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Parliamentary Assembly Session: 21 to 25 June 2010

Handling of H1N1 pandemic: Assembly calls for safeguards against ''vested interests''

[24/06/2010 18:30:00] According to the Assembly, the handling of the pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), EU health agencies and national governments led to a waste of large sums of public money, and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public. The text, adopted on 24 June by the Assembly, says there was overwhelming evidence that the seriousness of the pandemic was vastly overrated by WHO, resulting in a distortion of public health priorities.

The Assembly did set out a series of urgent recommendations for greater transparency and better governance in public health, as well as safeguards against what it called ''undue influence by vested interests''. It called for a public fund to support independent research, trials and expert advice, possibly financed by an obligatory contribution of the pharmaceutical industry. It also called the media to avoid sensationalism and scaremongering in the public health domain. (more ...)

Video of the debate