Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, chairman of the Health sub-committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has openly denounced the current "pandemic" Swine Flu campaign of the WHO as "one of the greatest medicine scandals of the Century."
The PACE Social Affairs Committee has proposed an urgent debate on "False pandemics: a threat to health," and hence it will be one of the major themes of the next plenary session of the PACE, to be held in Strasbourg from 25 to 29 January.
The resolution on the issue said, "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. They have made them 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. The definition of an alarming pandemic must not be under the influence of drug-sellers. The member states of the Council of Europe should ask for immediate investigations on the consequences at national as well as European level."
It was Dr. Wodarg, a medical doctor and an epidemiologist, who moved the resolution.
The committee will be holding a closed hearing on the same subject on Tuesday 26, attended by representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European pharmaceutical industry and experts on the subject.
The Assembly is a high profile body, though it doesn't enjoy the stature of the European Parliament. It is one of the two statutory organs of the Council of Europe, which is composed of the Committee of Ministers (the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, meeting usually at the level of their deputies) and the Assembly representing the political forces (majority and opposition) in its member states.
The PACE's recommendations on issues such as human rights have significant weight in the European political context.
Wodarg says the role of the WHO and its the pandemic emergency declaration in June needs to be the special focus of the European Parliamentary inquiry. For the first time, the WHO criteria for a pandemic was changed in April 2009 as the first Mexico cases were reported, to make not the actual risk of a disease but the number of cases of the disease basis to declare "Pandemic." By classifying the swine flu as pandemic, nations were compelled to implement pandemic plans and also the purchase swine flu vaccines. Because WHO is not subject to any parliamentary control, Wodarg argues it is necessary for governments to insist on accountability. The inquiry will also to look at the role of the two critical agencies in Germany issuing guidelines on the pandemic, the Paul-Ehrlich and the Robert-Koch Institute.
Dr Wodarg's claims come as it emerged the British government is desperately trying to offload up to Ł1billion of swine flu vaccine, ordered at the height of the scare.
The country's Department of Health warned of 65,000 deaths, set up a special advice line and website, suspended normal rules so anti-flu drugs could be given out without prescription and told health and local authorities to prepare for a major pandemic.
Planners were told to get morgues ready for the sheer scale of deaths and there were warnings that the Army could be called in to prevent riots as people fought to obtain drugs.
But with fewer than 5,000 in England catching the disease last week and just 251 deaths overall, Dr Wodarg has branded the H1N1 outbreak as 'one of the greatest medical scandals of the century'.
He said: 'We have had a mild flu - and a false pandemic.'
He added the seeds of the scare were sown five years ago, when it was feared the much more lethal bird flu virus would mutate into a human form.
The 'atmosphere of panic' led to governments stockpiling the anti-flu drug Tamiflu and putting in place 'sleeping contracts' for millions of doses of vaccine
Dr Wodarg said: '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.'
He also claims that to further push their interests, leading drug companies placed 'their people' in the 'cogs' of the WHO and other influential organisations.
On June 11, 2009 Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, made the declaration of a Phase 6 "Pandemic Emergency" regarding the spread of H1N1 Influenza. Curiously in announcing it, she noted, "On present evidence, the overwhelming majority of patients experience mild symptoms and make a rapid and full recovery, often in the absence of any form of medical treatment." She then added, "Worldwide, the number of deaths is small...we do not expect to see a sudden and dramatic jump in the number of severe or fatal infections."
It later was learned that Chan acted, following heated debates inside WHO, on the advice of the scientific advisory group of WHO, or SAGE, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts. One of the members of SAGE at the time and today was Dr. Albert "Mr Flu" Osterhaus.
Professor Albert Osterhaus, of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam Holland has been named by Dutch media researchers as the person at the center of the worldwide Swine Flu H1N1 Influenza A 2009 pandemic hysteria.
Osterhaus's credentials and expertise in his field were not in question. What is in question, according to a short report published by the journal Science
, are his links to corporate interests that stand to potentially profit from the swine flu pandemic.
He stands at the global nexus of every major virus panic of the past decade from the mysterious SARS deaths in HongKong, where current WHO Director Margaret Chan got her start in her career as a local health official, notes a commentator.
In an interview with Der Spiegel
magazine in Germany, epidemiologist Dr. Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaboration, an organization of independent scientists evaluating all flu related studies, noted the implications of the privatization of WHO and the commercialization of health: "...one of the extraordinary features of this influenza -- and the whole influenza saga -- is that there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill us all? Nothing. But that doesn't stop these people from always making their predictions. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is a whole industry almost waiting for a pandemic to occur. SPIEGEL: Who do you mean? The World Health Organization (WHO)? Jefferson: The WHO and public health officials, virologists and the pharmaceutical companies. They've built this machine around the impending pandemic. And there's a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions!