Dr Jong-wook Lee
Director General – World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
17 November 2005
By fax (+ 41 22 791 3111) and postal mail
Re: Vaccination policy
Dear Dr Lee,
Further to the universal campaign of vaccination against hepatitis B launched in France in Sept 1994 upon the recommendations of the WHO, a criminal inquiry has been opened on demand of the relatives of people, some of them children, who died after being immunized; having been commissioned as a medical expert witness by the French Judge, I have spent thousands of hours on this subject, and had access to dozens of confidential documents. Although my reports are still secret by Court Order, a number of my findings were leaked after being transmitted to the litigants; in addition, the arrogance and impunity of the experts involved has been such that it is possible to find a significant echo of my observations in published data.
In Feb 2004, I read a correspondence by an Indian colleague, Dr J. Puliyel (Lancet 2004; 363: 659), on the fallacies of the data spread by the WHO about the epidemiology of hepatitis B in his country. Although not well informed about the health situation in India, I was struck by the fact that the mechanisms of the deception as described by Dr Puliyel (gross exaggerations, lack of references, inappropriate extrapolations) were exactly comparable to those I observed in my own country — and of course with the same results: a plea of “experts” to include hepatitis B vaccination in the national vaccination program, in spite of its cost and, I may add, of its unprecedented toxicity.
I am now informed that recently Dr Puliyel has written to you in order to ask for an independent inquiry “to examine the issue of WHO promoting Hepatitis B vaccination in India”; as an expert having a thorough knowledge of this issue in spite of the terrible pressures from the manufacturers (which is indeed a clear admission of the relevance of my investigations), I take the liberty of informing you that I fully support Dr Puliyel’s request.
It is blatant that in the promotion of the hepatitis B vaccination, the WHO has never been more than a screen for an undue commercial promotion, in particular via the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board (VHPB), created, sponsored and infiltrated by the manufacturers (Scrip no. 2288, p. 22). In Sept 1998, while the dreadful hazards of the campaign had been given media coverage in France, the VHPB met an panel of “experts”, the reassuring conclusions of which were extensively announced as reflecting the WHO’s position: yet some of the participants in this panel had no more “expertise” than that of being employees of the manufacturers, and the vested interests of the rest did not receive any attention.
Even more damning: in an interview published in a widely diffused French journal (Sciences et Avenir, Jan 1997: 27), Beecham’s business manager claimed with outrageous cynicism “We started increasing the awareness of the European Experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) about Hepatitis B in 1988. From then to 1991, we financed epidemiological studies on the subject to create a scientific consensus about hepatitis being a major public health problem. We were successful because in 1991, WHO published new recommendations about hepatitis B vaccination.”
It is sad news for people everywhere in the world that the WHO’s experts needs manufacturers’ salesmen to become aware of significant health problems. As a complementary check, you may be interested to learn that I was personally informed by the journalist responsible for this interview that the manufacturer did its best to prevent the publication of this stunning confession.
Dr Puliyel’s request occurs in the context of another scandal involving WHO, that of the avian flu. It is quite easy to reconstruct that, under the lame pretext of increasing the manufacturing potential, the manufacturers managed to induce the WHO’s experts to recommend flu vaccination, whereas it is plain that this immunization would have no protecting effect against avian flu. In both situations, the trick was the same: to create a false alarm (about the inefficiency of targeted vaccination in the case of hepatitis B, about the necessity of increasing the manufacturing process in the case of avian flu), and to induce the WHO to plea for measures based upon misleading recommendations towards lay people (that everybody was at risk of hepatitis B in the former case, that flu vaccination could be useful in the case of avian flu).
As a result experts are currently challenging the WHO on the fact that deporting a veterinarian issue to a medical one prevented national agencies from taking appropriate measures concerning animals which, most probably, would have been far more efficient in limiting the spread of epidemics. In addition, it is sufficient to consider the figures of fatal reports following flu vaccination (Scrip nO. 3101, p. 6) and to have a minimum of familiarity with the problem of underreporting, to understand that up till now irresponsible vaccination against flu has killed far more people than avian flu.
In conclusion, I strongly support Dr Puliyel’s request for an independent inquiry about the process leading the WHO to recommend measures too favourable to drug makers interests, even when they are scientifically irrelevant. And I do hope that the abovementioned elements make it clear that the credibility of your organisation is highly dependent on an inquiry which differentiates between world health interests and those of WHO’s experts.
Dr Marc GIRARD
1 bd de la République 78000-Versailles (France)
Tél (33) 01 39 67 01 10/ Fax (33) 01 39 67 01 11