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WHO and Big Pharma: Guilty of Blackmail and Extortion in Swine Flu Fiasco?

On January 25 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will launch an emergency inquiry regarding the influence of pharmaceutical companies on the global swine flu campaign.

The inquiry will focus on the drug industry’s influence on the World Health Organization (WHO).

The motion was introduced by Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, head of health at the Council of Europe, who has accused the makers of flu drugs and vaccines of influencing the World Health Organization's decision to declare a pandemic.

The motion has now been signed by 14 members from 10 countries sitting on the EU’s Health Committee, who are angry that nations all over the world, and particularly in Europe, have wasted scarce health funds on a contrived “pandemic.”

The investigation is listed on the EU’s draft agenda as “Request for Debate Under Urgent Procedure on ‘Faked Pandemics – A Threat for Health’.”

WHO, meanwhile,  has slammed charges that the pandemic was fake, saying that allegation is "wrong" and "irresponsible." They also retorted that they had put into place numerous safeguards to prevent conflicts of interest among its advisers. Further, they said:

"WHO takes allegations of conflict of interest seriously and is confident of its decision-making independence regarding the pandemic influenza."

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Finally! This step is a long-overdue move to public transparency of a “Golden Triangle” of corruption between the WHO, the drug industry and academic scientists that has permanently damaged the lives of millions of people, and even caused death.

It is satisfying to see that the role of the WHO and its pandemic emergency declaration in June of 2009 will be the special focus of a years-overdue inquiry into how deeply Big Pharma’s tentacles reach into this organization.

I applaud Dr. Wolfgang Woodard, chairman of the EU Health Committee, for leading the charge in demanding the probe.

‘Under the Influence’

As I have said from the very beginning , this so-called pandemic was never a pandemic in the true sense. It only became a “pandemic” by definition when the WHO decided to change the definition in May last year.

That’s when they changed the criteria for a pandemic to make it no longer necessary for an enormous amount of people to have contracted an illness or died before a pandemic could be called. Instead, under the new definition, all it takes to declare a pandemic is a virus that people have no immunity toward, which is spreading beyond borders.

In other words, it doesn’t matter how many, or how few, people are affected. All a disease has to do to be a pandemic is move beyond a few countries’ borders.

By changing the definition, nations were compelled to implement pandemic plans and to purchase H1N1 flu vaccines, enabling drug companies to pocket billions of dollars on fast-tracked, untested vaccines.

In the motion to investigate this travesty, the EU Health Committee denounced what the WHO did, saying “The definition of an alarming pandemic must not be under the influence of drug-sellers.”

‘Everybody’ Should Have Questioned WHO

Talk about laying the cards on the table! Finally, leaders of entire nations are recognizing how insidious Big Pharma’s influence is on the world’s policy makers, and are joining together to demand an accounting!

The EU Health Committee didn’t stop there, however. The committee’s short but succinct motion minces no words in what its members think about the WHO’s H1N1 “pandemic”:

“In order to promote their patented drugs and vaccines against flu, pharmaceutical companies have influenced scientists and official agencies, responsible for public health standards, to alarm governments worldwide,” the motion says.

“They have made (governments) squander tight health care resources for inefficient vaccine strategies and needlessly exposed millions of healthy people to the risk of unknown side-effects of insufficiently tested vaccines.

The "birds-flu“-campaign (2005/06) combined with the "swine-flu“-campaign seem to have caused a great deal of damage not only to some vaccinated patients and to public health budgets, but also to the credibility and accountability of important international health agencies.”

That is exactly what I said in this previous report – that by declaring this non-pandemic a pandemic, the WHO has recklessly damaged its credibility, so much so that it’s possible that when a real pandemic hits, nobody will pay attention! In an interview with PharmaTimes, Dr. Wodarg called the H1N1 pandemic “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century.”

And in an interview with a Danish news agency, which Dr. Wodarg reprinted in English on his blog, Dr. Wodarg said, “Everybody who knows about epidemiology should have questioned the way WHO handled this case from the beginning.”

All Profit, No Risk

So what’s going on here, anyway? If the pandemic was faked, as the EU Health Committee alleges, what would be the motivation behind it?

Dr. Wodarg has a theory about that too.

He became suspicious, he said in his Danish interview, when he asked the WHO in 2004 during the avian flu episode about how they defined a pandemic. This is what he learned:

“The governments have sealed contracts with vaccine producers where they secure orders in advance and take upon themselves almost all the responsibility. In this way the producers of vaccines are sure of enormous gains without having any financial risks. So they just wait until WHO says ‘pandemic’ and activate the contracts.”

