It appears that the global World Health Organisation is run by anti-globalisation zealots:
The WHO claims lead continues to be a menace - up to 30% of urban children show high blood levels in some places.
It says the emphasis from now on should be on the precautionary principle, putting safety first.
The WHO says "the vested interests of industry and free trade" have worked against this approach so far.
Supporters of industrialisation and free trade hold their views because they believe that industrialisation and free trade make everybody rich. So, if it is industrialisation and free trade that cause pollution, then presumably the victims of pollution must be rich. But apparently not:
Globally, the WHO says, 15 to 18 million children in developing countries suffer permanent brain damage from lead poisoning. Other threats to children's health include methylmercury, dioxins, furans, PCBs, pesticides, nitrites and nitrates, and benzene.
I wonder if it occurs to them that the poor suffer most from pollution because they have rather different priorities from the rich. Instead of regulating away their means of becoming rich, perhaps if we allowed them to become as rich as possible, as quickly as possible, we shall see them turn their efforts to cleaning up their environment, just like we did when we became rich.
Dr Roberto Bertollini of WHO said: "For too long, policy-makers have retrospectively pleaded; 'If only we had known earlier what we know now.'
"I believe that what we do know now must guide us in our review and approval processes, and should become the basis of a bold new precautionary approach that puts the burden of evidence on safety first."
A bold new precautionary approach? How thrilling.
Read Roger Scruton on the approaching petty tyranny from the WHO.