MicrobeWorld App

appsquarebannerad200x200

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email

subscribe

Microbes After Hours

cheese-thumb-small

Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Featured Image

Featured Video

Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

Supporters

ASM House 200X200

Flu experts rebut conflict claims

"Drug firms 'encouraged world health body to exaggerate swine flu threat'," screamed Britain's Daily Mail newspaper on June 4. "2 European reports criticize WHO's H1N1 pandemic guidelines as tainted," headlined The Washington Post the next day. To judge from media coverage last week, a major scandal had been exposed in the handling of the H1N1 flu pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). But nothing could be further from the truth.

The news articles reported on two investigations: one by journalists at the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a non-profit body in London launched in April; the other by the health committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) -- a human-rights body based in Strasbourg, France, independent of the European Union.

Both reports allege that the WHO might have been unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry in declaring H1N1 flu a pandemic, and in backing widespread vaccination and stockpiling of antiviral drugs, a claim often made by conspiracy theorists. They also complain that a 2004 WHO pandemic-preparedness document did not reveal that some of its authors had been paid for work by pharmaceutical companies--although the scientists had declared their competing interests elsewhere.
 
 

Comments (0)

Collections (0)

 

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use