Britain, long known as a nation that produces much more exciting scandals than Canada, the US, or Australia, has done it again. It seems that the British Parliament has found a new way to keep its citizens happy even in the face of soaring costs, falling incomes, and terrorists with weapons of mass destruction behind every corner. Yes, that’s right – better living through chemistry.
LONDON, Aug 08, 2004 (United Press International) — Some 24 million prescriptions for the antidepressant Prozac are written annually in Britain and now the nation’s drinking water contains traces of the drug.
The BBC reported Sunday a British Environment Agency report suggests the reason traces of the drug are found in rivers and groundwater is that so many people are taking the drug.
The government agency has discussed the impact for human health, reported Sunday’s Observer.
“It is alarming that there is no monitoring of levels of Prozac and other pharmacy residues in our drinking water,” said MP Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrats’ environment spokesman.
However, while the Environment Agency said Prozac in the water table could be potentially toxic and that the drug was a “potential concern,” the exact amount of Prozac in the nation’s drinking water has not been determined.
Years ago, a skit by the comedians Beyond the Fringe featured the story of Britons facing the challenges of life with a stoic, “Never mind, dear – I’ll put on the kettle and we’ll have a nice cup of tea”. Now that we know what’s in that tea, it makes a lot more sense.