Urban Confrontation; 25; Ralph Nader speaks out on Profit vs. Safety
You never be told about harmful chemical additives many of which will soon be taken off the market to foul cyclamates and MSD of baby food. You'll never be told that hundreds of chemical additives were allowed into the food supply under say some of the food companies that sent the information to the Food Drug Administration which didn't look at the basic data didn't require basic testing didn't even look at summaries of data but just put them on the generally recognized as safe list. Urban confrontations. And analysis of the continuing crises facing 20th century man in the American city. Today's Record guest is grounds major consumer rights crusader. Today's program Ralph Nader speaks out. Profit versus safety.
Here is your host Joseph Harvey or. Ralph Nader. They've done so for production of the good whose books testimony and speeches have stung the automobile drug OD food processing industries spoke recently at Northeastern you know by. City during his address Mr Nader argued that machines must adapt to man. Here is Mr. Nader. How much are we to require man to adjust to inadequate technology and exhort him and sloganising. And how much are we going to say the capability is much greater much more controllable much more predictable much cheaper much easier to administer to make technology adapt to man and to man's capacities and his failures. The vehicle has go a long way to go here. Take one. Situation. The remedy that I mentioned earlier. The estimate is two
hundred fifty thousand Americans have been fatally impaled on the steering column since 900 estimate comes from Department Transportation. Why not a pretty fair estimate of almost 2 million people killed since 900 drivers of course are high proportion. What actually kills and injures people in a crash in the ultimate sense is the way energy forces are transferred into the human body and the last line of defense is the vehicle. It's a far more controllable thing collapsible steering column doesn't get drunk or fall asleep the wheel What is the ultimate accident prevention strategy is to prevent a crash obviously. How do you do this. You try to train 95 million people so that instead of making ninety nine point ninety nine ninety nine percent of their driving maneuvers accident free they make 100 percent or maybe a little higher close to 100. Or do we. We concentrate more heavily on other areas that are far
more effective. Like if 15 years ago we decided to put as much money in the development of sensor systems for motor vehicles as we have say for helicopters. We did now have perfected for a very economical mass production system that would sense an impending collision and actually automatically the braking system. There are more engineers and scientists in this country working on emergency evacuation of nuclear submarines and there is an auto safety risk against disclosures made during congressional hearings a few years ago revealed that American cars were as Ralph Nader put it Unsafe at Any Speed. The commercial the response the automobile manufacturers installed new safety equipment for increased driver protection and pollution control devices for ecological safety company
focusing on unsafe highways. Ralph Nader has this comment is when you're going to write a highway for some reason you veer off and you crash into a light pole. Do you ever pause to ask yourself why that light pole or side was rooted in concrete. And the answer has to be doesn't. That is to protect itself from property damage when cars smash into it. And we have about 3 million miles of such highways with extremely securely rooted highway structures. How many people have stopped and asked that question. Well recently they've been getting that question there are some projects in Texas pilot projects elsewhere sponsored by the federal government. They're setting up breakaway signs and poles. So when a car goes into home it breaks the sign and breaks away
and the car slows down to a stub. More time for it to keep a very low load on the energy levels that are transferred. How about abutments car smashes into it above. Why does it have to smash into a bucket. Why can't the above would be constructed with a energy absorbing. Front. Circled cage guard what have you in fact in Texas just to prove the point. They put some empty oil drums in front of the abutments which worked miracles. Very predictable miracles. I'm moving to the wildcard. There's inventor. Right. New Jersey. Twelve years ago invented and I'll guard this high concrete slippery steel around it curved in a proper manner. He convinced the bridge authority outside New York to put it on the bridge or have a lot of accidents going up the bridge. Ever since Sam has been a serious crush
because the cars go into the air and they are guided back onto the highway without any property damage. In fact some truck drivers in order to save time go around the corner and bounce off this route. That design or its equivalent has not been adopted on any highways we've built 40000 miles a brand new interstate in that intervening period. They're talking about it though. In which we're used to still shifting his attention slightly that Mr. Nader accuses the automobile industry buyer of reaping profits as he sees it from faulty car design we go on enforcing the fact is that the more cars crash the more cars are sold and the more spare parts to sell and this is one reason. This is one reason why bumpers are designed as they are. Now this illustrates again the immense ignorance and tolerance of the consumer
for the most outrageous kinds of expensive design. Well what happens when you have bumpers designed that way. What happens is that for the majority of collisions which occur and a 10 mph is there is unnecessary property damage is a bumpers don't do their protection. Which maze is unnecessary payments for property damage which is about a billion dollars a year. Why does the amount of money that consumer could save if in the car you buy is given a decent simple protective bumper like they used to give you 35 40 years ago. Yes signing insurance company data on a car repair costs Ralph Nader takes to task the bumper styling of today's automobiles activity but it generates industry now we'll tell you where 90 69 model cars what the damage is when the car crashes at 5 miles an hour and 10 miles an hour. What the damages to property damage ranges between a hundred seventy two hundred thirty dollars per car at five miles an hour which is a brisk walk.
