[ExI] (The Independent 2013-08) Plumpy'Nut: The lifesaver that costs... well, peanuts

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Tue Sep 17 19:51:53 UTC 2013

On Tue, 17 Sep 2013, Dave Sill wrote:

> On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 8:44 PM, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> >
> > (It's about special food used for treatment accute malnutrition. According
> > to UNICEF, there are millions - 6.9 in 2011 - preventable children death
> > each year. Fortunately, the number dropped 50% from 12 mln in 1990.
> > Preventable means, lack of vaccine which cost less than about 0.1 green
> > alone or less than 1 green with portable fridge for transporting more of
> > it, longer distance.  For more details, see "UNICEF Annual Report 2012",
> > http://www.unicef.org/publications/index_69639.html . I have quite a few
> > of my own problems, probably bigger than most of readers, but I have just
> > bought a month, maybe two worth of this Plumpy. It's easy, they welcome
> > any money at unicef.org - or, go find your regional office's website. So,
> > I am sure you can easily beat me at this stunt, or forward this to your
> > innumerable buddies, challenging them in my name - TR)
> >From http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazine/05Plumpy-t.html?_r=2&hp&
> It's unfortunate that a product like this is burdened with a (probably
> overly broad) patent. It's basically fortified peanut butter, which
> isn't really a new idea. It's also unfortunate that the patent owner
> "has aggressively protected its intellectual property". It certainly
> makes people less likely to donate to Unicef.
> -Dave

OK, this is somehow valid objection. I considered it briefly, yesterday, 
but then decided to donate and marked the goal as "UNICEF decides", there 
were few examples of what could be purchased by what kind of money - like 
this and this much water purification tablets, first aid kits and the 
like. I choose few first aid kits which roughly translate to about 6 weeks 
of one child's life on Plumpy or to about 1000 polio vaccines. I hope the 
money will be spent wisely because they don't hang on hook in a toilet 
here. If the guys decide to feed hunger victim with patented life saving 
product, so be it. If they decide to finance making of generic equivalent 
of the said product, when they have such an option, so be it and to hell 
with patents. Or if they want, then why not vaccinate a thousand children 
or give a village year's worth load of water purifiers.

If you were swimming in the open seas, would you want to be thrown a 
generic safety raft or just a raft? From certain point of view, and in 
certain situations, patent issues are... interesting. But they are not 
important. I bet you wouldn't want to wait until there was possibility to 
3d print opensourced raft, using only renewables and ecologically grown 
materials, then transport them to you with help of likewise 3dp/os solar 
powered plane.

Of course I realize this is not going to stop anything, actually those 
money of mine were small, eh, peanuts given scale of things. A year or two 
from now I'll read about preventable deaths again, but this time it would 
be diffent because I would know I helped.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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