28 December 2006

The latest in cyanide news

Not that this is a surprise or anything but a community in Romania is having a similar debate to one in Nome:

It is a classic tale of the developing world: a rich North American company discovers gold under pristine land and encourages the villagers to leave, offering money, homes in the city, soft-focus TV ads that tout the benefits of the project, and some tough talk.

International environmental groups — complete with celebrities like Vanessa Redgrave — descend on the town to support the locals, claiming that the mine is illegal and polluting.

"I believe if I fight for my rights within the EU, they will be respected," said Eugen David, 41, a farmer who is leading some of the villagers in refusing to leave their properties. "There are laws that forbid involuntary movement of people, there are regulations about testing of underground water and clear standards for environmental impact. I want to keep my life here."

Catalin Hosu, a communications manager for the company, said: "People get emotional when you talk about foreigners, cyanide, gold, destroying churches and cemeteries. But this is really a model of environmentally conscious development."

Yeah, I think I'd get emotional if people started talking about "destroying" my church and the burial place of my ancestors. Don't you think she could have said "relocation"?

In other news, the FDA has approved a new treatment for cyanide poisoning.

Drug safety officials in the USA have approved an emergency treatment used in France for cyanide poisoning.

Beginning next month, a kit called Cyanokit can be used by U.S. paramedics to treat cyanide poisoning, which poses a terrorist threat and could play a role in thousands of deaths each year from smoke inhalation.

Now Nome's emergency responders have to figure out how to use the stuff.

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