Yesterday, twostix posted on the OOT this very interesting study, WHO and the pandemic flu “conspiracies”, published in the British Medical Journal over a decade ago. It looked at the many connections between research scientists, national and international public health officials, and BigPharma, and how they were implicated in the development of responses to future pandemics, from the purchase of antivirals and vaccines to the determination of their efficacy and safety. Here are some quotes:
The WHO maintained this 2 billion estimate even after the winter season in Australia and New Zealand showed that only about one to two out of 1000 people were infected. Last but not least, it changed the very definition of a pandemic.” WHO for years had defined pandemics as outbreaks causing “enormous numbers of deaths and illness” but in early May 2009 it removed this phrase—describing a measure of severity—from the definition.
The group’s policy plan for 2006-10 specifically stated that government representatives needed to “take measures to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to plan its vaccine/antivirals production capacity in advance” and also to “encourage and support research and development of pandemic vaccine” and to “develop a policy for antiviral stockpiling.” It also added that government representatives needed to know that “influenza vaccination and use of antivirals is beneficial and safe.” It said that the group provided “evidence based, palatable information”; and also “networking/exchange with other stakeholders (eg, with industry in order to establish pandemic vaccine and antivirals contracts).” In the meantime, in Roche’s own marketing plan, one goal was to “align Roche with credible third party advocates”. They “leveraged these relationships by enlisting our third-party partners to serve as spokespeople and increase awareness of Tamiflu and its benefits.”
Sounds very familiar doesn’t it. It would be very interesting to find out the connections of those addressing the public about the safety and efficacy of vaccines or antivirals might have to BigPharma, or to the government that is mandating the use of vaccines. The latter is not addressed in the article but my recent experience, involving a Q&A relating to the vaccines and the government mandate in Victoria put together by a very well-known corporation operating Australia-wide suggests it’s also a potential conflict of interest. The Q&A included a number of panelists, two company men, while the rest included Department of Health public servants, and a Professor, who receives funding from the Department of Health. You can guess the advice the staff were being given.