By F. William Engdahl, author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order
11 January 2009
The much-touted threat of an H1N1 Pandemic flu fades in the mildest flu season on record, and governments are left sitting on millions of dollars of stocks of vaccines. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will begin an official investigation into evidence of scandalous corruption relationships in the new “Golden Triangle” of the global drugs industry—WHO, its scientific academic ‘advisors’ of SAGE, and the pharma drugs industry, yet new confirmations of the extent of official corruption are emerging.
Further information of official WHO corruption has emerged as people begin to look more closely at the unelected officials wielding so much power over our health.
According to WHO’s official declaration on conflicts of interest, its official scientific advisory body, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), are obliged to inform on all kinds of financial research support, scholarships, payment for collaboration and sponsor support for the research unit, during the past three years.
Now despite a WHO pledge of transparency in publishing the ties of its members or advisors to the pharma industry, a Danish Freedom of Information Act request by Louise Voller & Kristian Villesen for the Danish daily newspaper Information has confirmed that the newest member of the elite SAGE, Finnish Professor Juhani Eskola, an advisor managed not to reveal the fact that his Finnish research laboratory, THL, a WHO research center, got 6.3 million Euros (about $9 million) from swine flu vaccine maker, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2009. GSK produces the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, ‘Pandemix’ which the Finnish and many other governments, following the recommendations of THL and WHO, purchased in large volumes as a national pandemic reserve. i
The Finnish Minister of Health has become involved in the Eskola case and has asked for transparency concerning the researcher’s financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. However, Professor Eskola doesn’t agree that there is a problem. He secures and protects his ‘WHO’ status, by offering a minor ‘consultative payment’ to the pharmaceutical company, Novartis.
The GSK money is the THL lab’s largest income source. Questioned about the obvious conflict of interest in the appointment of Eskola to “objectively” advise WHO on vaccines, Eskola admits, “We are aware that there appears to be a conflict interest.”
‘Mr Flu’ and the stench of corruption
Eskola is part of a much more pervasive corruption in the scientific advisors of WHO. The scientist perhaps most influential in the vaccine decisions of WHO since the outbreak of SARS in Asia and Avian Flu several years ago is Holland’s Professor Albert Osterhaus. Known as ‘Mr Flu’ for his enormous influence over WHO and other flu decisions, Osterhaus lost his shine recently when the Dutch Parliament was forced to investigate Osterhaus’ ties to the pharma industry.
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. Not only is Osterhaus the connecting person in an international network that has been described as the Pharma Mafia, he is THE key advisor to WHO on influenza and is intimately positioned to personally profit from the billions of euros in vaccines allegedly aimed at H1N1.
Osterhauss 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. Science carried the following brief note in its October 16 2009 issue about Osterhaus:
" For the past 6 months, one could barely switch on the television in the Netherlands without seeing the face of famed virus hunter Albert Osterhaus talking about the swine flu pandemic. Or so it has seemed. Osterhaus, who runs an internationally renowned virus lab at Erasmus Medical Center, has been Mr. Flu. But last week, his reputation took a nosedive after it was alleged that he has been stoking pandemic fears to promote his own business interests in vaccine development.Last week, his reputation took a nosedive after it was alleged that he has been stoking pandemic fears to promote his own business interests in vaccine development. As Science went to press, the Dutch House of Representatives had even slated an emergency debate about the matter." ii
Albert Osterhaus is no small player. 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. According to his official bio at the European Commission, Osterhaus was engaged in April 2003, at the height of the panic over SARS (Severe Acquired Respiratory Syndrome) in investigation of the Hong Kong outbreak of respiratory illnesses. The EU report states, “he again showed his skill at moving fast to tackle a serious problem. Within three weeks he had proved that the disease was caused by a newly discovered coronavirus that resides in civet cats, other carnivorous animals or bats.” iii
Then Osterhaus moved on as SARS cases vanished from view, this time publicizing dangers of what he claimed was H5N1 Avian Flu. In 1997 he had already began sounding the alarm following the death in Hong Kong of a three-year-old who Osterhaus learned had had direct contact with birds. Osterhaus went into high gear lobbying across Holland and Europe claiming that a deadly new mutation of avian flu had jumped to humans and that drastic measures were required. He claimed to be the first scientist in the world to show that H5N1 could be transferred into humans. iv
In a BBC interview in October 2005 on the danger of Avian Flu, Osterhaus declared, “…if the virus manages indeed to, to mutate itself in such a way that it can transmit from human to human, then we have a completely different situation, we might be at the start of the pandemic.” He added, “there is a real chance that this virus could be trafficked by the birds all the way to Europe. There is a real risk, but nobody can estimate the risk at this moment, because we havent done the experiments.”v It never did manage to mutate, but he was ready to “do the experiments,” presumably for a hefty fee.
To bolster his frightening pandemic scenario, Osterhaus and his lab assistants in Rotterdam began assiduously assembling and freezing samples of, well, bird shit, in an attempt to build a more scientific argument. He claimed that at certain times of the year up to 30% of all European birds acted as carriers of the deadly avian virus, H5N1. He also claimed that farmers working with hens and chickens were then exposed. Osterhaus briefed journalists who dutifully noted his alarm. Politicians were alerted. He wrote papers proposing that the far away deaths in Asia from what he termed H5N1 were coming to Europe, presumably on the wongs or in the innards of deadly sick infected birds. He claimed that migratory birds were carrying the deadly new disease as far west as Germany’s Baltic island, Rügen, Croatia and Ukraine.vi He conveniently ignored the fact that birds do not migrate east to west but rather north to south.
