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Tony Parsons column: Thalidomide's recurring evil.

FOR Georgina Harrison, Thalidomide is not an old story. For Georgina, the memory of Thalidomide doesn't fade with the headlines of 40 years ago.

For most of us, Thalidomide is consigned to the distant past. We all know - God help us - that Thalidomide was hailed as a wonder drug for curing morning sickness but produced unimaginable deformities in 12,000 babies.

Yet for most of us, Thalidomide is a word like Aberfan or Biafra. A word that conjures up unspeakable tragedy, but a tragedy that belongs in the last century.

Not for Georgina Harrison. Georgina lives with the horrific legacy of Thalidomide every single day. She has had her deformed feet amputated. Both her hands are chronically deformed.

Everything is a struggle for her. Everything will always be a struggle.

Georgina Harrison is only six years old. This little girl's father, Glenn, 39, was one of the original victims of Thalidomide. Now his beautiful daughter is suffering from the unspeakable greed, incompetence and thoughtless cruelty of the men who manufactured Thalidomide.

So it makes your blood boil to hear that, as new compensation for the victims is haggled over, it's still not accepted that Thalidomide victims can pass on their heartbreaking abnormalities to their own children.

Anyone who doubts that the effects of Thalidomide are hereditary should meet little Georgina.

Then all those doubting scientists, lawyers and pharmaceutical big shots should ask themselves one simple question.

How much proof do we need?
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Parsons, Tony
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 5, 2000
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