A few years ago the world went into panic over a new strain of influenza labelled Swine Flu. We were told that it could wipe out millions of people, that older people were at great risk and so were our children. In the UK alone, the Chief Medical Officer predicted 65,000 deaths.
In response, government health agencies around the world stockpiled billions of dollars worth of anti-flu vaccine. Urged on by the pharmaceutical industry, the UK government was persuaded to place a £1bn order for the flu vaccine by health experts, but by then it was already apparent that the forecasts for swine flu had been wildly exaggerated. By Spring 2010, fewer than three hundred people in the UK had died from the virus and the government was desperately trying to offload vast stocks of the vaccine. The effects of swine flu were no more serious that for many other strands of influenza.
In December 2009 the World Health Organisation admitted that the number of deaths from swine flu was considerably lower than first projected and forecasts were revised downwards. Fear of the global pandemic abated.
In Mexico, for instance, only seven people had died from the infection, compared with 159 as previously claimed. Around this time, Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi suggested in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly that swine flu was created in a military laboratory. Naturally he was widely denounced in the West, where he had long been regarded as a maverick madman, but could he have been right? Could the virus have been released into the environment deliberately? And was the risk overstated so that the multinational drug companies could sell more vaccines?
Colonel Gaddafi was not the only one to think so. In January 2010, the Head of the European Council’s Health Committee, Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, described the swine flu scare as ‘one of greatest medical scandals of century.’ He said, ‘We have had a mild flu – and a false pandemic.’ He initiated an investigation into the role of the drug companies, and how they influenced authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
Wodarg claimed that many governments have sealed contracts with drug companies that are triggered when a virus is classified as pandemic. ‘In this way the producers of vaccines are sure of enormous gains without having any financial risks. They just wait until the WHO says ‘pandemic’ and activates the contracts,’ he said. His comments made many health practitioners and politicians wonder what part the WHO and pharmaceutical companies had played in previous pandemic scares, such as Avian Flu and Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease (CJD-Mad Cow Disease).
Interestingly, people who had had the seasonal flu jab were more than twice as likely to get swine flu according to a study in Quebec! The researchers were not convinced there was a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the seasonal flu vaccine and swine flu, but suggested that our health guardians need to think more carefully about the vaccine programmes they promote.
Medical organisations – government and non-government – around the world are heavily dependent on the big pharmaceutical companies. Who knows whether these cosy bedfellows are working in our interests and what alternatives are available?
©David Lawrence Preston, 29.4.2016
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 23rd September 2009
 Source: www.wodarg.de/english/3013320.html
 PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7: e10000258; doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000258).