Osterhaus’ Avian Flu alarm campaign really took off in 2003 when a Dutch veterinary doctor became ill and died. Osterhaus claimed the death was from H5N1. He convinced the Dutch government to order slaughter of millions of chickens. Yet no other infected persons died from the alleged H5N1. Osterhaus claimed that that was simply proof of the effectiveness of the preemptive slaughter campaign.vii
Osterhaus claimed that bird feces were the source, via air bombardment or droppings, onto populations and birds below. That was the vehicle for the spread of the deadly new Asian strain of H5N1 he insisted.
There was only one problem with the now voluminous frozen samples of diverse bird excrement he and his associates had collected and frozen at his institute. There was not one single confirmed example of H5N1 virus found in any of his samples. At a May 2006 Congress of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Osterhaus and his Erasmus colleagues were forced to admit that in testing 100,000 samples of their assiduously saved bird feces, they had discovered not one single case of H5N1 virus. viii
At a WHO conference in Verona in 2008 titled “Avian influenza at the Human-Animal Interface,” in a presentation to scientific colleagues undoubtedly less impressed by appeals to pandemic emotion than the non-scientific public, Osterhaus admitted that “A proper risk assessment of H5N1 as the cause of a new pandemic cannot be made with the currently available information.” ix By then, however, his sights were already firmly on other possible pandemic triggers to focus his vaccination activities.
A Mexican outbreak of a strange disease rapidly became swine flu, the now-famous H1N1 Influenza A of 2009 and ‘Mr Flu’ was once more at the forefront sounding the alarm at WHO.
Tip of a big, big iceberg
The financial ties of Eskola and Osterhaus to the pharma industry that stands to gain from their scientific recommendations to WHO is but the tip of a big, big iceberg.
The following list of WHO researchers, prepared by Information,x name more scientists reported to have financial ties to Big Pharma, suggesting the entire WHO system is systematically corrupt:
*Dr. Peter Figueroa, Professor in the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry in Jamaica, has received money from Merck.
*Dr. Neil Ferguson has received funding from Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline, and Roche, as well as from some insurance companies
*Professor Malik Peiris in Hong Kong has received money from Baxter GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur.
*Dr. Arnold Monto, advisor to Chiron, GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune, Roche, Novartis, Baxter and Sanofi Pasteur, has received funding from same.
*Dr. Friedrich Hayden, consultant to MedImmune and Sanofi Pasteur, received money from those companies, in addition to Roche, RW Johnson, and SmithKline Beecham.
*‘Dr Flu’ Prof. Albert Osterhaus has received money from Baxter, Crucell, Novartis, Hoffman-La Roche, MedImmune, Nobilon, Sanofi Pasteur, MSD, GlaxoSmithKline, and Solvay.
The WHO is in the powerful position of reviewing and making vaccine recommendations to the world.
Changing the definition of Pandemic
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:
Jefferson:“…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 doesnt 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. Theyve built this machine around the impending pandemic. And theres a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding...xi
When asked if the WHO had deliberately declared the Pandemic Emergency in order to create a huge market for H1N1 vaccines and drugs, Jefferson replied,
“Dont you think theres something noteworthy about the fact that the WHO has changed its definition of pandemic? The old definition was a new virus, which went around quickly, for which you didnt have immunity, and which created a high morbidity and mortality rate. Now the last two have been dropped, and thats how swine flu has been categorized as a pandemic.”xii
Conveniently enough, the WHO published the new Pandemic definition in April 2009 just in time to allow WHO, on advice of SAGE and others like Albert “Dr Flu” Osterhaus and David Salisbury, to declare the mild cases of flu dubbed H1N1 Influenza A to be declared Pandemic Emergency.xiii
Pandemic declaration automatically activates countless national emergency preparations including mandatory stockpiling of vaccines, vaccines supplied, of course, by the same pharmaceutical companies pouring money into the advisors of WHO. For them the new “Golden Triangle” is perhaps even more lucrative than the Asian Golden Triangle of drugs in the 1960’s Vietnam War era. And so far it’s all legal to boot.
i Louise Voller & Kristian Villesen, WHO Advisor Conceals a Donation of Millions from a Pharmaceutical Company, Dagbladet Information, Copenhagen, 10 December, 2009, accessed in http://www.theflucase.com.
ii Martin Enserink, In Holland, the Public Face of Flu Takes a Hit, Science, 16 October 2009:
Vol. 326. no. 5951, pp. 350 – 351; DOI: 10.1126/science.326_350b.
v Jane Corbin, Interview with Dr Albert Osterhaus, BBC Panorama, 4 October, 2005.
vi Karin Steinberger, Vogelgrippe: Der Mann mit der Vogelperspektive, Seuddeutsche Zeitung, 20 October, 2005, accessed in www.seuddeutsche.de panorama/8/373818/text/.