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In testimony before a congressionally created panel that oversees U.S.-China economic and security issues, four specialists outlined negative implications of China’s expanding role in the global health care market.
Award-winning investigative journalist Ben Westhoff, addressing the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, spoke on the dangers of China’s lucrative production of the drug fentanyl.
Westhoff - Author - Book - Fentanyl - Inc
Westhoff is the author of the new book “Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating The Deadliest Wave Of The Opioid Epidemic,” which brings to light China’s production of drugs known as novel psychoactive substances, most notably fentanyl.
Westhoff said fentanyl was primarily used as a medical drug, but now finds its greatest use illicitly. Fentanyl used as a drug is mostly made in China, then directly sent to U.S. consumers through the mail or funneled across the southern border by Mexican drug cartels.
China - Faith - Westhoff - July - Hearing
“China has not been acting in good faith,” Westhoff said during the July 31 hearing. “Most companies produce legitimate chemicals, some produce illegal, others are in-between. Reforms have been promised, but inspections remain sporadic.”
“China’s clumsy understaffed bureaucracy, involving at least eight different agencies, has a difficult time controlling these chemical industries,” he said. “Thus, dodgy companies that keep their heads down can operate without problems.”
Westhoff - Officials - Laws - Chemical - Companies
Westhoff acknowledged that many Chinese officials do not fully understand laws governing these chemical companies. As a result, many companies manipulate gray areas in the law to their advantage and operate under the radar to avoid governmental oversight.
In addition, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology issues value-added tax rebates to subsidize companies exporting fentanyl to the United States.
Money - Companies - Drugs - Tens - Thousands
“Quietly, money has gone to Chinese companies exporting deadly drugs that are killing tens of thousands of Americans annually,” Westhoff said. “For example, China designates certain companies as ‘new and high technology enterprises,’ which helps these companies, including those exporting dangerous drugs to the...
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