Grünenthal Group Apologizes to Thalidomide Victims | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
LONDON — Decades of campaigning by victims of thalidomide, a morning sickness drug, have taken a new turn, with the first apology in 50 years to the victims and their families by the drug’s German manufacturer — and an incensed rejection of the apology as too little and too late from many of those it was intended to placate.

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The apology was issued Friday by Harald Stock, chief executive of the Grünenthal Group, a family-owned pharmaceutical company that marketed the drug in the 1950s and early 1960s. It was withdrawn in 1961 after it was linked to birth defects, including shortened arms and legs, and in some cases no limbs at all, that campaigners say affected 10,000 babies around the world, mostly in Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan.

The apology came in a speech Mr. Stock delivered in the Rhineland town of Stolberg, the company’s base, at the unveiling of a thalidomide memorial, a bronze statue of a limbless child.

Addressing the victims and their families, he said the company wished to “apologize for the fact that we have not found the way to you from person to person for almost 50 years.

“Instead, we have been silent, and we are very sorry for that.”