At 10 miles an hour which is a job. That ranges between 400 800 $14 day average per car. That's the complement of the contemporary bumper design. You ever ask yourself what function to fill. Well as a matter of practice the function it fails to protect vehicles from pedestrians. About a half a million pedestrians are injured every year in contact with motor vehicles most of them very low speeds and many of the injuries are needlessly aggravated by the sharp cutting edges. A doctor speaking from a liberal point of view Ralph Nader discusses the issue of law and order as he believes it should apply to big business versus an economic system is destroying the very preconditions of human life in terms of poisoning the environment. City rural air water soil at a rate which in 20 or 30 years will really be disastrous. We'll find atmosphere conversions over cities
wiping out 30000 people in one sweep. The toughest penalties in the laws are on street type crimes. For example suppose you want to really steal from the public. One way to do it is to break into a phone box. It takes six bucks if you do that in Maryland you'll get two years in jail but another way if you want to really do it smart is to develop a corporation and gauge a price fixing with another corporation and then even if you're caught you'll still be ahead of the game because the maximum penalty for criminal violation of the Sherman Act and the history that you have access 89 has been a one to six week jail term. But that's after That's after the corporate executives were caught up in price fixing that stole a billion and a half dollars from the American public in the electrical manufacturing price fixing conspiracy that was broken in 1981. Guilty pleas. They still came out ahead by the way.
Because they gained a billion and a half dollars they had to pay out 500 million dollars in damages to the big purchasers of their generators that they fix prices and then they rode off because they got a revenue ruling that allowed them to write off the 500 million dollars paid as ordinary necessary business expenses. It's time comparing the crime in the streets to what he views as crime on the streets in the medicine cabinet in the ghettos and in the very air we breathe. Ralph Nader discusses our traditional definition of crime and violence. You hear the word violence you think in terms of civil disorder riots and overseas wars. Our conception of us has not kept up to date with modern technology and its profusion of violent aftereffects.
And yet look at our domestic scene and ask what are the most serious forms of violence in the land. If you ask and you systematically research it you will find that crime in the street is a very very low point compared to other sources like 56000 lives and four and a half injuries on the highway. The leading form of traumatic violence domestically in the nation. More people are killed on the highways in one year than all U.S. servicemen killed in Vietnam since 1961. Another source of violence is fire. Death by fire on a per capita basis is two and a half times more in this country than in Japan. About 13000 people are killed in this matter many due to violations of building codes and a very poor fire prevention system. Prescription drugs.
We scripted drugs by the thousands are being sold every day that are considered dangerous and ineffective for the use for which there are advertised by the National Academy of Sciences. Drug Evaluation. These are particularly the antibiotic combinational drugs like an album which every year is injuring tens of thousands of people according to this data. The drug companies have got the Food Drug Administration tied up in the courts. Meanwhile these drugs are still being prescribed all over the country. That's a form of cigarettes. The range from 50 to 200000 deaths a year. That's a form of promoted violence which has transformed himself into an addiction which is the most successful type of violence because the victim becomes the primary defender of that particular system of violence. What happens when the building health codes are systematically violated for half a century.
