Dispatch: Flynn: WHO s to Blame

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Paul Flynn, vice chair of the Council of Europe’s health committee, believes that the World Health Organization and other public health bodies have “gambled away” public confidence by overstating the dangers of the H1N1 flu pandemic.

“That’s really an unfair criticism,” says Dr. Whelan. “The H1N1 flu met the definition of a pandemic since it was so widespread, and the WHO had no way of knowing how severe the virus would be. It turned out to be mild, but you have to put that in context: 12,000 Americans died, many of them young children. Contrast that with how many died from BPA traces in plastic products and can liners -- approximately zero.”

Flynn also accuses the WHO of a lack of transparency since some members of its advisory groups are flu experts who have received funding from pharmaceutical companies that make drugs and vaccines to treat or prevent flu.

“Who does he want in these advisory groups?” asks ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross. “People who don’t know anything about influenza? The scientists who study flu viruses tend to do w