China To Drug Test 170 Million Children

By John Lavitt 04/14/14

Teachers were caught secretly drugging kindergarten kids with an outdated flu vaccine, triggering blanket testing of the communist nation's entire child population.

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In the most extensive campaign of its kind in history, China is starting the incredible task of “blanket” drug testing of as many as 170 million children. No country has ever attempted such a massive campaign, particularly on its own children. The reasons for the campaign surprisingly are not motivated by student abuse of illegal drugs.

Much more sinister, it began with young victims being drugged by their kindergarten teachers. According to Chinese news reports, hundreds of kindergarten pupils in three different provinces were secretly given moroxydine hydrochloride, an anti-viral drug produced in the 1950s in the United States to combat the flu. The drug is no longer used in Western countries or considered medically viable. Even more frightening are the complete lack of published reports in English about the drug and zero records of clinical trials ever being done.

In the Chinese educational system, schools are only paid for days pupils attend. The kindergartens involved hoped to maximize attendance by secretly administering moroxydine hydrochloride to their students in hopes they would attend more classes. The heads of the kindergartens have been arrested and all the connected staff members replaced.

Parents discovered what was going on at the Feng Yun kindergarten when a child told his mother that he would “never get sick again” because he had been “taking medicine.” Once the news was picked up by local papers, parents across the country reacted furiously. Amid street protests, more than 500 parents in Xi’an reported that their children suffered headaches as a result of the medication.

In an article on Xinhuanet, state media called it a "crisis of confidence in kindergarten managers." China's preschools have been characterized by "a long history of avoidable problems," such as food safety and physical abuse. Countless parents had been previously upset with private kindergartens "which are poorly funded, poorly managed and frequently in a bad state of repair."

Since the spread of the scandal and the resulting outrage, according to the Global Times, China's education and health ministries are requiring local branches to check all kindergartens and primary schools for illegally administered drugs. Such a check means the decision to drug test every child in the country. The result literally will be the largest drug testing campaign in the history of the world.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.