|Seizures of the deadly chemical carfentanil have exploded across the United States. Fuelled by a thriving trade out of China, the weapons-grade chemical is suspected in hundreds of drug overdoses across the U.S. and Canada.|
Of the 12 companies exposed by the Associated Press that initially offered to export carfentanil around the world, just three have stopped since the report was released. Nine continue to offer carfentanil for sale, no questions asked, and the AP identified four additional companies willing to sell the drug.
lethal dose of carfentanil
|Jilin Tely Import and Export Co. initially boasted in an email that carfentanil was one of its “hot sales product.” After being named in AP’s story, the company’s website vanished and it denied ever producing carfentanil.|
Vendors profit from a loophole in the global regulation of a substance whose toxicity has been compared to a nerve agent. Carfentanil is not controlled in China, the world's top source of fentanyl.
Carfentanil vendors take advantage of loose oversight on major trading platforms like South Korea’s EC21.com and China’s LookChem.com marketplaces.
|Since July, when carfentanil was first identified in the U.S. drug supply, the DEA has confirmed at least 407 carfentanil seizures in eight states. The DEA is waiting on confirmation from cases in West Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania.|
The true scope of the problem is likely much larger - very few laboratories in North America are even able to measure carfentanil concentrations in human blood.