Slums arrives a slum by definition is illegal. You can't have a building that's deteriorated we call it a slum. If the building codes codes were enforced. Now when you have black children in their little curiosity chipping off the peeled paint with lead based content and eating it out of their innocence and getting sick or having brain damage result or death that's a massive kind of violence like 30000 children being poisoned every year in New York City alone from the ingestion of that kind of lead based paint malnutrition connection between malnutrition and brain damage or mental retardation or other some physical disability. That's a form of violence very
silent for environmental pollution. What do you think happens when hundreds and thousands of tons of phosphates pesticide into the air hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Now this is just a simple panorama. Compare it with crime industries. They're about 13000 home asides a year in this country 6000 of them are in the streets arrest of kinship homicides by and large. 6000 homicides that's about five and a half weeks toll on the highway. All are riots in the cities the last four years of total 300 dead. That's less than two days on the highway. All the property damage is 966 due to city riots. But about 600 million dollars. That's about. A month's property damage in the high life. Ralph Nader believes that the American standard of living fails to meet out of what health levels are provide minimal should he need your examination.
Our health in this country is one of massive neglect. There are 36 foreign nations that will provide a longer life expectancy for an average adult male age 20 than in the United States. There are 21 foreign nations that exceed the average adult female life expectancy at age 20 at age 40. The average American male can look forward to a life four years longer than his predecessor in 1900. We have about 14 countries ahead of us in infant mortality and we can go on with those kinds of statistics. In a era of booming economic growth we have hospitals on the verge of bankruptcy are closing down because of lack of investment in care and lack of competence in their management. In an era where you have the biggest city in the biggest country in the world New York wealthiest city disintegrating on all levels.
Environment mass transit governmental service medical services and so forth. There is an increasing incidence of food borne disease salmonella. This is climbing very rapidly but two and a half million people get it. Most don't even know they have it. They call it a book or a virus or an upset stomach but only if it becomes critical perhaps is it diagnosed hepatitis. We have we dump sewage and all kinds of things in bays where shellfish are harvested and rudders. They're getting contaminated. If I had 500 stew knowing both world wars the United States was the super market for the world and today we are still considered the richest food producing nation. Nevertheless Ralph Nader challenges this idea of American agricultural superiority and the adulteration of the food supply has never been higher. The price for selling water air and fire has never been higher.
Pumping fast the frankfurters is often the source of of the humor among people when they learn that the average content of frankfurters fats in Frankfurt is gone from 15 or 70 percent 950 to 33 percent last year. They sort of giggle. They laugh 15 billion frankfurters a sold a third at least is fat. The rest water filler miscellaneous debris and substandard meat. People laugh. People laugh. And in fact people continue to eat Frank for it is a processed meat either on the assumption that anything that tastes good must be good. Boy is there news for you on that one. Or that the government is watching out for this or that you see no
perceptible connection the next day or next week. You feel alright if you don't feel right you attribute to a virus and that after all it's cheaper. Well. Fasano aground It's not cheaper. You think bacon is cheaper than sirloin cut 30 75 percent of bacon you buys fat you eat you when it's way down the scale you're paying 80 80 90 dollar a pound processed meat is even worse because you're paying for all kinds of things have nothing to do with me including things like rodent remains. Which were tested. Which were found in fresh pork sausage by a widespread test undertaken by Consumers Union. This is a slide rule precision fraud. This is criminal fraud. They know precisely with every increasing. Percentage that they are making more per unit sale. There's a lot of
injustice and a lot of. Fraud. I mean amounts to probably 25 percent of the consumers income by a conservative standard lawyer for the people back in the early 1900s. Upton Sinclair exposed the shoddy practices of the Chicago meat packing industry. As a consequence the Food and Drug Administration was established in 19 06 to ban from the marketplace inferior meats unfold and harmful chemical additives. And yet Ralph Nader believes that the federal government has had only mixed success in protecting the American consumer. At the meat counter this history knows that if you can meet three criteria they can sell you almost anything that's to make the product palatable. Easy to chew or tender teeth are going out of style. Are visually visually presentable. Once it does that to a food product. It's home for it. Now fortunately we can do that with the misuse of chemical additives coloring agencies any
