio has sued five major drug manufacturers for their role in the opioid epidemic. In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, state Attorney General Mike DeWine alleges these five companies "helped unleash a health care crisis that has had far-reaching financial, social, and deadly consequences in the State of Ohio."

    Named in the suit are:

    Purdue Pharma
    Endo Health Solutions
    Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and subsidiary Cephalon
    Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals
    Allergan

    The lawsuit — only the second such suit filed by a state, after Mississippi did so earlier this year — accuses the companies of engaging in a sustained marketing campaign to downplay the addiction risks of the prescription opioid drugs they sell and to exaggerate the benefits of their use for health problems such as chronic pain.
    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...pioid-epidemic

    Fentanyl was first made by Paul Janssen in 1960 and approved for medical use in the United States in 1968.[3][8] In 2015, 1,600 kilograms (3,500 lb) were used in healthcare globally.[9] As of 2017, fentanyl was the most widely used synthetic opioid in medicine.[10] Fentanyl patches for cancer pain are on the WHO List of Essential Medicines, which lists the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.[11] For a 100 microgram vial, the average wholesale cost in the developing world was US$0.66 in 2015.[12] In 2017, the price in the United States was US$0.49 for that same amount.[13] In 2016, it was the 218th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 2 million prescriptions.[14] In 2016, fentanyl and analogues were the most common cause of overdose deaths in the United States at more than 20,000, about half of all opioid-related deaths
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl
    Between the beginning of February 2015 and the end of January 2016, an estimated 52,898 Americans died from a drug overdose, many from opioids like OxyContin, heroin and, most alarmingly, from the extremely potent synthetic opioid fentanyl. In the year that followed, the number of fatal overdoses recorded rose to 64,070. Many of these deaths should have been preventable: Naloxone can reverse an overdose before it fatally depresses a user’s respiratory and central nervous system. But as overdose deaths spike and government moves to respond, companies have seized the opportunity to profit from the crisis by exploiting skyrocketing demand.

    Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, for instance, raised the average wholesale price of its naloxone, which can be injected or outfitted off-label with an atomizer for intranasal use, from $20.34 to $39.60, according to a December 2016 paper in The New England Journal of Medicine. The price of the popular Narcan nasal spray, manufactured by Adapt Pharma and approved in 2015, has not been raised, but it came on the market in 2015 at a high average wholesale price of $150. The largest price hike was for Evzio, an auto-injector device designed for easy use by laypersons. In 2014, a two-dose package of Evzio, manufactured by kaléo, cost $690. As of 2016, it cost $4,500. That’s more than a 500 percent increase.
    https://www.thenation.com/article/th...opioid-crisis/
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    Prohibition only makes drugs stronger. The more potent drugs you can store in as little space as possible, the more profit you'll make. It was the same during alcohol prohibition, which led to an increased consumption of strong liquor over beer.

    In the 80s, my country had a drug crisis/epidemic as well, the culprit drug was heroin. Swiss authorities tried a new strategy, harm reduction. One of the measures was opening heroin-assisted treatment centers, where addicts would be treated and stabilized. Here people would be given high quality, pharmaceutical grade heroin, clean syringes, needles and safe injection rooms where they would take the drug under medical supervision. Social workers would help them find housing, jobs, etc. The result was a sharp drop in drug-related crime and most of those people in the treatment lead normal lives with normal jobs, even if some of them continued to inject for years or the remainder of their lives. Because of the existence of those centers, drug-related deaths, overdoses and illnesses dropped and street drugs were no longer as popular. They were far more expensive and people didn't know what they were getting, so going to a HAT facility was preferable.

    Another example:

    How Europe’s heroin capital solved its overdose crisis

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