Sound familiar?

Sadly, that’s also how vaccine injury immunity works in the US – where drug companies are shielded from responsibility through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, so everything they produce is all profit and no risk.

The avian flu (H5N1) triggered an “atmosphere of panic” that influenced many European countries to create an emergency pandemic plan at the cost of hundreds of millions – and in some cases, billions – of Euros, according to Dr. Wodarg.

The pandemic plans then laid the groundwork for H1N1 to be called a pandemic even though it could have been handled through normal influenza season vaccine strategies.

“You could have used the same method to vaccinate the population against swine flu in a much cheaper fashion,” Dr. Wodarg says. “If you simply had added H1N1 to the flu vaccines we already have in stocks, then there would have been no need for a pandemic.”

Money, Money, Money

Dr. Wodarg believes the real reason behind the H1N1 “pandemic” is money. That’s money as in patent-protection that allows drug companies to make untold amounts of profit on a patented process or drug component.

“Some of the additives in the vaccines are patented,” Dr. Wodarg says in this interview. “And therefore nobody from the industry is interested in mixing the old vaccine with the new one.”

Furthermore, H1N1 vaccine makers and world health officials recommended that everyone be inoculated twice for this particular flu – which is not normal.

“It is self-evident that they earn more money that way,” Dr. Wodarg says. “Therefore several things made me suspicious.”

That’s right. It’s all about money.

And where does the WHO get its money?

From dues assessed to member countries, and voluntary contributions from non-profit organizations such as the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation and – you guessed it! – pharmaceutical companies.

If you believe the old axiom, he who pays the piper calls the tune, the conflicts of interest that can occur in accepting voluntary contributions from drug companies can be troubling, to say the least.

That’s why Dr. Wodarg says he shared his concerns with the European Council, and asked them to investigate what happened with the H1N1 pandemic.

“There is no control over the WHO,” Dr. Wodarg said when he announced the Health Committee’s motion to investigate.

“Only governments can exercise influence through the annual assembly in WHO. Today, a majority of the Health Committee in the European Council agree on an independent investigation of the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on WHO.”

While it isn’t realistic to remove industry from the WHO completely, Wodarg added that he does believe that industry should be barred from participating in committees that decide on what is a pandemic, and who should be inoculated.

“We have to insist on transparency,” Dr. Wodarg said.

US Senator Asks Questions About the H1N1 Vaccine

In a similar vein, on January 12, Iowa state Senator Chuck Grassley issued a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demanding answers about the H1N1 vaccines.

His letter begins:

“As the senior Senator from Iowa and Ranking Member of the United States Senate Committee on Finance (Committee), I have a duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight into the actions of executive branch agencies, including the activities of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS or Department) and its agencies, and to ensure that taxpayer dollars are appropriately spent on safe and effective drugs and vaccines.

… I greatly appreciate the efforts of the Department, the CDC and the FDA in making the vaccines available in this country in such a short timeframe. At the same time, there have been questions raised by, among others, patients and some health care providers regarding the safety and efficacy of these new vaccines.

In addition, last month, Sanofi Pasteur and MedImmune voluntarily recalled specific lots of their H1N1 vaccines because they found decreases in vaccine potency. Accordingly, I would appreciate your responses to the following questions:”

I for one am looking forward to seeing the answers to the 19 questions posed

A Call for Action

It will also be interesting to watch how the European Council’s Health Committee motion pans out in the coming days and weeks.

According to an article in Bloomberg, the WHO is planning to conduct a review of its response to the swine flu, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has confirmed that “false pandemics, a threat to health” will be a major theme of its next plenary session, with a debate slated for January 28.

In the meantime, I believe transparency – open, up-front acknowledgement of who’s paying the piper in every sense of the word – should be a given everywhere, and not just with the WHO.

That means that in the US, we should be doing the same thing, by demanding a call to action for complete, detailed accountings from the CDC, the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and all health agencies and academic researchers and scientists who have stakes in any drug that is mass-marketed.

Such a request is only right, when people are losing their jobs by refusing to get mandated vaccines, such as these workers at Charleston, West Virginia’s Area Medical Center did at the beginning of January (read about it here).

Instead of voluntary disclosures of possible conflicts of interest, any person or agency who has any stake in the ultimate control over our health care should be held accountable, with a mandate that the all of the money they receive – and the names of who they’re getting that money from – be listed in an easily accessible database for anyone to see.

That means every grant, every funding source, every donation, salary, and gift from any pharmaceutical company should be an open book.

For the sake of public health, both worldwide and here at home, we, the people that these agencies and individuals serve, deserve no less.