Food poisoning survivors threaten suicide at Madrid art gallery | New

Protesters demand a meeting with Spain’s prime minister and funds for medical expenses for survivors of the historic food poisoning scandal.

People who survived mass food poisoning in 1981 have occupied Madrid’s Del Prado art gallery, threatening to attempt suicide if their demands for help and attention are not met.

One photo showed six people – one in a wheelchair – holding a banner in front of Las Meninas (The Bridesmaids), a painting by Spanish painter Diego Velazquez, inside the gallery on Tuesday. Others gathered outside.

“No more humiliation and abandonment,” said a statement posted on the Twitter account of an association for victims of adulterated rapeseed oil which injured thousands across Spain in 1981.

“Six hours after the start of our presence here, we will begin to ingest pills”, warned the association We Are Still Alive, without giving a precise time.

The group is demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez by the end of October and money to cover the medical costs of the surviving victims.

One of the biggest food poisoning scandals in the world, the incident left at least 5,000 dead and 20,000 others affected, most of them in incurable conditions, says the group.

‘We are sick’

There was no immediate comment from the Spanish government or the Prado.

Protesters said they chose the museum because the culture helped the victims cope.

“We are sick. Physically we are 20 years older than our ID cards say,” said a woman outside.

The substance that affected protesters and others was originally for industrial use, but was adulterated and illegally sold as olive oil, mostly in street markets, starting in Madrid and then expanding. to other regions.

Symptoms ranged from lung failure and limb deformity to destruction of the body’s immune system.

Many survivors are crippled for life.

About 100,000 people have been exposed and clinical illness has occurred in 20,000 people, 10,000 of whom have been hospitalized, according to the Science Direct website. More than 300 victims have died, says Science Direct.

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