preservatives tenderize without also giving you nutrition also in this climate its safety and not adulterated or contaminated products. There's a chicken cancer epidemic going on in this country. You probably heard about it. Going off for five years getting worse. They have now found a way to control and found a vaccine and found a way to eradicate it by genetic strain strain. So what happens. All that we're left with is the injunction to cook cook that virus and cook it hard. Sometimes a virus erupts develops it develops tumors or lesions in the chickens and poultry inspectors are authorized to condemn chickens that have tumors or lesions. So many chickens are being condemned still far far less than it should be that the poultry industry is
upset so they descended on Washington recently to try to get them to loosen their poultry inspection standards as it is are ridiculous. There are 15 things a poor poultry expect us to check on each chicken on the disassembly line and the rate is 25 chickens per minute he's got two point two seconds particular Dujon. So the poultry lobby descended on Washington and said said Look here we agree that lesions and tumors are aesthetic problems. There is no evidence they say that there's a transfer effect of this cancer on to the human organism. Of course there is no evidence that there's not a transfer effect because very little research has been done. It's been snuffed under the rug large. So they went to Washington he said look. When the chickens got for example a lesions or
tumors eyes wings don't get them the whole chicken. Allow us to chop off the wings grind them up put them into hot dogs. An alert press and a leg press got a hold of this and and the disclosure stopped in the US part of our culture finally decided to say no to this latest foray. Now you'd never be told this you never be told about harmful chemical additives many of which will soon be taken off the market to follow cyclamates and MSD and baby food. You'll never be told that hundreds of chemical additives were allowed into the food supply on the say so of the food companies that sent the information to the Food Drug Administration which didn't look at the basic data didn't require basic testing
didn't even look at summaries of data but just put them on the generally recognized as safe list. With 95 Ralph Nader has crusaded for safety on the streets and in our homes since the mid 1950s. As a young but veteran campaigner for consumer interests he offers this advice to the American consumer. And if we're going to get support. As wrong as consumers can read and understand about these abuses and still go about it. Being victims of these abuses willing willingly that is if you could see how processed meats are made in this country you could possibly deduce intellectually you never eat them again. The fact is you will eat them again. And that tomorrow you will eat hotdogs and the Nunda Tricia's snacks. The store wants two cars in his garage.
I will take the car when he could take public transportation or walk. Who will buy all those disposable packages and materials who will continue to smoke and support the tobacco industry. And who will in effect do everything that other consumers are doing which bolsters the whole operation. But they intellectually reject and criticize as long as that goes. There is not going to be any change no matter how many Crusaders stand up and disclose these things so-called. How many congressional hearings how much rhetoric you get how many books are written. It's purely a manpower quantitative response that is required. So while we keep our eye on those who pervade and who perpetuate the major injustices and those who can avoid the major injustices let us not neglect the very hard neg in fact. That a great deal of that
metabolism for change even after the analysis is made and the disclosures are made. Are going to come. From the quality of character and the stamina that the individual brings to the task. And that is a question everybody has to ask himself and get an answer and a hard answer at that. Thank you. Thank you. Their views and opinions expressed on the preceding programs do not necessarily represent those as the program goes. Joseph R. Bader Northeastern University for this station. Weston's eyes were merely the moderator's method of presenting many sides of today's topic. Northeastern University has brought you Ralph Nader
consumer rights crusader. Today's program Ralph Nader's speaks out. Profit vs safety. Your program host has been Joseph R. Baylor Director Department of radio production. Urban confrontation is produced for the division of instructional communications of the nation's largest private university. Northeastern University comments on this program or request for a recorded copy of any program in this series may be addressed to urban confrontation. Northeastern University Boston Massachusetts pulled two one one find. This week's program was produced by Peter Lance and Steve Friedman directed by Susan Maxwell technical supervision by John Bach. The executive producer for the urban confrontation is the Steve Friedman your announcer. Dave Hammond.
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- Urban Confrontation is an analysis of the continuing crises facing 20th century man in the American city, covering issues such as campus riots, assassinations, the internal disintegration of cities, and the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation. Produced for the Office of Educational Resources at the Communications Center of the nations largest private university, Northeastern University.
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Producing Organization: Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)
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