People are calling Marcia Bergeron the proverbial canary in the coalmine. The British Columbia woman was found dead in her home last December, filled by chemicals laced with lethal heavy metals believed to have been packed into a counterfeit pill she bought over the internet. She had ingested a drug produced in south-east Asia or China and sold by a website based in eastern Europe.
The Canadian woman was the first westerner known to have died from fake drugs. Her death, followed by the headlined scandals over Colgate and Sensodyne toothpastes containing antifreeze and the flood of stories about lead-soaked toys, has finally brought the counterfeiting crisis to the world’s consciousness.
By Jon Entine
13 November 2007