A top World Health Organization official dismissed charges Thursday that the agency exaggerated the threat posed by the H1N1 virus and that it had been unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry to issue dire warnings about the swine flu pandemic.
"The world is going through a real pandemic. The description of it as a fake is both wrong and irresponsible," Keiji Fukuda, the special adviser to the WHO director general on pandemic influenza, told reporters during a briefing. "WHO has been balanced and truthful in the information it has provided to the public. It has not underplayed and not overplayed the risk it poses to the public.
"We did take very great care that the advice it received is not unduly influenced."